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Switzerland - Germany - Poland - LethuaniaLatva - Russia - Mongolia



The large capacity gas tank from Irbit is ready to ship, and the other gas tank is waiting for Francois and Chantal to come back tomorrow from their vacations in St Tropez to be finished very soon, I am quite impatient to go see it !!!

The magnificient Ural large capacity gas tank from Irbit, Siberia.



Official: Jean-Louis will arrive in France on October 18 !!!

I went to pick-up Giorgio at the aeroport this morning after his farniente week in spain. Francois who is doing my gas tank is coming back from his vacations tomorrow, so we should be able to complete the gas tank this week.

Irbit is shipping Jean-Louis gas tank today to France.

We got the 2 battery Odyssey PC545MJ (Metal Jacket) that can stand temperature from -40ºF to +176ºF.



I am done doing my medical stuff including all the vaccins, I renewed my credit cards, did an international driver licence and registration for the sidecar. Tomorrow, I take the train to go back to Geneva at Giorgio's house to finish the preparation of my sidecar for Africa.

Jean-Louis was delayed to live New York, he should arrive in France sometimes this week.

I cost the same to dress for Africa that it cost me to go in winter in Mongolia !!!



The surgery went without any probleme. Tomorrow, I have dentist and an other vaccin as well as thursday..

I got a new friend Mireille who travelled in Africa, Vietnam and Mongolia and got the same surgery as me today !



While at in Britany with my school friend Patrick, I learned that there were a Ural meeting on Saturday. I stop by to give a kiss to all my Ural friends on my way to North Normandie in Cherbourg where, tonight, I will meet Gary, Lorraine's cousin "brother of cirme in dance"

Dan, JPA, Michel, the Prez and many of my Ural friends at the Ural meeting in Brittany !

For my birthday, I went in Brittany visit my friend from high school, Patrick I did not saw for the last 46 years !!!



Today is my 64th birthday, no big deal, I still have many years of travel in front of me ! After talking with my brother Patrick yesterday, I realised I needed some vaccins to go to Africa. For the first time in my life, I have true "Carnet de vaccination" that was delivered to me this morning by the Institut Pasteur in Paris.



Today is my 64th birthday, no big deal, I still have many years of travel in front of me ! After talking with my brother Patrick yesterday, I realised I needed some vaccins to go to Africa. For the first time in my life, I have true "Carnet de vaccination" that was delivered to me this morning by the Institut Pasteur in Paris.

My brother Patrick is sharing his travel from north to south of Africa in front my skeptical sister Marie France !!!

Wednesday 29: At the Ural factory of Irbit in Russia, it's getting better and better by the minutes !!!



Thank you Ilya, the gas tank the Ural team is doing in Irbit look really great.

It looks to me that it is based on the classic model but wider !



I saw doctor "Dubert" this morning, the surgery is for next monday. There is a confusion about my finger problem because i have several of them !

- the left major has been missing for the last 47 years.

- the right index had the split of wood and is now out of trouble

- the righ annulaire has a lock-in syndrome and need the small surgery

- all the other fingers are doing good !

Paris is marvelous, but I am now only a visitor !



Tomorrow sunday, I take the train to go to Paris. Monday morning, I have an appointment with my doctor for my finger and Monday october 4, I will have the surgery. Meanwhile, we are making very progress on the sidecar preparaiton for Africa. The gas tank in process by Francois is a piece of art by itself.

Ural in Irbit is doing an other larger capacity gas tank for Jean-Louis that we should get at Linz in a couple of weeks.

Francois is welding the metal of my gas tank by fusion with a torch !



By expulsing last night the last piece of wood from the split introduced last month under my fingernail , my finger definitely avoided gangrene and the fatal amputation !!!

Progress are going well on the sidecar preparation for Africa.



Everything is going well in Geneva. Today, I went with Giorgio and Louis to watch the last motocross race of the year for the Switzerland championship. Dominique Miele 15, the son of a friend was racing for the championship position, he ended 2nd and that is brilliant, congragutlation Dominique.

Congratulation Dominique (#23), your 2nd place at the Switzerland champoinship is a great acheivement !



Day 41 - Mile 8518 - Geneva, Switzerland

I left at 11 am yesterday morning from Marc and Susie's house and I arrived at Giorgio's depot in Geneva at 11 pm. The ride was great, I had a great time all along. I slept in front his office when I arrived in Geneva.

Giorgio was surprised to see me sleeping in front of his office when he arrived at work this morning.

