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The Last Leg

The journey back across Newfoundland is a long haul in one day, and I sleep soundly in my ferry seat most of the way back to Cape Breton. The next days are spent following ‘the lighthouse way’ that follows the rugged yet beautiful Nova Scotia coastline. The region is home to many fishing families and every small inlet or sheltered bay has a small harbour, and a few lobster fishing boats....

October 16, 2019

Quebec to Newfoundland

I leave Ontario and skirt around the metropolises of Montreal and Quebec City, and work my way up the eastern side of the St Lawrence seaway. ...

September 27, 2019

The Prairie

As I head out of BC, through the Crowsnest Pass, I take one last look at the magnificent Rocky Mountains, and steel myself for the vast prairie ahead. I expect to see harvesting in full swing, but recent rains have bought that to a standstill, and machines lie idle while the crops dry....

September 17, 2019

Return from Tuk

The return from Tuktoyaktuk was reasonably uneventful. I hate traveling the same road twice and had braced myself mentally for the return journey to Dawson City. Even so, knowing what’s around every corner always has my head in a different space. The ride becomes a chore. Something to be endured. Returning to Inuvik and then riding the arctic plains posed no problems, and the ferry crossings provided time for some interaction with the crew. As I began to climb back into the mountains the rain ...

September 12, 2019

Riding the Dempster to Tuktoyaktuk

I’m away from Dawson City early. I want to give myself plenty of time, as I’ve heard so many varying reports on the condition of the road. The first few km give me a taste of the real beauty that lies ahead. I had no idea when I planned this ride that I would strike the autumn colours at just the right time. Apparently the 1st weekend of September is ‘peak colour’ up here, and there are quite a few vehicles on the Dempster that have made the trek for that purpose....

September 9, 2019

Vancouver to 'the Dempster’

Dealing with our shipping agent in Vancouver was the polar opposite of our experience in Vladivostok. Yuri (our Russian agent) was unexpectedly efficient, and the costs to us were exactly as he’d quoted us months before. Our Canadian agents were however effusive about the cost of landing the bikes in Vancouver, telling us “it’s usually $500-$550 but we have seen as high as $800, and it can take as long as 10 days”.  Our ship arrived in port on schedule, and 13 days later we received...

September 6, 2019

Vancouver - the long wait

Having left our bikes entrusted to Yuri in Vladivostok, Ingo set off to visit Seoul (Korea) and Tokyo (Japan), while I flew to Vancouver, then joined Kathy in Toronto, where we both rode The Canadian train on a 4 day journey back across Canada to Vancouver....

September 3, 2019

Mongolia to Vladivostok and the Sea of Japan

The final leg of our journey across Russia was reasonably uneventful. Just many more days on the Trans Siberian, with a few forays into nearby cities with the hope of some reasonable accommodation. Cities like Blagoveshchensk and Khaborovsk offer reasonable hotels and a break from eating out of cans. In fact Blagoveshchenck was quite interesting. It sits beside the river Amur, and across the river is the Chinese city Heihe. We walked along the banks of the river, looking into China and its thoro...

July 10, 2019

Mongolia

Border Crossing day started early with a ride in the rain. By the time we reached the Mongolian border, the sun had returned and it was 30 degrees. We began the long tedious process of getting through Russian border control and customs, before we could repeat on the Mongolian side. The Russians went through our gear thoroughly, looking for drugs. I don’t get it. We are leaving Russia, and they’re searching us for drugs. Do they want to keep all the drugs in Russia or something? On the Mongol...

June 28, 2019

Lake Baikal

With our new tyres fitted we head for Lake Baikal. After thousands of kilometres of straight road, we enjoy rolling hills and switch backs, along the shores of the huge lake. To us it’s a welcome relief from the boredom of the Trans Siberia Highway. However for some the twists and turns are a real challenge....

June 25, 2019

Irbit to Irkutsk

Yet more days spent on the Trans Siberian Highway. This 11,000 km stretch of road, that links Saint Petersburg in the west to Vladivostok in the east, had until recently vast unpaved sections that were often unusable by anything other than 4 wheel drive vehicles. Today it is completely sealed, apart from the regular stretches undergoing maintenance. ...

June 18, 2019

Kazan to Irbit

We leave Kazan early in the morning, our next destination is the Ural motorcycle factory and museum in Irbit. Irbit is in the Ural mountains, and marks our entry into Siberia. On the way, we stay with Stefan and Olga in the small Russian village of Byngi. Stefan is from Ingo’s home town of Bremen, in northern Germany. He married the beautiful Russian girl Olga, and they spend summers in Byngi, to be near Olga’s family....

June 10, 2019

Saint Petersburg to Kazan

5 days riding across this vast nation, and we seem to have made little progress. Our journey takes us into some more remote areas. Here the villages and the roads are dilapidated. Some sealed roads are so badly potholed, vehicles prefer to drive in the dirt, beside the road where possible. We saw trucks traveling at not much more than walking pace, because the road was so bad....

June 4, 2019

Saint Petersburg

We arrive in Saint Petersburg late in the afternoon, and check into our hotel. Kathy and Ingo’s wife Claudia arrive shortly after. Saint Petersburg is a very large city by New Zealand standards, with a population of more than 4 million. Known as the ‘Venice of the north’, Peter the Great used architects and designers from Italy and France, and evidence of their work is reflected in the elegance of the buildings and the layout of the public gardens and canals....

May 31, 2019

The Russian border

Our border crossing is booked for 8am the following morning, and it’s a near sleepless night for me. There is lots of paperwork and preparation gone into making this happen. Getting into Russia as a tourist is relatively easy, on a 30 day visa, but mine is more complex. I’m entering on a multi entry, 90 day visa, Russia-Mongolia-Russia and that has special requirements. I need an invitation from a business ‘sponsor’ and for this I sought the help of an agent in Auckland, =$$. Also we hav...

May 28, 2019

Detour to Tallinn

Our journey through Estonia is mainly through coastal forests as we head to towards Tallinn. Ingo has problems with his aging laptop. He thought of replacing it before this trip, and now it has issues. Tallinn is a big city. Hopefully here, he can get it repaired or replaced. We stay at a moderately priced hotel on the edge of the old city. Lots of culture and history evident here, but as with any large city or anywhere dodgy, we are careful how we park the bikes. Always chained together and cov...

May 27, 2019

Working our way towards Russia

Leaving Germany behind us, it’s on into Czech Republic. The Czech border town amuses, a little shabby compared with Germany, and many signs inviting us to the ‘Gentleman’s Club’, or the ‘Pussycat Parlour’. We are both dog people, so settle instead for a coffee at the local cafe, and try and get our heads around yet another foreign currency and language. Thankfully most people in the hospitality industry seem to have enough English or German so we can get what we need. Czech Republic ...

May 22, 2019

On the road at last

Departure day has at last arrived in Zürich, Switzerland. It’s 8:30 am, the temperature is 7C with high of 12C predicted. Kathy takes a few pics as we load the bikes and roll them out onto the street. ...

May 19, 2019 Posts 1-18 of 18 | Page