Publicado por Miquel Silvestre en 4:03 |
Being at home, I am gonna tell you something funny about my trip. I’ve been riding a motorcycle across 17 countries without driver licence; or better said, with a fake driver licence. The story is as follows: an international driver licence is like a little book with few pages where the information is translated to some languages and in the last page, the most important one, is the drivers picture and his or her name, surname and other details. After my African trip my international driver licence was over used and the last page was ripped from the main part. In Ukraine the policemen were so corrupt and they pulled me over many times just to get the bribes. I was really annoyed because every time you should produce all the documents, including de driver licence. Once, they gave me back the main part of my licence but they forgot to give back the last part and I didn’t check it because I was so fed up and craving for be on my way. 500 km later I realised I didn’t have driver licence because the main part with no identification details is not a valid document.
What to do? Going back home to get a new IDL? No way. I kept riding East and praying for not find any clever policeman who could easily notice the paper I handle was real bullshit. Can you believe I crossed Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan with no problems at all about my IDL even being pulled over every day? I could had shown them my shopping list and they would probably have accepted it. Anyway, when I reached Tashkent, Uzbekistan capital, I visited the Spanish Consulate. I wrote my name in the IDL, put a picture on it, and asked the Consol abut putting a stamp. He did it although that kind of stamp had no validity at all, but Ok, a Stamp is a Stamp and in these countries they really love stamps.
I crossed Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan again, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan with my self made fake IDL and no one wondered what kind of official document could be one written by hand using a blue biro. But the most wonderful issue about the fake IDL happened in one of the most exigent country: Israel. They checked really well all the documents to allow people going into. I was about to die of nervous when they asked for “your driver licence, please”. I gave them my dirty and broken fake IDL... and it worked! If you have a look at the picture where are the fake IDL and the right one, you will say the same I said then to myself: It is impossible.
But it was possible. The World is crazy. I am back home after riding 23.000 km and 17 countries with no driver licence. Life is so weird.
Publicado por Miquel Silvestre en 14:47 |
We are in Madrid. 23.000 km, 100 days, 20 borders, six ferry boats, three pair of tyres, two oil filters, and eight seashores later, Little Fat and me are at home. But the question is what “home” means. When I woke up this morning I did not know where I was. This uncertainty was usual in the last months but this time took me more seconds to realise where I was. Strange fact.
I arrived yesterday from Lleida, where I slept the night before and got back my driver licence because I was riding with a fake one since the Ukranian policemen stole the good one. We reached Barcelona late at evening in a big ferry, which took 20 hours from Civitaveccia, a port near Roma, in the Lazio. We had spent two days crossing Italy by the most narrow secondary roads from Bari, in the South Adriatic Shore. We had rain and hot and the best food on Earth. I gained all the pounds lost in the trip. I am a happy little fat man now.
But yesterday I did a very crazy trip. I did not take the N II, the straightest way to Madrid from Barcelona. I headed Soria, a place in the middle of nowhere but with wonderful landscapes and lonely roads, and then Riaza to take the N I. It took me the whole day to arrive Madrid. I saw the Skyline at 8 pm. It was like I did not want to arrive. And you are right, I do not want going back to the traffic jams, the pollution and the angry people everywhere.
Writing these words in the morning I hear the noise outside. Is like the jungle. This is not that bad if one has the right attitude. I know after my trips that every day in any place is an adventure. It could be good or bad, but every day could be different. So the next adventure for all of us starts today, here and now. Enjoy yours. I will keep informed about mines.
All the best.
Publicado por Miquel Silvestre en 14:37 |
We are in Italy. We crossed the Adriatic Sea from Igumenitsa to Bari. We boarded late at night and I could see the sunset over the bay, then we slept on the deck and I could see the sunrise over the sea. See daily the whole sun circle is one of the most pleasuring things on a motorcycle trip. I have seen it going East, North, South and West. I have seen incredible sunrises and sunsets over the snow, the desert, the stones the hills and oceans, the hot and the cold, the wind and the quiet. Finding myself in Italy writing about sunrises and sunsets makes me thinking about what I got and what I left riding bikes all over the World.
Two years and ago I was a little bit lost in Earth. I had a good job, a beautiful girlfriend, money in the bank, a chic flat in Madrid with view over the Retiro Park and a Harley Davidson Night Rod. But I was always in a hurry and I was living such kind of live makes unhappy the people who love you. Then I had an accident on the HD and broke an elbow. I felt really bad. I was not used to stop the pace and feel the lack of something or someone you think is gonna be there forever.