My arrival at Giorgio's place in Geneva conclude my return ride from Mongolia to Europe.|



Day 40 - Mile 8049 - Eggenfelden, Germany

I am leaving the comfort of Eggenfelden at Marc and Susie's house in direction of Geneva to see Giorgio. My first priority is to see if we can make a gaz tank > 36 litres for Africa



Day 34 - Mile 7739 - Eggenfelden, Germany

Yesterday afternoon, i went to Munich to the Apple store located in the walking area in the middle of the city. As they say "Munich is the most beautiful biggest village of Germany". The "Genius doctor" had a good news for me, my problem came from one of the two "Ram" rack on my computer. He shows me how to remove them to find which one is in default and then I will be able to replace it. Then I went to "Därr" one of the best adventure store in Germany. I behaved and just enjoyed looking at all these goodies without buying antything.

Today is a rainy day, i will stay on my bed the whole day doing my web site.

Hubert at it's best "Working while still recuperating !!!"



Day 33 - Mile 7578 - Eggenfelder, Germany

I went to the Ural dealer 'Löw" of Kircham to try to fix the carburation problem. Thomas is a mecanic with no ego and no arrogance and that make a huge difference of may others. After a couple of hours the carbs are now perfectly synchonysed and the motor runs really very good. Driving it is pure pleasure.

Tomorrow I will go see the Apple doctor at the genius bar of Munich, let see what kind of miracles they can do !



Day 32 - Mile 7434 - Eggenfelder, Germany

Resting - Recuperating - eating food from "Cordon bleu" Susie...



Day 31 - Mile 7199 - Eggenfelder, Germany

At Marc and Susie's house, I feel like home, it's my first laundry in 7199 miles... beleive me, it was needed !

I will stay with them for a few days until the Ural meeting of next weekend at Linz 120 km away.



Day 30 - Mile 7199 - Eggenfelder, Germany

What a great idear it was to visit Benito. Tanja was visiting her parents in Moscow. Benito travelled during 8 years on motorcyle in the past and we had a lot to talk about including his re-insertion to the regular life.

After a croissant breakfast, I left his house at 8:30 and by 4 pm, I was 20 miles away from Marc and Susie's place between Munich and Linz. Marc and Susie are very good friends of Jean Louis, I met them in New York a couple of time in the past. I stopped on the side of the road to read my notes on how to get to their house when "Stephan" stopped by me "I know you...". Stephan is a mecanic working in motorcycle R&D at BMW for the last 30 years ! I went to his personal garage where he as a dozen motorcycle, we drank a coffee, talk mecanic, changed a rubber fixing the carb to the cylinder (and that may be part of the problem i had), he was very happy to keep the broken rubber as a souvenir of my visit to him.

I am eating a gelato in the middle of the village Eggenfelder the village where Marc and Susie live waiting for them to come back in an hour.

I am  now at 120 km of Linz



Day 29 - Mile 6864 - Treffurt, Germany

So last night I arrived on the spot at midnight, but it was a horse shop kind of thing. I turned in circle for the next couple of hours and came back to my horse shop and slept in the field just behind. I slept on my plastic tarp dressed for the rain ready to go in case of rain without my sleeping bag. I got cold but I slept ok. At the horse place a woman told me yes this is the right place but peter is in a house in the middle of the wood 30 km away ! I was surprised because I got his address from the Ural web site and the Peter in question has a web site with many other motorycle thing on it !!! She called him but he was not available until the afternoon so she drove me a few miles away to a guy's house. I explained him my problem, it start well, it run well at iddle, it run well at 50/55 mph but when I pass a village at 30 mph it cough in the carbs. He looked at the spark plugs and we replaced the NGK6 by 2 new NGK7 and it works really much better but may be not yet perfect. I am glad, i did not scew up the timing of the motor as I thought it was the problem, as usual, i made a wrong diagnostic !
It's 10 am, I am on my way to Benito and Tanja, they are may be 100 miles away from here.

4pm, I had 2 things to find Beneto, his GPS point and his adresse in a little town. For some reason, the GPS point was 10 miles away from the city where he lives and he moved a few blocks away from the address I had... it took me a couple of hours to find him but I am now with him in his house !



Day 28 - Mile 6731 - Magdeburg, Germany

I wake up early this morning but i left late after doing some maintenance on the sidecar. Then I quickly stopped at a McDonald to celebrate with 3 days in advance Jessica's birthday in her favorite restaurant. I stayed there for 2 or 3 hours on internet. I went back on the road but I was not doing well, it was raining 1/2 of the time and I was not moving that much ! I still manage to pass the German border at the end of the day next to Berlin and them I wake up, I started riding at night like I loved doing in the USA. The sky cleared so I passed Berlin and pushed it to a Ural dealer at Alberstadt next of Magdeburg where I hope tomorrow morning, they will help me adjust the timing of the motor. I am going to go sleep behind their store.

