We left early for a Saturday
morning in August finally relaxed enjoying the
constant roar of our 600 which we had excellent
relations lengthened; Budapest first stage,
which we reached at 7 pm and left the next
morning still at dawn, filavano motion and it
was a pleasure to the beautiful streets
Hungarian, straight and clear. As you enter in
Romania, with no major problems with the border
police, now the road has changed, becoming full
of holes, bumps and gibbosity and reaching the
maximum to the first crossing of the Carpathian
mountains, in effect separated the straight for
a new track motocross.
But for us, with that motion, it was great lust.
To one of the afternoon, between the Carpathian
passes, Mauro notes a worrying loss of oil from
the head of his 600 and once stopped, from the
general discomfort we see the loosening of the
head with probable tear of the seal head, we do
not have the key dynamometer or a head gasket
replacement; around us strange mountain
fortresses with suspected manors with strange
pointed towers, which remind us with a few
thrills to be very close to Transylvania.
Then someone says bad luck, you soon! But no, we
are there with the bike already detached from
its fairings and its tanks (50 liters which
allowed 700 km. Autonomy) that comes with a mesh
Java KTM motorbike about 250, 74, maybe 76, and
we asks what happened, because some of his close
friends there, had in the garage everything we
needed, including torque wrench.
With a thread of hope we follow him and once you
see the sincerity of our friend, and start work
Closed the engine, thanked the motorcyclists
Rumeni, start almost at sunset with the
intention of recovering as much as possible the
time lost traveling at night, strong lights
lenticular certain that we had mounted below our
In fact, the headlights were not bad then, but
there was nothing to be lit, as the road, with
its beautiful back by motocross track, literally
disappeared in the dark, as it was devoid of
white stripe and reflectors, the Its color was
the same as the surrounding land and our
headlights illuminated nothing.
At midnight, after a hundred wrong turns and
exhausted by the tension of the journey in the
dark, we wisely decided to stop for the night in
a strange town on top of mountains, yet with a
strange old castle towers from worrying pointed
out the door , when after many of our insistence
someone open, it pierced the silence with a cold
Strange and suspicious of garlic necklace hung
from the walls.
The village was in the dark desert night.
During these trips, the first thing one thinks
of the morning when the bike is still there.
They were still there and the sight filled us in
Let us go then decided to come to Odessa in the
Ukraine but have come to the border with Moldova
now everything is complex.
Entered in Moldova started the trouble, or
rather, not just the trouble, causing a
nuisance, which would have accompanied us
throughout the remainder of the trip, and the
sticky forces former Bolshevik type Vopos - KGB,
to which we poor tourist motorcyclists
Westerners are not accustomed own.
In fact, Moldova, beyond Ghestapos, already on
his own is a country we say, original, great
highway, 150 km without a car or a billboard, no
one, then hit a trench of stone and crosses the
street to Above it a pit 2 meters founded 2, ...
and now comes the vopos asking you $ 10, as well
as a pittance, and you you're recovering from
panic to death with detached double carp
derapamento not end up in ditch him look
indecisive between rice and crying.
Continuing in a kind of track with barriers and
manholes of a meter open, come all'ennesimo
instead of blocking, where after having asked to
produce all the documents that can not even give
a look, after treated with kaghebe up to 2 , $ 5
a head equal to the round, after losing at least
an hour, ... 10 meters later (I swear, 10
meters) of vopos with a different color of
uniform rifermano us and tell us: "customs", in
Russian of course, that does not even know how
Of course it is not used to much to try to make
him see that within the Moldovan borders to us
were not and that we did not know even that
strange country we were to enter, they demanded
to see all our documents (with no watch of
course) and eventually we had to give them the
usual ten dollars.
Lost another hour.
Of these stops we had to suffer a dozen, two
worthy of note;
the first,-we stop the KGB and tell us to get
into an empty room and a porter's red-hot, where
a dozen vopos nap supported with old furniture
realsozialism, then one of them pulls out a
whole raft of logs and stamps and modules, and
finally makes us pay $ 10 for the charge of
ecology, (I swear, for the ecology)
the second, still-kaghebe on duty this time we
stopped a few steps from the border, really,
with Ukraine and asks us well armed, aided by
civilians sghignazzanti, green card, where we
can see that that strange that the province of
Moldova they call their independent state is
obviously not in the list of countries covered
by insurance: $ 10.
At the border, really, with Ukraine is not doing
much better, go out at midnight, after having
filled some twenty modules and contromoduli
which have all been properly signed and
controtimbrati by teams of uniformed and
nullafacenti between huge swarms of mosquitoes;
Odessa to arrive at 3 in the morning.
