Wine

Adventure, Australia, Motorbikes, photography, Poetry, travel, Victoria

A river of wine I saw

As I looked through the cellar door

Where’s my cup?

Where’s a straw?

Or should I lick it from the cellar floor!

Tahbilk winery in the Goulburn Valley region of Victoria is like stepping back in time.

One of Australia’s oldest wine producers.

A nice ride through the hills to get there.

Alone or in company.

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Remoteness

Adventure, Australia, NSW, Personal, photography, Poetry

Wild Horses Kosciuszko National Park

Remote from the noise and the bustle

In the bush with the wild horses

In the wilderness

On a mountain top camp

On the coast 

The golden sandy beach 

Stretching to the horizon

Hungry Head Central Coast NSW

Finding special places

Where human activity and nature blend

Yarrangobilly Thermal Pool

Winding along the roads less travelled

Finding the wild things

Overwhelming beauty of nature

Adventure, Australia, Personal, photography, Poetry, Spain

Did you go to the Guggenheim in Bilbao?

And I had

The huge construction of of shiny titanium with its labyrinthine galleries

The best of humanities construction

And the oohing and aahing ensued

But only 80km away was the Picos de Europa

Vast canyons of granite

Ribbons of gorges

Crystalline glaciers

Shaped by the earth itself by nature the great creator.

I saw the Cathedral in Santiago de Compestella

With its imposing edifice

Its halls and alters adorned with gold and silver

The faithfuls tribute to God above

To his heavenly powers

But north of Santiago de Compestella

On the coast is the Praia das Catedrais

The marble buttresses carved by the sea and the wind

The halls and caves rich in the colors of nature, the sheen of the rock the soft green of the moss

Natures gift to us to treasure and enjoy

I find I have my faith now in nature

In the earth

Not in a belief, a god, a spirit, an omnipotent by non existent creation of a prophets mind

But in the earth and the land that we too often take for granted

The earth and the land that gives life

I met an Aboriginal Elder in Cape York – Willie Gordon

From the Guugu Yimithirr tribe

His descriptions of the relationship between the Aboriginal Australians and the land shifted my understanding of the land and nature

The life giving force of nature and the land

For we are of the land and at its end we return to the land

You know your back in Australia

Adventure, Australia, Motorbikes, photography, Poetry, travel

An Aussie beach northern NSW

The emblamtic difference between Europe and Australia is the long white sandy beach

With little or no trace of humans

It really can only happen in Australia

And on a warm spring day the whales can be seen off shore breaching and blowing

Smashing their huge trident tails into the water as swim south to Antarctica for summer.

Sunset mid west NSW

The space is overwhelming

Riding nearly 1000 km in a day, on small back roads with little traffic.

The big purple sunset across the open paddocks

But the cherry blossom at Young in the southern highlands a reminder that there is so much of Europe transported here.

Reflecting on Ireland and the Irish

Adventure, Europe, history, Ireland, Motorbikes, photography

May the road rise up to meet you

May the wind blow always at your back

May the sun shine warm upon your face

And the rains fall soft upon your fields

Until we meet again

So goes the old Irish Blessing.

Glendalough

Ireland, the soft green place of damp air, great learning, amazing friendliness and intense struggle

Monument to Irish immigrants

The Irish diaspora spread all around the world

The contrasts of Ireland so stark

From the halls of Trinity College

To the murals that are are a record of the troubles found in Derry

And of course the contrast is an actual divide

The north and the south, the Republic and the British

Can this divide be overcome?

People of good will can achieve anything

Peace statue Derry

And on the border of Derry and Donegal bikers from both of the border come together to raise funds for a lifeboat in a little village in the Republic

Riding the Wild Atlantic Way – Ireland

Adventure, Europe, history, Ireland, Motorbikes, photography, travel

Mizen Head is the most southern most point of mainland Ireland

As good as place as any to start the Wild Atlantic Way

They even give you a starting line

The route winds up the west coast

Through foggy Irish mist

Bantry Bay

Mizen Head

Over mountains with wonderous views

Mountains where Irish legends such as Finn Mc Cool sat.

A coast where there are fishing villages both small

And big

With cliffs towering out of the sea

Relics of stone age and Celtic history dating back 5000 years

Quintessential Irish pubs

Sandy beaches

And then at the end

After 6 days of challenging riding

At Malin Head the most northern point of mainland Ireland

They provide a finish line

Cross the Celtic Sea. Are they spirits of the past calling?

Adventure, Europe, Ireland, Personal, photography, Poetry, travel

It was a misty night

As the ferry left Cherbourg

The next day the emerald isle.

My forebares left on an immigrant ship

More than 140 years ago

Driven out by desperation and hunger

And I’m on the car ferry from France

During the night the sky cleared and moon cast her silver light upon the sea

And at Rosslare the sun was shining it’s welcome.

The Irish on board were talking about how good it was to be back home

Its not my home but the blue blue sea and the emerald hills sure tug at the heart strings

Brittany – Last stops on the continent for 2018

Adventure, Europe, France, history, Motorbikes, photography, travel

Jutting out into the Atlantic

Brittany has much in common with the Celtic cousins in Cornwall and Ireland

The quaint seaside ports also along the coastline

Reflecting the Brittany’s place as Frances finisterre (lands end)

Brest it’s major city

With its ancient citadel apon the hill

A long maritime history

And beautiful beaches

From Alsace to Finisterre – East to West across France

Adventure, Europe, France, photography, travel

From Riquewihr it’s into the mountains again

Heading west

Over the Col de la Schlucht

It was to be an eventful trip

Partly by truck

But all life is a learning

I take the by roads rather than the motorways

It has its risks but many rewards

Such as the entrance to the old city in Parthaney

The picturesque Vouvant

Or the amazing boulders at le Rocher Blanant

And onto the little coastal harbours of Brittany

Divine intervention

Adventure, Europe, France, Motorbikes, Personal, travel

By Brest in Brittany I realised nearly 10,000 km of mainly mountain riding had taken its toll on the front tyre

The left hand side had totally worn out.

But it was holiday time in France.

The Moto Guzzi dealer was shut for holidays.

The big parts store had a tyre but the mechanic was on holidays.

I was searching my phone to find another store

Then divine intervention

This young lady comes out of the store and says “follow me”

Who was I to argue as she climbed onto he Kwaka 1000.

She let me around the back streets of Brest to the Kawasaki dealer

The only shop that was open over the holiday period.

It was kisses all around. A bit of quick French I didn’t understand

Then I was told to take the bike into the workshop and choose the tyre I wanted.

Had to have the pirelli angel to match the divine intervention