Hero image for the Build of GLR 1 adventure motorcycle route

THE BUILD GLR 2 OF

distance time of year on the bike on the road 165km September 8 hours 2 days

Although the GLR 2 isn’t one of the longest routes in our GLR-network, the exploration for it is one to remember. The heat during the day and the animals at night were something I don't forget that easily! The GLR 2 is made during the September adventure. During this adventure the GLR 3, GLR 4, GLR 5, GLR 6 and GLR 7 where also created. Feel free to skip the prologue if you've already read one of these other Build stories.

Main Big image off-road section of the GLR 2 adventure motorcycle route ×
Main Big image off-road section of the GLR 2 adventure motorcycle route ×
Main Big image off-road section of the GLR 2 adventure motorcycle route ×

prologue

12 hours 19min 794km

I wake up early in the morning to have breakfast and say goodbye to my girlfriend. The earlier the better. Everybody is still asleep when I leave home, so it’s relatively quiet on the road. Everything goes as smooth as it should be. Saying goodbye is never pleasant, but I’m also glad I'm on a motorcycle adventure trip again.
The second I hit the highway, my bike starts to make a strange noise. It’s a metal on metal sound and I take the first exit to check what’s going on. I can’t find any obvious marks and the sound only occurs on the highway or when I accelerate hard. I won't take any chances and I head back home to check out what's going on in daylight. I can’t see anything this early.
As surprised as my girlfriend is to see me, as disappointed I am that I'm not on my way. I go to sleep for a few more hours until midday. I check the bike, but I can’t find anything. I tighten every nut and bold again and lube all the possible parts that could cause the noise. I check the chain tension with all the gear packed on the bike. Nothing can go wrong now! Afterward, I don’t know why I didn’t check for noises on the highway, but that’s in hindsight.
The next morning I do everything over. I have breakfast, give my girl a goodbye kiss and on my way I am. Just to turn around five kilometers further than I came yesterday. The noise is back again, and now it’s time to let it check by my local KTM dealership.
So again, she’s confused to see me and I'm frustrated back home again. I drop the bike off at the local KTM dealer and they confirm they also hear the noise when the engine is under load.
Later in the afternoon, I get a call to pick up the bike. After inspection, they think it’s the decompression spring what's a little worn out. I don’t need to worry about the noise, it’s apparently a common issue for my year and model. They assure me that's perfectly alright to ride with it, without any damage to the engine. Tomorrow I’ll be able to finally leave after all.

Actually, it’s the morning of the third day of my adventure. To keep it simple: Today my adventure is really going to start, so I call it the prologue. I start the day with the same ritual. Breakfast as early as comfortable, give a goodbye kiss and off I go. It doesn't take me long to cross the border with Belgium and soon after that I ride into France.
I've booked an Airbnb just south of Lyon. It’s still an 800km day, but the comfort of knowing that I won’t have to pitch up the tent helps to push on through.
The weather turns at the last hundred kilometers. Thunderclouds are rumbling dangerously in the air. I have that funny feeling of knowing it’s for the best to seek shelter and wait out the storm. But on the other side, I know I’ve only one hour left to my destination. I chose to keep on riding and I hope that the storm will pass without any lightning.
With only 10km left, the air turns green. Hail starts to fall down and I seek shelter under a porch. The thunderstorm is right over me, lightning is flashing too close for comfort. I regret my decision earlier to push on through. As fast as the storm started, with the same speed, it's over.
After arriving at the Airbnb, I prepare some dinner. I relax for some more hours before I go to bed. Yes, this is way better than last time where I rode for fourteen hours to find myself pitching the tent in someone's garden.

first day day

35min 6.2km

What a night! You would think staying at a campsite would give you a better night rest than sleeping in the wild. At first, I fell asleep quite early. The sounds of crickets in the field made me sleepy. But then, I got awakened by the howl of a dog in the distance. Or could it maybe a wolf? I tried to listen if there was another howl, and there was. This time closer. Could there be wolves in the area? I’ve heard wolves howl at night in Greece, but I don’t know if I could distinguish the sound between a wolf or a dog.
The howling continuous and I kind of love to hear them in the distance. The sense of being in the wild feels lovely. The howling gets closer and closer and all of a sudden the dog of the campsite owner starts to bark aggressively. By now I’m right awake, trying to listen to what’s going on outside.
Out of nowhere, I hear them running over the grass field, barking and growling aggressively. I jump out of my sleeping bag, searching to find the knife next to me. My heartbeat is pumping inside my throat. I hear the campsite dog fight with his attackers and then, silence.
As fast as the whole situation escalated, silence returned. But I heard no crickets, no bird and no campsite dog. Confused by the whole happing and not knowing if I should go out to look around. I decide to lay down again with my knife right next to me. I fell asleep again for a few hours until the sun came up.
Now in the morning, I get to know what exactly happened from the campsite owner. Wolves roam around in the area, and now in dry season, they come closer to people to search for food. They have killed the campsite dog, unfortunately, but they did not get to the sheep. Shocked by the happening I decide that it’s a good day to stay on the campsite and rest a little. That good of a night rest I didn’t have.

day day second

7hours 28min 159km

I had a good sleep in comparison with the night before. I get up at 6 to pack everything. Not that I’m in a hurry, but it’s time to go and explore some more. If I’m able to progress some more than usual, maybe I have an evening swim in the ocean by nightfall!
Although I left quite early, I’m not progressing that much. Lot’s of dead ends and roadsigns spoil my chance to have a nice seaside dive. The day passes with its occasional dead-end or roadsign. At the end of the day, I start to look for a fitting camp spot. I started my search around five. Now at seven, I haven't found any.
Finally, at half past seven, I find a mediocre spot. A little close at a well-traveled path, but I'll take my chances. I have a philosophy about camping in the wild and finding a correct spot.
First, you always look for a spot where you can hide and where nobody could possibly see you. If nobody can see you, the chances of being seen and therefore causing trouble are pretty low.
Second, if it isn't possible to hide, set up camp well in sight of any possible passers-by. Make clear you only stay there for the night and be friendly if someone passes. If you're hiding where you cannot, and someone sees you, it only raises suspicion. Suspicion could cause trouble way easier in my opinion.
Just after setting up camp and preparing dinner I heard a car blazing towards me. Within 20 meters a pick-up stops and the driver looks at me. I simply wave at him, but there comes no reaction. The pick-up heads off again and I feel a bit uncomfortable. I don’t want to give it too many thoughts, but an eery feeling stays.
About fifteen minutes later I hear the pick-up coming back again and it's slowing down. This time he has two Shepard dogs in the back. Unlike last time, he waves at me and I wave back. My mind is now at ease luckily. Time for bed!

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