The restaurants of the hotels of the East, where
we consume shriveled breakfasts, reminiscent of
summer camps refectories 50 years by small steps
where the summer holidays, numbness in the
morning smells, the echoes of chatter in the
huge empty room and el'inflessibilità
disinterest of the waiter, also a little 'vopos
us to return the children.
But in the morning, coffee is the true view of
the motorcycle, and that in the past have also
free last night.
Padlocks and chains removed, a quick check to
oil and ... Tire wear discover that degrade by
about one inch every 1,000 km, and it is now
clear that prior to entering China and Himalayas
address the steps we must find new ones.
We start towards Rostov na Donu, Russia, where
we heard a few days before leaving the news that
some terrorists had been found dead in a hotel
(certainly ours, of course) because they were
overturned on him, but seems to be wanting,
tubes containing a few bacteria in a stolen
Russian military base of infecting and followed
a deadly eighty people. A nice little something
Supported by this cheerful thought cross endless
hills planted with sunflowers that accompany us
throughout the day, an endless sea of green
dotted with yellow, which would upset Ligabue,
interrupted at intervals of 20 km. monumentali
from the dilapidated portals still in style
realsozialism, reported that the various inputs
of Kolkoz growing areas.
Arrive at the Russian border at sunset and
Rostov is only 150 km., But the stamps and
stamped customs forms to fill 4 ½ hours, and
once in Russia are beginning to find the first
niet on petrol and naturally begin to remain on
dry, so infected at Rostov arrive at 3 at night
at that course where you can not eat anything,
and we are lucky to get the keys of the rooms
(rooms we booked and paid for by Italy,
condition for obtain the entry visa) obtained
Cesira which disappears immediately up the
stairs with a Busoni format tette dolls from a
pipe. We rather go to bed alone and disconnected
the phone after the 5th proposal for unspecified
forms of cooperation of other local ladies,
start the street directly in the corridors, as
these young ladies do not seem to want to give
up delivering their services.
The next step for Volgograd is short, less than
500 km, yet the immense sea of sunflowers, and
at 3 pm we are already in the courtyard of the
pre-booked with a general maintenance of our 600
and the local ladies, very organized, since
arriving in the yard and start to massage during
maintenance. Cesira, while still in dire straits
for the dolls of the night before, immediately
loses his head and riscompare with 2 slave
stumble, in a faux rug Caucasian type.
The hotel apparently realized in the second half
dell'800 is still very beautiful and brings
evidence of an ancient splendor that recalls the
old Russian nobility to Dr. Zivago. The
corridors will connect oval and lounges in the
style of furniture and carpets is appropriate to
the period, although recent copies are made by
machine. The lobby lounge and restaurant is
really beautiful and well equipped with numerous
ladies sun well distributed in all those rooms.
After so long we just have dinner, when we are
literally invested almost only guests of the
hotel, by a cloud of ladies of all ages
absolutely determined to finish. Then rapidly
withdrawn in the room, barricade the door,
unplugged the phone and amen.
Before sleep we remember that day that there
must have been the eclipse of the sun, but not
engaged in the guide we had noticed him, then we
did not know well what time would be, not even
knowing exactly what the local time zone and we
We are sleeping a little 'sorry.
Cesira should not be sleeping at all, by
occhiaie which had the morning after.
When the sun arose we were already on the road,
the stage that day was nearly 900 km and more
had to cross the border of Kazakhstan.
The cool of the morning has given way to a hot
and muggy day.
Around the landscape was completely changed, the
sunflowers had given way to the steppe, an
infinite expanse of soil mixed with sand from
which emerge sparse bushes, low and hairy.
Continue niet signs at petrol stations and
continue, of course, police from $ 10. The last
of them to intimidate the police officer,
explains course in Russian, something that does
not go into our visas and that if we do not move
immediately to the immigration of Astrakan to
accommodate all risk arrest, and shows us his
wrists together in a sweet gesture.
E 'l'a in the afternoon and the temperature is
almost 40 degrees inside our suits with boots
etc.. negotiation with another vopos tarnishes
us and we sfianca and helmets.
Having wandered for Astrakan in search of
immigration and after you've found with the help
of a taxi driver, we are approached by an
official who explains that the situation is
serious and that we must follow him in the car
with him the other side of town .
