Mega Balkan trip 2021, Episode 1

Finally i found some time to start editing the footage form the Balkan trip and i finished part 1. No idea how many parts it’s going to be but i guess 5 or 6 and i hope now i started i can post an episode every week but i don’t make any promises.

The Italian trip in 2020 was my first big trip and i loved it, but i also learned from it.
I wanted to start right at my doorstep with the nice roads but with limited time unlike the YouTube travellers like Itchy Boots and Pedro Mota it’s actually a waste of time.
Everything i see the first and last 2 days i also can see in a few weekend trips, if i not been there already on a weekend like the VFROC weekends.
This trip i kind of sacrificed 2 days to gain 4 days which made me feel more free because i didn’t needed to cut a part short if i didn’t make a section or decided to take a day of to stay over because i want to.

So, the fist day became a 885km trip over the Autobahn until the Austrian border to take on some main inland roads to somewhere not to far from the Hungarian border.
This trip and the Northern Europe trip where my initial bucketlist trips and for both i already made a rough version when my now ex and i decided i should do one of those trips.
Then it became clear it was going to be this trip and i started to work it out as a real trip and in that version it took me 3 days to get to this point instead of one.
An 885km trip is a long one on it’s own but the rain made it not any easier and when i was sure i was going to make it i took one resting moment to book the hotel i had the section ending.
The idea was that i’m behind the holiday season and therefore places are not fully booked but i was wrong.

Unlike last year when Covid resulted in early closing by some places and lots of room in the still open places this year a lot of people waited. The Dutch waited for their vaccination as we went down by age making the age group that had the most people going on a vacation be quit late.
Too late to be fully vaccinated when the season started so they postponed their holidays and went when they could which was the same time i went already for a long time to avoid the typical obnoxious holiday people and save some money at the same time.
There was a motel in the same town with a free room with breakfast for a reasonable price and i booked it. It’s good to have that sorted on such a long day even if it is not really appealing.

Once there it turned out that the restaurant was not open for diner so i unpacked what i needed and decided to break in my new hiking shoes i bought for the trip on the 1,5km walk to the nearest restaurant.
Last year i took some boat shoes as they where nice and compact, i had hiking shoes but they where a high model and that is a lot of space on a motor trip. I had plans that involved quit a hike so for this trip i bought new and low hiking shoes.
At the restaurant i ended up having a few beers with some locals and having a good time after all.

The next day the trip really started and it started still a bit grey but when i hit the Hungarian border the sun came through.
I believe Hungary is a pretty country but not this part. This part is flat and agricultural i believe but i new that while i was planning the trip but the better parts where too much out of reach within the time frame i had.
I could put some sight seeing in passing Lake Balaton but where it looked on the map as the road went along the lake it turned out to be quit far form it and/or obscured by trees and even a railroad. This was the best view i had.

I tried to find a place to lunch with a view but that was also not to be fount without turning back to the exit to the parking lots away from the main road ending up at tourist traps.
This was also quit a long section just over 500km so i kept riding but that’s what i’m about anyway.
The last quarter of this section had some bad roads but they where nicer to ride. They where more curvy and greener.
When i stopped for gas it started to rain so i took my camelback of and put it on the back of the bike on top of the duffel to put on my raincoat.
After that i paid and continued to the B&B i booked in Szeged not far from the Romanian border.
About an hour after that stop i wanted to drink and then i discovered i forgot to put the camelback back on… @#&*
Going back would mean a 2 hour loss without being sure i would get it back and missing the already too late check in at the B&B.
This also is travelling alone, no one to remind you or riding behind you to see it fall down but also another learning moment.
Never let your mind hang in the bad moment, yes it was a loss with a price to replace it but i made my choice not to go back based on the situation.
If i kept hanging in that moment i would not only have lost the camelback but also the time after that for as long i kept moaning about the loss so accept it and leave it there.

The third day went in to Romania and ended up just at the foot of the first reason to go this way.
I crossed the border at a small crossing and a few km highway after that, luckily motorbikes don’t need a vignette in Romania as this 17km stretch of highway saved me an hour on a also not appealing stretch of inland road.
After that i started to get the first mountains in sight but they still where far away.
The roads however already started to get a little curvy and greener.
Along the way a passed some villages smelling like the middle ages getting closer to the Carpathian mountains.
I was expecting to encounter some offroad and i got it on the third day. I already showed you in a short on the road blog but it needs to be in this story as well.

A little further after some almost new asphalt i ended up in a muddy dirt road.
Also shown the aftermath picture but that one i do not repost as it is better portrayed in the video down below.

Where the muddy section is cut of in the video it went on for about a kilometre and then i ended up on the curvy roads.
It didn’t took long to get the mud off the tyres and the fun could start at the end of another day.
I did check for accommodations but couldn’t find any along the way.
Off course not every place is on or Google and that’s why i decided to just ride and see if i pass a hotel or campsite on my way to the Transalpina and i did not long after entering the curvy section.
Episode one ends where i parked Ragnarok, enjoy the video and don’t hesitate to react on the video here or on YouTube. Also when it is criticism, i only can make better video’s when i learn what’s wrong.

2 Replies to “Mega Balkan trip 2021, Episode 1”

  1. Mooie film Ray, netjes en goed gedaan zo.
    Als ik wat opmerkingen mag maken en daar vraag je ook om. “To improve” dan kan ik zeggen dat ik als 66 jarige de muziekkeuze niet echt kan waarderen, haha … leeftijd zeker?
    Dan heb ik (en of dat aan mijn laptop ligt of niet maar) dat ik jouw stem in een laag volume hoor en de muziek juist in een hoog volume, ik moet dus opletten en steeds de volume knop omlaag als de muziek komt en omhoog als je iets gaat zeggen.
    Ook is het beeld zodra je het tempo omhoog gooit erg “nerveus” vooral op smalle en wat slechtere wegen, in een dorp of stadje is het tempo veel lager en het beeld veel beter.
    Oké maar dat is mijn mening, wel erg leuk om te volgen.
    Toppie Ray bedankt, Peter.

    1. Bedankt voor de input Peter.
      Ik zal extra aandacht schenken aan het volume, ik dacht dat ik het redelijk recht getrokken had maar misschien dat het aan de sporen ligt.
      Beeld kan ik niets aan doen, dit is hoe het opgenomen is en de beeldstabilisatie kan gewoon niet op tegen dat soort wegen. Vanaf de volgende episode heb ik ook beeldmateriaal van de helmcam met een betere camera.
      Qua muziek probeer ik het nog redelijk te houden maar ik moet rekening houden met rechten en rechtenvrije muziek is wat beperkt en als het wat gematigder is komen er meteen hele iritante geluiden inn voor.

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