Hitting the Road Again!

9 Oct

Our bearings arrived courtesy of a fellow traveller. Shalom’s riding a newer GS and they share these same parts. He was carrying a spare set. Hurrah!

He very kindly let us use his spares, so that we could get to work reassembling Battle Panda.

It turns out it’s quite time consuming to refurbish the universal joints in the driveshaft without a press or vice. The pivot bearings – easy. But by late Monday night, our bike was back on its wheels.

As fate would have it, the parts we’d ordered arrived yesterday morning. The timing worked out perfectly, as Shalom is leaving today.

In the meantime, another couple arrived on GSs, so we decided to ride as a group yesterday. We terrorised many a small village as our unlikely MC gang rode through – three modern BMWs, us, and the KTM sidecar.

The back road

Village

The sidecar

We visited an amazing monument high in the hills. Once a symbol of the greatness of Communism, it’s now fittingly derelict.

The front entrance long ago sealed off, to get inside you crawl up through a small opening in one of the walls.

And then you gape in awe at what remains of an opulent monument, built at a time when Bulgaria struggled to feed its people.

It’s an equally creepy and enthralling place.

Michael’s composed an impressive panoramic view of the interior: http://www.travelnaid.de/Bulgarien-Busludscha.html

The approach

Outside

Sizing up our options

Climbing in

Mosaics

Detail

Taking in the view

Water drips from the ‘ceiling’ as the ice melts

More mosaics

Detail of the tower

Today we are leaving the motocamp. As much as we are itching to get back on the road, we will be sad to say goodbye to our new friends.

We’ll ride with Michael and Tamara through Serbia and Montenegro on to Albania, where we’ll spend a couple of nights with them at the monastery where they are going to volunteer over the winter. It feels good to know we’ll soon be making some more miles.

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