There casciano but only partially, and after
lengthy negotiations we agree to follow him only
in 2, while the other 2 remain with the
At 6 finally return in the afternoon,
accompanied by 2 other officers and young people
explain to me in a good English-language course
as we were deceived, cost only $ 150 from the
500 originally claimed, which was then all
things went well because we had saved the
passports, held up in a moment of lucidity
before the official-fraudster is dissipated away
from my 2 friends in the center of an office of
a city unknown unknown ... and even motorcycles.
I have 2 young officials tried apologizing to
explain that not everyone in Russia were crooks,
and that something was changing, or at least
they really believed us, and we left thanking
My bike and Mauro then began to have trouble
We started with the thought already close to the
border with Kazakhstan, which we have reached
and passed at 11 pm after the traditional
mountain of checks and stamps and forms, and
taxes, after having crossed the Volga delta
between dunes, swamps and ferries during the as
my bike began increasingly to rats.
Atyrau, the city that we had achieved, where our
hotel was prepaid, is about 400 km. and just
released by the customs in the dark, the road
(so to speak) has disappeared, leaving room for
a runway indefinite ground and sand, which is
strongly deformed by Tir; around the void called
And here my bike decided to stop.
The temperature was cool and pleasant, and a
slight breeze moving the sparse bush around us
in silence and in total darkness.
Changed the candle with the help of Mauro (the
right person on these occasions), we found that
the trouble was of different origin, or stator
unit that had parts, and while we prepare the
replacement came a huge truck whose driver in a
good English informed us that it was dangerous
to stop because the area was infested by gangs
of escaped from the civil war that Tajikstan
looted passers, and has offered to transport
them for free at the Atyrau where we advised you
to repair safely.
In the cabin were all in 4 Kazakhstan, around
the desert steppes in the darkness of which they
soon disappeared in front of me surviving the 3
When they woke up was the dawn and good truck
driver offered me a coffee and a frugal
breakfast kiosk for his daughter. I was left to
the absolutely refusing my dollars and saying
that if I wanted to do something for him, bè,
who had come down to Krabi!
I greeted with a hug. In the courtyard there,
try the three 600, the engine was still warm.
The hotel, one of Atyrau was conducted inside a
former command center the U.S. abandoned after
the Gulf War. It was run by Scots who had been
inside, a cozy 4-star hotel, from $ 150 / night.
Customers were only technical petroleum
Europeans and Americans to explore the nearby
land in search of oil, it seems successful.
After a quick consultation we realized the
difficult situation, before we had 3 hours of
good work to share bikes, and absolutely had to
leave Kazakhstan, cross the Uzbekstan, then
Kyrgyzstan and into China within three days for
which had obtained the visa.
We had before 1500 km of desert to the oasis of
Tasauz half way and then Samarkand, was almost
We decided to make a group for the repair of
motorcycles, and I looking for a truck that will
lead to even Tasauz traveling all night, where
we could arrive the following morning with the
bike in place, the full and relaxed (so to say),
ready to continue the journey and in compliance
with the visas.
The first truck driver when we announced the
journey has gone up by truck and is gone without
healthy. The second, a young man and wake up to
what we offered up to $ 600, we explained that
it earned him the maximum 100 per month, but
that he could not do that road in the desert
because we were all killed, and maybe not, but
That was the bar area more than the leaked
Tajikstan's civil war, many of them were
uniformed police, and who even dare to cross the
desert at that point was in the convoy, once a
week with an escort of armed militants fired on
Now evening, and then tried to take us and the
bikes on a train at 10 that evening went from
Atyrau and reached Samarkand 2 days and 3 nights
later, then still time for our visas.
We then started moving with arms and baggage to
find the station in the dark was not so easy to
find because there were no alerts.
In its vicinity there was the decline in total
going to face incredible tagliagole, drunk etc..
and there was no ticket to be able to buy. The
exhausting negotiations with the boss of the
station led to a bribe of $ 100 to enter and
take the train, but no tickets.
When the train arrived, with 3 hours of delay,
the performance was devastating. From totally
dark carriages between a swarming out of the
shadows and shout imprecations, windows, divelti
long, were replaced with sheet metal and
cardboard, some iron rods had bent and welded by
hand out, which came from arms and legs crushed.
Now were born fierce fights among those present
on the train and who tried to climb from putting
windows without bars. The doors were barricaded
from the inside and nothing was open.
Freight wagon no trace.
We could not take that train.
So we are sadly left the station, beginning to
realize that our journey ended there, and that
there were no conditions to continue.
Ragazzoni At a tall, sturdy and in uniform with
lots of degrees and approached me saying
dasfidania I returned the $ 100. I replied
sweeps and I embraced as I did with the truck
Outside the station my bike still had problems,
more or less like the other engines as being in
competition almost did not accept completely the
local gas, mixed with water and oil. Before
arriving at the moto di Mauro has been turned
off, and without stopping I pushed directly to
the hotel, where we arrived after midnight to 2,
with the visa has expired and very few ideas and
confused in the head, and where we met Albert.
