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Entry 59 // Where do we eat?

Update by: Luke | May 11th, 2011

Getting my writing on has been more of a struggle lately. It's getting to be that time of year. My mind starts thinking about what is right around the corner and other projects are put on hold. This of course is because of my fishing. Today is May 11th. I will be in Naknek, Alaska in less than 1 month, and this year will mark my 9th consecutive season. I normally try to keep the month of May open and free of trips and playing hard, to reduce the chance of me getting hurt and to start letting my mind think fish fish fish, but this year is much different. I'm going to be flying pretty much from Europe to Alaska with a day or two pit stop in Michigan. On top of this, my normal two deck hands are unable to work this year for various reasons. They were my best crew yet, but now this uncertainty is another easy distracton for me. The way I write is to just spill the thoughts from my mind to the paper, and right now I'm thinking about fishing vs. this trip. So I will try to clear my head, and focus which is now at hand. That being conviencing Nick and Ben that I think we should go to Greece for breakfast.

We wake up at the hotel and I find out that we are only 8 k from Greece. Ben is in a hurry to get back to Denmark. He is penciled in to be a guest on a late night TV show. This would be a big kicker for the fund raising he is doing for his charity. I want to ride into Greece as I have never been there, Ben wants to skip it, Nick doesn't care. Well it's so close, and since Ben is awesome, he gives in and off to Greece we go, but first the ATM.

Maybe we won't go anywhere today because my bike breaks right outside the hotel. It's the same 9-long F.I. code again. The bike worked flawlessly all day yesterday. Dominick adjusted my TPS perfectly so I doubt it's the throttle body even though that's what the code is saying. Well, there is not much to do except swap fuel bodys with my spare. That's right, I'm now carring a spare throttle body that John from Rally Raid UK sent me. I have no hopes of this working though because it just doesn't make sense. Looks like breakfast won't be in Greece after all. Ben runs off to find some food for the parking lot while I put in my spare throttle body.Parking lot breakfastThrottle body is in, start the bike. Ride it one block and the F.I. light kicks on. Same problems. I'm not the only one having problems though. Nick can't get money out of the ATM. He is using his new debit card that his dad brought over for him. Now even the temp card he was using is also not working. The bank probably cancled his account because this new card was being used all of a sudden. Oh well, back to cash advances with the credit card.

Ok, let's do the 15 minute idle and go from there. 15 minute idle done. I shoot a little skeptical interview and we all take off waiting for my bike to break again. We make it the 8 K to the Greece border with no problems. YES!!!! We do not make it into Greece. Apparently Greece needs you to have insurance, and we don't have this. We bought Turkish Insurance to get the bikes cleared from customs, but forgot to get the Green Card added to it that makes the policy valid in all of Europe. So now we are stamped out of Bulgaria, and not stamped into Greece, we turn around back for Bulgaria. The border gaurd asks us what happened. Why are we back. Well it's because of no Insurance. Have no fear though. There happens to be an Insurance shop with in walking distance. We can leave the bikes here to avoid more paperwork. Awesome. The cost is $65 Euros for one month. Steep if you ask me. That's how much my 6th months are in America. Maybe this is full coverage. If so I could just crash the bike and collect insurance money. I try to get that idea out of my head and focus on finishing the insurance paperwork. They need money now and we don't Euro's or that much Bulgarian currency on us. They don't take cards, but there is a handy currency exchange close by. By now we have learned that it is handy to carry US Currency with us so we are prepaired for this. We cash in our crisp hundo's and now we are legal to drive in Greece. Back to the Greece border and through what I am guessing is a foot and mouth puddle.By the way. Ben shows amazing patience while traveling with us. Nick and I are the only ones running into problems. Ben already has the Insurance, Ben's bike never brakes. Ben has never even had a flat tire. Thanks for having such a good attitude Ben!

Ok, now we are in Italy, but by now it is lunch time. Let's eat! We find a little village about 30 K inside, but where are all the people. It's not like Africa at all. The town is empty. A few people are walking around, but it feels really quite and slow here. Ben helps us order something at the restaurant and by something I mean french fry's. That's pretty much all they had. There was a chicken on the roaster, but it was already sold. It's normally a pizza restaurant, but they didn't have the ovens going or somthing. I'm not sure.Ok, Greece is now a check mark. Add it to the list, take a photo while driving and now back to the border.We enter Bulgaria, and need to crank out some miles to make it to Romania by Dinner. We have no paper map and Nick's Europe map on his GPS is pretty poor. We are driving on main roads that arn't on the map. So we hit some dead ends and get turned around a bit. This just gives me time to sneak off and shoot some photos while Nick and Ben discuss the route.Bulgaria is interesting to me. Run down building and towns are everywhere. Lots of vacancies. Finding more dead ends in the country side. Getting directions from the locals.We pass some ugly stuff.We pass some beautiful stuff.Gas is cheaper in Bulgaria than in Romania, so we top off the tanks at the border town. It's dark and cold and raining. I had my heated gear, heated gloves and headlight all on. This adds up to 135 watts. (Jacket 65, gloves 24, headlight 35, tail light a few) The bike puts out 225 watts, so that was leaving around 90 watts to run the system. This should be no problem, but when I tried to restart the bike it would not start. I'm thinking dead battery, but the battery light never came on. I pump start the bike and let it idle for 5 minutes with no electrial stuff on. Then I restart the bike just fine. Hmm. I don't think it was a bad battery. I don't know. Just somthing to think about.

The border crossing is remarkably simple. We are waved through the line where you pay to cross the bridge. Apparently motorcycles don't pay. There is only one more booth, where our passports and titles are looked over for about 5 minutes then we are off again. Easiest border crossing yet! We find a place to stay in some town on the border. I have trouble remembering the town names. Anyway, it's about 10:00 P.M. by now and we are the last customers at a restaurant. Nick and I order chicken snitchel which is amazing. After a little walk around town we retire for the evening. Three countries in one day. It's a first for all of us.

Dinner in Romania





 

 

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