Flag etiquette and Respect on Australia Day

Adventure, Australia, history, Sailing, Uncategorized, Victoria

Flags at Hobsons Bay Yacht Club

Flags are the traditional way of ship comminication

The flags tell a message of respect.

The club burgee at top of the mast says the ship is from Hobsons Bay Yacht Club

The Australian flag from the back stay identifies an Australian ship

The courtesy flag is a sign of respect to the country you are in.

The flying of the aboriginal flag from the cross trees says we are in aboriginal country.

Three flags can give a simple but true message.

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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

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

On to Carcassonne

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

A hot run across the Spanish border

Roads lined this plane trees in the Midi Pyrenees

And on to Carcassonne

Medieval citadel

Relic of the Cathar Dream

Survivor of the Cathar Wars.

Bastion of the past

Standing on the hill

Survivor of centuries

Weathered wall the keepers of secrets through the ages

The ancient citadel on the hill

Carcasonne

The citadel dressed up for the Tour d’ France

It well hold its secrets to the sun sets over it for the last time.

Cornwall: coast culture and the celts

England, history, Motorbikes, photography, United Kingdom

Cornwall

A Celtic nation

Adding to Scotland last year

Gallicia, Brittany, Ireland and Wales to come this.

Cornwall is a long finger of coast and culture

The coast is breathtaking

From the beaches and headlands

To the small fishing and trading harbours

St Ives

Saint Michael’s Mount

The culture

The sculpture of Barbara Hepworth

Rowena Cade’s Minach theatre

The historical grandure of Saint Michael’s Mount

Saint Michael’s Mount castle

The history of the Celts

And of course Lands End

Canals of the English midlands

Adventure, England, history, photography, United Kingdom

Canal passing through Stone a canal town in the English midlands

The canals wind like watery snakes across the English countryside

The narrow boats once work horses now leisure craft

Wending their way across the country side

Marvels of engineering the locks using the power of water to life the boats, their crew and in times past heavy cargo over hill.

Canal locks

Narrow boat exiting a lock

I’m back in the English midlands staying in the pretty canal town of stone.

Staying with friends

Getting the mighty breva II ready for chapter 3 of my European adventure.

Mighty Breva in distinguished company of a Ducati 900ss and Moto Guzzi 850 Eldorado

Seasons Greetings to all

Adventure, history, Poetry, Uncategorized

There are times to focus on peace and happiness

Jesus my have been the son of God or just a good bloke

It all depends on your perspective.

But he did try and spread a message of peace.

We often focus on the differences in humanity

Differences in religion and beliefs

Differences in race and skin colour

Differences in culture.

In nature there are also difference

As the solstice passes

At one end of the world there is endless night

At the other endless day

As it was nudging a sweltering 38 degrees in Melbourne recently.

My friends reported – 5 and snowing in Stoke on Trent.

So this is an opportunity to forget the differences.

Forget the distances between us.

And though at one end of the world it is dark and the other end light.

Accept

It is one world.

And though there are many religions and races and cultures

There is one humanity.

I wish you all peace and happiness.

The Dordogne – Last Stop in Europe 2017

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

The Dordogne Riders had lured me to the Vezere Valley

St Leon sur Vezere a beautiful Village in the Dordogne Region of Southern France

 

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St Leon sur Vezere

Camped on the edge of the river

 

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St Leon sur Vezere Municipal Camp site

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Amongst significant historic and prehistoric sites

The Grote de Rouffignac

Maison Forte de Reignac

 

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Maison Forte de Reignac

and Chateau de Losse

 

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The Chateau

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The Mighty Breva 11

But southern France is also about the beautiful villages

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The continuation of the wonderful biker culture that exists in Europe. *

With the Dordogne bikers and friends

And of course in France food

A delicious lunch

And

* I was amazed that after 3 months covering 16,000km in 9 countries I was not pulled over once by the police. Three weeks back in Australia I was pulled over for a licence check while not breaking any law. It was motorcycle awareness (HARASSMENT) month.

London was calling

Adventure, art, Europe, history, photography, Sailing, travel

On the train from the midlands to London. I listened to The Clash, London Calling.

Its both a distopian and resilient view of London. It seemed fitting as a bombing in the tube had set a sombre tone.

But London is London no matter.

Despite the confrontation London open day was in full swing as was Thames week.

And it gave a little sometime for mariner like me.

These 10 Thames barges had sailed up the river.

And were using their motors against the ebb tide to hold formation still in the water. Such seamanship.

And really there is something special about the English is their way with the sea and boats.

Be it Drake’s Golden Hind

Replica Golden Hind

Or the uniquely English narrow boats that carried goods and produce from the midlands to London prior to rail

Narrow boat exits a Loch on the 

Along the Grand Union Canal.

And now provide floating pleasure.

So I did go to London!