Alberto was a geophysical dell'Eni he has
assisted and guided in the vicissitudes of days
where we had to extend our visa avoiding arrest,
find a courier for Italy to bring our bikes, do
a deed delegate to one of her friends
Kazak-clearance of the four 600 and finally
removed from our passports note the entry, then
find 4 tickets for the local airline (!) in the
direction of Moscow.
A little something from nothing.
Atyrau once called Gurjef, was a huge field of
work more or less forced by Stalin wanted in
which citizens had been deported by the
thousands from all regions of the USSR. In a
squalid area of several kilometers sordid
barracks stood in ruins and piled in disorder to
each other and their drabness is confused with
that of the steppe in a hallucinatory
Was that the area where the depression began
that led to the Aral Sea, or what remained of
it, for a series of policy choices was wicked
diverted the rivers that fed it, and it was
gradually draining. Wrecks of boats lay km. away
from the bank that continued to retreat.
The soil was composed of a mixture of deadly
poisons are not biodegradable, DDT, dioxins,
pesticides and all so deadly bandit in the West
for years, was carried by rivers and is
deposited on the bottom of the lake in layers of
several cm when they found out was lifted and
carried by the wind into the home and
everywhere, for the enjoyment and welfare of
In the center of Atyrau are the government
buildings crumbling call is not a wish to be
Achieved over 50 years, have the stone walls to
view the appearance in ruins, the openings for
doors and windows out of the rod of reinforced
concrete which is welded directly to frame
completely rusted iron and adapted by hand which
supports the door or window iron or wood,
usually frozen in the middle without being able
to open or close completely.
Entering the decay and increases in most
divisions appear forced and walkways made of
iron rod bent and welded from which nuguli of
people screaming demanding permits,
authorizations, licenses, etc., coming
immediately harassed as well. It seems we need
permits for everything, and get them is not
always easy but must be paid, of course
Teams vopos thick, or if you prefer kaghebe,
infesting the area, in a squalid kind porter's
lodge dirty and empty, I counted 8 vopos
nullafacenti one of whom yelled arrogant
invective from a pertugio citizens who dare to
We wandered in there long until you reach the
other side of one of those barriers welded cage,
with the same people screaming on both sides,
and you do not understand who was in and who
out, and those who free a prisoner.
We also had some pleasant time, as that evening
that Alberto has invited us to dinner with other
Italians, and many Russian and Kazakh girls, and
Mauro began an incredible feeling with Svetlana
or something like that spoke only in Russian and
he Vignola replied that there were some great
Duron, and continued so all embracing and a
little 'drunk for as long as an hour if she is
taken and carried away in the dark.
When we reviewed the morning it was emaciated
and pale, with the voice roca and somewhat
Valter in 8 days as we had been forced to an
iron fasting, and at the of Atyrau was rebuilt,
gobble the most incredible things all thoroughly
fried, and making 3-4 meals a day from about
12,000 Kalorie each, some with lighter side of
salt and others to pure Tabasco, from gargling.
Valter to Atyrau slept with Cesira that after 2
nights it was not more of its complaints (even
had them during the day, continuously, really
slept naked with his 130 kg. of lard all white
and soft as a larva and a night that Cesira
could not sleep because of the complaints, a
dream began to stifle the pillow, but the dream
(not in a dream, but in the sense of desire)
could not happen Valter fat because they are
sweaty and flaccid would slipped away, then he
has developed the situation in a-ma vala that if
we do in television zuchètto with all my
strength there he stands! -.
To Atyrau, as in almost all former USSR
countries, every 100 meters there is a police
patrol that stopped everyone, however, and that
you pay the toll.
They were used when there was still the regime
to maintain the Order Absolute, and now no
longer so numerous, the various States can not
dismiss him or to avoid riots, not simply the
increased salary when their currency is devalued
300% so they are found to earn the equivalent of
10,000 lire a month, and if not then who is
going to survive harassment citizens.
Four days later, after waiting 4 hours on the
track when the doors closed, air-conditioning
turned off, a suspected police go away, Valter
in short pants, hams from outside and slippers
and all infradito sparnaciato head causes a
autotosata with machine tosapecore, and a jet
kerosene worrying that emerged from a nearby
motor, and a shaky rumorosissimo Tupolef left
the track direct Atyrau to Moscow.
I think the most dangerous time
of the entire trip.