After that tomorrow, I will go to visite my friends Benito and Tanja I met first in Patagonia 3 or 4 years ago then in Moscow where they were living 2 years ago.



Day 27 - Mile 6258 - Warsawa, Poland +

After an early start, I relaxed at a internet restaurant I found just after I enter Poland. I start riding really only at lunch time... when it started to rain ! Polish people are friendly, they love to wave at the sidecar when they see me passing on the side of the road. There were 2 very bad accident on the road, I hate that. The sidecar is running good but will need a little adjusteent on the tune up when I will arrive at Linz. I found a hotel with wifi in the bedroom, a real luxury.

The Ural meeting of Linz start on September 10, i filled up the gaz tank,
Linz it at 356 miles on a straight line, it's do-able, I think I can make it !!!



Day 26 - Mile 5942 - Kaunas, Lithuania

I spend the whole morning trying to buy a European insurance for the sidecar but I can only do it from France. The solution was to buy it by internet. Then I spend time finding a bank that you change my left over roubles. I went quickly through Latvia and wanted to cross Litthuania before the end of the day and sleep in Poland. At 7pm I started to look for a hotel, before the border, they were all expensive and without a working internet. i decided to keep riding an put the then last minute at dark. A guy (Marcius) passed me and show me he wanted me to stop to speak with me "I follow your web site for the last 3 years, I loved you ride on lake Baïkal last winter..." He took me to a friend of him who run a moto club just before the Poland border where I will sleep tonight ! What a small world internet does !!!



Day 25 - Mile 5687 - Rezekne, Latvia

This morning was mecanic time. I had to do some welding to the fender of the sidecar, it was a lace ! then I had to change the bearing of the front wheel, they got damage when the big screw holding them get loose.

I passed the Latvia border without problem meaning I am now in Europe, and I am tonight at 2 nice guy house i met at the border.


Day 24 - Mile 5473 - Neledovo - M9

It rained the whole day none stop. I managed to find early enough a hotel with the sport channel TV to watch the F1 race today. It may be the first one I saw this year.


Day 23 - Mile 5345 - Smolensk

It rained the whole day. I was rescued by a guy who brought me to the moto club of Bryansk. They put me on their computer connected to internet and I put them on my computer to look at the web site. None of them spoke english and I was amazed to see them navigate after a couple of minutes from one country to the next. The web site does work well. After lunch, I went back on the road with a light rain and it started pourring again. At the end of the afternoon, I had an other  major shower, i stopped in an expensive ($30) hotel on the side of the road. I think I will pass the Latvia border either monday or tuesday.



Day 22 - Mile 5133 - Orel

First day without rain, what a pleasure. I am riding 2 to 300 miles south of Moscow to get to the Baltic countries to avoid Ukraine. I found a little motel in a village. A neighbor took my sidecar in his garage for the night. I really wanted to take a shower.


Day 21 - Mile 4842 - Tambov

I am getting used to the slipt under my finger nail, but when I hurt it, it makes me jump to the sky. It rained again today but not that bad. I slept outside again. The sidecar is running good. I am just troubled by a grinchy noise I can hear on the front and I can't find what it is. In my mind, it has to be related to the bearing of the front wheel ? It's impossible to find a cafe Internet in the big cities on the road, it does not really exist ! I was able to squat a Wifi signal at a corner of a street by pure chance after several try. I was able to write a post on the guestbook. I received an email from Jean-Louis with the photo of his sidecar that just arrived at his dealer at Saint Remy de Provence, we are looking good !


Day 20 - Mile 4653 - Samara

A shitty day. First the 2WD get on by itself on a long bridge under the rain. When it happen on asphalt, the sidecar jump a few feet to the left !!! it was due to the rebuilt of the final drive at Irbit, the lever needed to be adjusted, it took me an hour under the rain. Later I saw that the big screw holding the bearings of the front whell is loose. No damage but scary at first. During the afternoon, I put a wooden split of 1/4" under a finger nail, it hurt like hell and I cant remove it.

I slept in the field but when I woke up, it was raining already !!!


Day 19 - Mile 4401 - Ufa

I had a good ride, it rained a lot, i found a trucker motel by night only !


Jean-Louis' sidecar just arrived at his dealer of Saint Remy de Provence, we are looking good !



Day 18 - Mile 4055 -Urman

I scew up by putting a 30A fuse unstead of a 15A on the position light that are still not working normally. I did repaired the exposed wire but then it does not switch off... until this morning when it work normally again !