But I never give up. I fought against the pain till I was able again to move my weak arm. I sold the HD and bought Little Fat because she has ABS brakes. Then I started to ride her longer and longer. First we went to Italy on April 2008, where we are now again. Now I think it was the Destiny or the God Desire. I had to buy a BMW GS to feel the craving of ride along the way. What I learnt? At this moment of my life I know everything has a reason to be, I know no one is an island, I know I need other´s help and at the same time I feel more selfconfident than ever. I am happy to be riding and happy to be me. I am happy to have ridden the World. I am happy of had such a crisis in life. I am happy to be in Italy, where the food is so great and the circle of my rides closes perfectly.
Publicado por Miquel Silvestre en 11:20 |
We crossed the Adriatic Sea on the Blue Horizon ferry. Igumenitsa is a city which lives on transit travelers. We slept on the deck and arriving in the morning. Italy was hot and crazy but again the best food on Earth.
Publicado por Miquel Silvestre en 1:08 |
Greece. The Chaos and the Peace. We took a ferry, Lissos was the name, at night from Chios to Pireus. The trip was about 10 hours. It was also the perfect performance of what one thinks a Greek ferry trip has to be. Crowed, chaotic, noisy and beautiful. Everyone there was like a portrait of one human character. Sailors, backpackers, mature couples and bikers. All of us were in our right place in life. We were among that incredible theatre like astonished spectators and at the same time we were playing our roles as good actors. At night the boat looked like a battlefield camp or a hospital for natural disaster survivors. All the people were lying on the deck, on the corridors, all over the saloons covered with blankets or sleeping bags. No cabins enough for so many passengers. Does it matter when the weather is warm, the Aegean Sea is your bed and millions of stars are lighting the ceiling?
Athens at 7 am was like any other Mediterranean city, but the Akropolis is there and that changes everything, even with the herds walking around. In front of the Partenon any one of us is herd. They are the oldest and most important roots of what we are now. And looking that perfection and then looking at what we are now, one feels something had been lacked in the way. We should be Athenians but we are primitive barbarians. Ok, ok, I know what you think. You are right, we are barbarians but we can also make BMWs. Thanks, God, for have given us the ability of building motorbikes.
We took the route nobody recommended us to ride. From Athens we went to Elefsina and then to Thiva by a narrow and mountain road. Then Livadeia or Livadia and then Delphi (or Delfos, where was the Oracle). The ruins of Delphi were great on the hill and with beautiful sight all over the valley. Then the road goes down to the Korintias Gulf and you can see the Peloponesus shore in the other side all over the way. Galaxidi, Nafpaktos, then crossing the bridge of Etoliko and arriving late at evening to the secret port of Astakos, where the life is quiet and the fishermen are fixing their nets along the bay.
Publicado por Miquel Silvestre en 23:46 |
How to say? I feel here at home. I was born at the Mediterranean Sea in a family who was born from ages and generations beside the same sea and in the same region. Now, seated in front of the hills of Kios, hearing the sweet waves and under the most blue sky, I realised that origin is like a heritage deep in the blood. I am a nomad, I can sleep on a dirty couch and eat whatever shit in Kazakhstan, but this is my home. The whole shore from Spain to Turkey, from Israel to Syria is my real birthplace.
Thanks, God, for all you have given to me and bring me safe to home.
Publicado por Miquel Silvestre en 2:02 |
Hi, all. We got Kios from Cesme. So we are now in Greece. Kios (or Hios or Chios) is a Greek Island in the Egean Sea. Just 8 km away from Turkey but another world. A beautiful one also. Life is quiet here and landscapes so great, specially on a motorcycle. But its History is so bloody. Apart of earthquaques, Turks killed 25.000 inhabitants in 1821 when Greeks rebelled against ottomans rule. Since then, Greeks and Turks face angrily each other over the fence in Cyprus or the Egean Sea. But they eat and drink almost the same. Greek Ouzo and Turkish Raki are same spirit, pretty similar to our Anis or French Pastis, and they drink same kind of tea and coffee, but they called it “Turkish” or “Greek” depending on which side is drunk. Not surprisingly, the same sort of coffee is named “Arab” in Jordan or Syria.
Anyway, we arrived in a small ferry which does the trip in an hour. Before we visited Ephesus, the Roman Capital of Minor Asia but it was occupied by herds of barbarians wearing shorts and carrying Nikon cameras. The Turkish sell to the tourist all kind of fakes (lacostes, rolex or coins) and make a sad show in the great and ancient ruins representing a gladiator fight. World sometimes stinks. Or you smile facing what we are doing with our heritage or you die from shame. Visiting ruins and old sites give you the chance to see the greatest human creations and the worst human crap. In Olimpo, a Lician City, there are herds of people walking across the sacred tombs just to arrive the white beach and lye on the sand till getting red enough to be a living traffic light.