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Old 10-10-2018, 02:57 PM   #2
Mapping the next ride...
glitch's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 16,497
Default Re: Balkans_2018...You Only Live Once!

A couple of quick + dirties first...

General area:
The old Yugoslavia of Slovenia in the North (now full EU compliant incl. currency)
Croatia with that long, thin coastal strip past Dubrovnik to the Montenegrin border
(the narrow 5km coastal corridor at Neum is Bosnia's only sea-access)
Montenegro (now full EU compliant incl. currency).
Serbia (and Kosovo) and Macedonia further inland and south.
Romania, Albania and Bulgaria have been standalone ex-Iron Curtain countries long before the Balkans Wars of the 1990's...mostly last occupied during the Austro-Hungarian period 1870 to the end of WW1

The ~4500km base loop from/ to Bucharest.
The total includes daily loop/ side-trips.

Bucharest offered a one-stop flight ex-Melbourne with Qatar Air via Doha....with good 2-3hr. connections in the Gulf and only 4.5hrs from Doha to Bucharest.
Add the choice of 2 Bike-Hire places with BMW GS style bikes and it made for a perfect base.

The initial planning placed the main areas of interest at the Carpathian Mountains in Romania and along the Dalmation Coast/ Islands as well as the general Coastal Ranges
of Croatia/Montenegro and Albania.

The 3 weeks really should have been 5 or 6....just to cover those fairly small areas in the way it was intended.
I certainly got my time/distance calculations totally wrong planning a 250km/ day average.

Things simply take time...A LOT MORE TIME!
Roads are rough and highly intense to ride due to all the extra perils and surprises, border crossings can easily take an hour or more....lots of local traffic on often single-lane roads slow things down even more, as does the wandering livestock and endless strays of all sorts and shapes.

A 370km day with 2 border-crossings turned into an 12hr ride, at the end of which everyone was glad to finally slide off that damn seat.
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