I am approaching Ufa and will stop in an hour or so at Urman, Oleg's dad village.

I will check the tork on the cylinder after the first 1000km check the valves clearance and do a change of oil.

The temperature is dropping big time, it's like in the 50's only

It's the first time i saw a sign "Wifi" on the door of a gas station in Russia and on top of the it works !!!

I had an extraordinay evening at Oleg's parents house. The hospitality of these people living in a simple village is out of what we know in our countries. I did all the mecanic with Valery, Oleg's dad.



Day 17 - Mile 3823 - Chelyabisrsk

I am on my way west in direction of Linz Austria. Many people wrote me to tell me not to ride through Ukraine, do you know why ??? (i still don't know). I am sleeping in a Motel for trucker.



Day 15-16 - Mile 3685 - Ekaterinburg

It's been raining since I arrived here 2 days ago. Meteo predict sun for tomorrow. i am resting and will go the special "City fiesta of Ekaterinburg" today..



Day 14 - Ural Factory

I am leaving the factory, i will have dinner with my friend Oleg at Ekaterinburg -150 miles.



Day 11 - Ural Factory

Dimitry is working on doing all the maintenance needed on  my sidecar and I will have dinner with Iliya the president/owner of Ural who lives in Seattle.

I checked already on Jean Louis's sidecar, it is under fabrication and will ship next monday to Europe in container numbert 9.


Day 10 - Mile 3530 - Irbit at the Ural factory

Departure 7am

Under a beautiful blue sky, i had only 300 miles to do. I enjoyed the whole day riding slowly. I arrived at 4 pm at irbit. I had fish with the Ural Doctor that fixed my broken spoke last november and went to rest at the hotel.

During all these miles in Russia, I rode by the book and I was not stopped once by the police. The only glitch on the sidecar was on day 6 with all the rain, there was a short cut on the position light that i still have to fix. I dis a short on the brake light to have rear light and the high/low beam was still working.

My right annulaire is bothering me a lot with a lock-in syndrome, i will need a small surgery in france before africa.


Dat 9 - Mile 3197 - M51

Departure 6:10am

I stopped at 6:20am seeing in front of me a major thunderstorm developping with a very black sky. I had the choice to go back to the motel but I would have lost the possibility to arrive at irbit sunday. I got dressed for the rain and I decided to go throught the storm. It started to rain 10 mn later. It was violent, all i was doing was to follow the white lane on my right that I could only see a few yards away. I was like that for half an hour. Then it just rained for an hour. I did good, againg with my plastic bags, i managed to stay dry and keep going. At the end, it was my longest ride in one day. I was in good shape to arrive tomorrow at Irbit.


Day 8 - Mile 2665 - Novosibrisk + M51

Departure 6:30am

Some rain at the end of the afternoon. Stopped in a motel an hour before night, washed the sidecar. I am on schedule to arrive sunday night at Irbit with a little over 800 miles to go !

Needless to say, the only thing i do is riding my sidecar all day long. I don't go inside big cities where I would find internet. I think I will be able to post this when I arrive at Irbit.


Day 7 - Mile 2249 - Krashnoyark M53

Departure 6 am

A great day, lots of miles. Slept in the field, did a mushroom ommelette for dinner, was delicious.


Day 6 - Mile 1770 - Taeshet M53

Departure 7 am.

I did good with what I had with me considering the circumstances. It rained the whole day and I managed to stay dry. I did most of the unpaved road section in the mountains. The bad news is that my computer crashed and is dead ! I will need an Apple store somewhere in Europe either to fix it or to buy a new one !


Day 5 - Mile 1441 - 80 miles North of Irkutsk on M53

Departure 12 pm.

The immigration office is closed on tuesday morning but I learned an other way to register by the post office ! I left Ulan Ude by noon. I love this feeling of riding all day long. I passed through Irkutsk without stoppind and find a "Gastinija" (motel) at 10 pm. Life is good.


Day 4 - Mile 1095 - Ulan Ude, Lake Baïkal

Departure 8 am.

Passing the border, the Mongols made me pass a line of 20 cars for no reason. Then the Russian were smily and nice but every one was slow and it took 3 hours. Anyway I arrived at Tania's guesthouse end of the afternoon and it was too late to do the visa registration that must be done within 3 days after entering Russia. It was the 3rd times, I visited Tania's guesthouse. Last time was in March with Chinzo when crossing Lake Baïkal and all was normal, this time Tania has a little daughter of 2 months old !!!


