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Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road Recent News, political or military events, which may affect trip plans or routes. Personal and vehicle security, tips and questions.
Photo by Michael Jordan, enjoying a meal at sunset, Zangskar Valley, India

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by Michael Jordan
enjoying a meal at sunset,
Zangskar Valley, India



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  #1  
Old 27 Sep 2004
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Location: aberdeenshire,scotland
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Romania to Bulgaria and on to Turkey

Thanks to everyone who replied to my question below. I haven't deleted in case others find it useful.
Since I posted my question I have been to Bulgaria twice for a total of six weeks. It's a fantastic country, the people are lovely, costs are low and I had no bad experiences. I'm going back in the spring to live there.
Anyone thinking of having a look, feel free to e-mail me, just don't expect an immediate reply.

Hi folks,
I'm solo in Romania now, on a newish F650 BMW, intending going to Bulgaria this week on my way to Turkey.I've spoken to several Romanian bikers who say I'm at risk of 'hijack' in Bulgaria because of the bike and that, if I go, I should only ride,stop and stay with local bikers who know the score. Paranoia or fact? Any comments gratefully recieved, or if you are about to go the same way and would like company,let me know. Thanks and good riding.

[This message has been edited by greenfarmernick (edited 12 December 2004).]
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  #2  
Old 28 Sep 2004
MCP MCP is offline
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We rode the same route in reverse last summer with no problems. Rode a 2001 BMW LT which stands out more than yours would.

Use common sense, & have fun.

Mark
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  #3  
Old 28 Sep 2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by MCP:
We rode the same route in reverse last summer with no problems. Rode a 2001 BMW LT which stands out more than yours would.

Use common sense, & have fun.

Mark
Thanks Mark, that's encouraging. Fun's what it's about! Nick.


[This message has been edited by greenfarmernick (edited 27 September 2004).]
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  #4  
Old 28 Sep 2004
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Fear not, we came through the same route on my 1150GS in February this year. The only thing that your at risk from is highway robbery by the Romanian Police. We were stopped and given a ticket for alledged speeding. I had to push them for a receipt which read that we were riding a red Honda. In fact were on a yellow BMW. You will have no trouble at all in Bulgaria. We came down the Black Sea coast and stayed in a nice fishing town called Sozopol. Have a great trip and as they "dont believe the hype".
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  #5  
Old 28 Sep 2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by simonrjames:
Fear not, we came through the same route on my 1150GS in February this year. The only thing that your at risk from is highway robbery by the Romanian Police. We were stopped and given a ticket for alledged speeding. I had to push them for a receipt which read that we were riding a red Honda. In fact were on a yellow BMW. You will have no trouble at all in Bulgaria. We came down the Black Sea coast and stayed in a nice fishing town called Sozopol. Have a great trip and as they "dont believe the hype".
Thanks to you too Simon. Confidence boosted and off I go. Nick.
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  #6  
Old 28 Sep 2004
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We did the same route in 1999. I know it's a long time, but I think the situation 5 years ago was worse than now.
We spent 4 days in Romania and 2 days in Bulgaria, heading Greece.
In Bucharest we were stopped by romanian policemen and they extorted to us a fine without receipt. In Brasov we suffered an attempt of theft of our rucksack.
We didn't have any problem in Bulgaria.
Before the trip I asked information to romanian and bulgarian people I had contacted, and (funny to say) the romanian told me how lovely was Romania and dangerous Bulgaria, and the Bulgarian told me how lovely was Bulgaria and dangerous Romania.
In Slovenia, people I met along the trip tried to convince me not to go in both the countries because, according to their opinion, they were too dangerous.
Of course, all of those people were never been in the countries they were talking about.
So, my advice is not to rely too much on opinion based only on sterotype and use common sense.
Enjoy your trip
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  #7  
Old 29 Sep 2004
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Hi Nick,

I rode entered from Turkey and exited at Serbia in May this year thinking I would ride through the place in 2-3 days but stayed for 2 ½ weeks! While the official excuse was because my F650 Dakar rear shock started leaking oil upon arrival in Sofia, I stayed for longer than the repair mainly because of the gorgeous girls and cheap ! Oh, people were really good too. Even went to the annual 2-day ‘Motor Sabor’ (Biker party) in Xackobo with a Greek biker who lives there (I met in Syria) and had a rockin’ time. They gave me a jacket during the prize awards for ‘riding the longest distance to attend’! Their hand made chopper frames and custom modifications were very impressive.
Bulgarians do say that the some of their Gypsy population, which makes up nearly half of their total population of 8M, live in bushland/remote areas and so if you’re camping in the bush somewhere and they stumble across you then they’re poor enough to be opportunistic. Though I did camp in bushland once.
With regards to the police, 20 Bulagarian Leva (12 euro) will get you out of nearly anything except drink driving (50-100). I had first hand experience with 80 in a 50km/h zone, and a separate time I got out of having no Green Card or helmet by having a highly connected girl with me. Otherwise they were talking 500BL for the legitimate fine.

Danger?! Stay there for a month Nick!!! The people can handle the cold so I’m sure the girls would like a Scottish Farmer!

Simon www.longdetour.hotfire.net
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  #8  
Old 30 Sep 2004
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Thanks again to both Pietro and Simon. I think you're quite right Pietro, about how people think of their neighbours because I'd never heard of the 'hijack' issue before I came to Romania, but the Hungarians did suggest Romania wasn't as safe as Hungary. No disrespect meant to anyone and it's always better to have more advice than less.
Thanks to the HUBB too, for this wonderful way of communicating.
Maybe I'm biased as I have the same bike (more or less) as Simon, but have a look at his website, it's nice.
Nick


Quote:
Originally posted by Simon D:
Hi Nick,

I rode entered from Turkey and exited at Serbia in May this year thinking I would ride through the place in 2-3 days but stayed for 2 ½ weeks! While the official excuse was because my F650 Dakar rear shock started leaking oil upon arrival in Sofia, I stayed for longer than the repair mainly because of the gorgeous girls and cheap ! Oh, people were really good too. Even went to the annual 2-day ‘Motor Sabor’ (Biker party) in Xackobo with a Greek biker who lives there (I met in Syria) and had a rockin’ time. They gave me a jacket during the prize awards for ‘riding the longest distance to attend’! Their hand made chopper frames and custom modifications were very impressive.
Bulgarians do say that the some of their Gypsy population, which makes up nearly half of their total population of 8M, live in bushland/remote areas and so if you’re camping in the bush somewhere and they stumble across you then they’re poor enough to be opportunistic. Though I did camp in bushland once.
With regards to the police, 20 Bulagarian Leva (12 euro) will get you out of nearly anything except drink driving (50-100). I had first hand experience with 80 in a 50km/h zone, and a separate time I got out of having no Green Card or helmet by having a highly connected girl with me. Otherwise they were talking 500BL for the legitimate fine.

Danger?! Stay there for a month Nick!!! The people can handle the cold so I’m sure the girls would like a Scottish Farmer!

Simon www.longdetour.hotfire.net
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  #9  
Old 19 Nov 2004
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Huntsville, AL USA
Posts: 117
I just went thru Romania and Bulgaria recently, and altho I didnt go thru much of bulgaria, the only trouble I had was figuring out what the road signs said. Cyrillic really messed me up! I also heard about how bad the 2 countries were from folks that had probably never been there. I truly loved Romania tho, spent almost a week there, and am going back next year for 2 weeks.
Doug



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