Day 3 - Mile 878 - 15 miles north of Ulaanbaatar.

Departure 8 am.

I slept like an angel and wake up  under a beautiful blue sky. I started riding at 8am and by 3 pm everything was dry except my tent. Did good to arrive just 80 miles away from the Russian border.


Day 2 - Mile 534 - Moron +

Departure 7 am.

I was raining slightly when I woke up and it stopped when I had finish packing. 50 miles of very bad track along the road under construction. Arriving in Moron, I lost the gas tank cap. Then the locals Mongols told me of a river crossing an hour away of 3' high !!! it's too much for me. Having 600 more miles to ride in the Mongols mountains with many more river crossing, I decided to U-turn and enter Russia by the Northen border. A montain storm drench me very bad. All my body was wet except my foot. I was able to set up the tent in the mountain between two rain storm.


Day 1 - Mile 331 - Bulgan +

Departure from Ulaanbaataram at 11 am on August 6 after the last visit to Gana my dentist.

My goal is to be at the Ural factory of Irbit no later than Tuesday 17 to have dinner with, Iliya, the president and owner of Ural I already met last year in Irbit. Iliya who lives in Seatle will be there for one day only. The factory wil do a check up of the sidecar and retrofit the 2010 improvements. I will also pick up a few spare parts for Jean Louis and myself in preparation of our African ride next winter.

I took the North track to the Western border of Mongolia.  Slept in my tent after Bulgan on the side  of the track next to 2 gers and 2 other tents occupied by Mongols.



Day 3 - Mile 878

This is day 3 since I left Ulaanbaatar and I ride 878 miles.

I went half way west by the north route, then, at Moron, I learned that due to a lot of rain, the first river passing an hour away is about 3 feet high !!!

There are an other 600 miles before the border crossing with many more rivers to pass. I decided to U-turn and pass the border above Ulaanbaatar where i am now 80 miles from it.

Yesterday, was not my day, after learning the over size river and I decided to U-turn, I lost the gas tank cap, then it started to rain very bad with a mountain storm. As much as I am ok on how to handle the cold, I lost all my technic to handle the rain. I was miserable, in 40 miles, I had water inside me everywhere except in my boots !

I was able to set up the tent in the mountains between two rain storm, I slept like an angel and today was a sunny day. By 3 pm, everything was dry (as I was riding) except my tent that is drying in my hotel room where I am tonight.

Tomorrow is the Russian border crossing and Lake Baïkal.

With 3' of water, even if I succeed to cross the river, all my stuff will be damped !



3:00 pm: I took the norh road in Mongolia going West and I will pass the Russian border next to Olgiy. I am already at Moron and even if the road is not difficult, since this morning, it is very slow, I did 150 miles since 8 am. North of Mongolia is filled with wooded mountains... what a change for me.



7:45 am: I am gone.




It is very impressive, it has 3 tooth and I can bite very hard on it and don't feel a thing. Tomorrow will be the check up and I will hit the road.


7:00 pm: The sidecar is packed. I have the last dentist appointement for check-up tomorrow morning at 9:00 am and I will go on the road from there.



I was able to find Pourou and spend the weekend with them. I came back this morning early, got a visa extention (just for in case), had lunch with Al (one of my Australian friend), coffee with Chinzo (his trip around the world starting in september with his wife and 2 yound kids is confirmed).

Tomorrow, I will have lunch with Vince, an other Australian friend and a last visit with Gana my $3/visit that I saw 3 or 4 times this winter.

I will take the road to France Wednesday morning.


When I was in Switzerland last week, I went to see a dentist to modify a denture because so it goes in life ! The dentist told me that he would not touch my denture and that in Switzerland they do only the "Rolex of the teeth". I told him that I did not needed the denture to eat caviar but to eat boiled sheep in Mongolian ger  !

This afternoon I was able to see my Gana the Mongol dentist who helped me a couple of time this winter. She is making me a new denture, we did the first print on the spot, tomorrow morning is the first try with a "Bite pring" and thursday it will be done. The price is $25, I cannot loose !!!



Yesterday, I changed the oil and i changed the clip for the gas exhaust I bring back from geneva then i had a long nap. The sidecar is ready. I go to extend my Mongol visa from 30 to 60 days just for in case and I go visit Pourou in the Gobi.



Just arrived in Ulaanbaatar. Waiting for my Australian friends to open their business and get my sidecar.

Until 2 days ago, my mind had totally forgotten Mongolia, I was fully in France and geneva, but since I landed a couple of hours ago, my mind is back in Mongolia ready to visit Pourou !


PS: the sidecar started at the first kick, life is pretty good !

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