2017 has been a year of many adventures in amazing places
It maybe marks a progress from a piecemeal adventurer to a more full time one
The purchase of the Mighty Breva II in the UK opening up a whole new realm of touring
February in Tasmania
Looking down from the central highlands
March in the Australian Alps
Alpine National Park
View over Omeo
April trip to SE Queensland
Queen Mary Falls
Queen Mary Falls
June/July in England and the Mighty Breva II
Home away from home with fellow Guzzista and drying out the wet weather gear!
Stoke on Trent
July Into Northern Europe
Ferry Newcastle to Amsterdam
Camped in Denmark
August through Scandinavia and Germany
And into Switzerland
September in Northern Italy and Southern France
October back in Australia sailing and camping
And a quick blast back to Northern NSW
November a walk in beautiful Springbrook National Park, SE Queensland one of Natures Gardens
December a blast through central Victoria good food and good company
It truly has been an amazing year and 2018 holds the promise of more wonderful adventures. Life can be just wonderful.
Happy New Year to all
The Dordogne Riders had lured me to the Vezere Valley
St Leon sur Vezere a beautiful Village in the Dordogne Region of Southern France
St Leon sur Vezere
Camped on the edge of the river
St Leon sur Vezere Municipal Camp site
Amongst significant historic and prehistoric sites
The Grote de Rouffignac
Maison Forte de Reignac
Maison Forte de Reignac
and Chateau de Losse
The Mighty Breva 11
But southern France is also about the beautiful villages
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
* 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.
From Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald you can see the Aletsch Glacier. Running over the mountains.
View of Aletsch Glacier from Lauterbrunnen
But, in time, it may be lost a sad loss both in beauty and the impact on the Alps.
North of Interlaken the valley runs north to the Jungfrau region and the Glacier.
And beautiful waterfalls
But in time as the Glacier melts the villages, the lakes, the waterfalls will in turn be reshaped.
A carnival atop the Stelvio Pass
Its the big daddy of the Alps
2760 metres high
From Lake Como four passes to reach the top
Maloja pass through to Saint Moritz
Then climb the Ofen Pass
View from the Ofen Pass
And onto Santa Maria at the foot of Stelvio
Hotel Stelvio in Santa Maria
Then the climb on the Umblia pass
View from cafe on the Umblia pass
Bikes and cars making the climb
Higher and higher
Till the top
Looking down the valley
Across at the glacier
Standing atop the Stelvio Pass
The brochure called it the lake of dreams.
View over Lake Como from the Somana galleries above Mandello De Lario
But it’s a lake of life and vitality.
From the tourist towns like Bellagio
Bellagio from Lake Como
The narrow streets of the villages full of smells of fine food, chatter and laughter
And beautiful villages that held forged dreams that became Italian classics.
View of Mandello de Lario
Like Carlo Guzzi’s dream for an industry for his village
So if Lake Como is a village of dreams it’s also the essence of Italian love and lust for live, beauty and exuberance.
Village lights and moon over Lake Como
The piecemealadventurer Mandello de Lario where dreams do come true.
The Alps are a beautiful but precipitous place.
The mudslide is a reminder of the both the beauty and power of nature.
Shifting rocks above the Pass
It takes my thoughts drift back to the indigenous Australians and their relationship to land.
No deity in the heavens it’s is the land that nurtures and provides. It’s the land that has wrath.
Story of land
So as I sit in the Vezere a place where humanity survived the ice age. I can reflect on the power of nature.
Humanity may try to destroy itself through nuclear war or climate change or our greed and averice nature will continue.
My heart goes out to those who lost lives and property in the beautiful Swiss Italian border country.
I want to thank the countries of Europe for boring tunnels and building motorways so there is less traffic on the beautiful mountain passes.
The piecemealadventurer atop Stelvio Pass
Riding the passes of Austria, Switzerland, and Italy to Lake Como was sublime.
Emerging from a congested Fern Pass and then onto Reschen Pass the traffic eased, the pace quickened and the dance of a motorbike carving the curves of a mountain road took form.
Lake Reschen at the top of the Pass
Looking down Reschen Pass the road in the gallery clinging to the cliff face
The Reschen Pass links straight to the bottom pass of the Stelvio. On a run through to Bormio.
The Umbrail Pass is just below Stelvio and with the weather closing in Stelvio was for another day.
On Umbrail Pass
With Bormio the objective before too much rain fell.
Rain over Bormio
From Bormio to Lake Como there is a tunnel or Passo Gavia. One on the highest roads in the Alps.
War memorial Passo Gavia
Atop Passo Gavia
The last miles to Lake Como is small villages that link together as one and tunnels. Pushing hard to get to the booked room before dark. The GPS suddenly announced that in 500 metres I would reach my destination. In the middle of the tunnel! I was 100 or so metres below there I was to stay. A lesson in making sure I enter a detailed and accurate address lol.
If you follow some narrow winding roads through fields of maize, past sheep and cattle quietly grazing, near the Aara River, you find the village of Habsburg and Schloss Habsburg.
The starting place in 1025 for a family that would dominate Europe and its colonies for almost a millennium- the Habsburg Family.
The Schloss Habsburg is one of the many castles that dot the Swiss countryside.
Schloss Lenzburg in sight of Habsburg tower is an impressive example.
Perched on hilltops
And on lake sides
The villages and old towns have their own special charms.
Decorated building eves and old town entrance in Aarau
Monument in old Lenzburg
Looking across the Rhine to old Laufenburg in Switzerland from Germany
My time in Switzerland, this trip, is drawing to a close but I have enjoyed amazing Alpine riding, exploring aspects of a rich history and found a welcoming motorcycle culture.
Thursday nights at Trimbach bei Olten
All types of bikes some very exotic
Bridge to old centre of Olten
The old sections of Aarau and Olten were built in a circle formation.
The back walls of the rows of buildings forming a barricade with gated entrances.
Old main gate in Aarau
Curved walls in Olten
Program for the historic meet
The Bergennen or hill climb race at Seebodenalp is a 500 metre climb over a 5 km track.
The top of the track providing views over Kussnacht am Rigi.
It was an event for historic bikes and some cars
Endurance racing Laverda
Studibaker hill climber from yesteryear
The pits were perched atop the track
With some lovingly restored bikes.
A different day at the races!
Alpine roads and scenery and culture are known to cause Alpinitis, a disease that creates an almost uncontrollable urge to return. The only relief is more Alpine riding, which results in reinfection.
This warning sits in small print on the first page of the book Motorcycle Journeys Through The Alps and beyond
September 2016, I had my first taste of the Alps.
I hadn’t noticed the onset of Alpinitis but in February this year I felt compelled to do a five day ride in the Australian Alps
The Bonang Highway, 105 kms of twisty road
But it wasn’t enough and here I am again in the Swiss Alps reinfecting myself.
The piecemealadventurer at the top of St Gotthard Pass
Up amongst the glaciers.
Across the valley to the next twisty climb
Looking at Grimsel Pass from Furka Pass
The climb up old St Gotthard pass
Down at the switch backs just conquered
The cobbled surface of the old St Gotthard pass road
And fast sleek sweepers
Fast corner on the Susten Pass
The past the lakes
Days in the very high passes
Nufenpass the highest in the Swiss Alps at neatly 2,500 metres
Furka, Susten and St Gotthard
I’ve been reinfected and I’m glad there is only one response. More Alpine riding!
To ensure the total reinfection I have was drawn to the tortuously narrow Pragel Pass.
And its partner the Klausen.
There is no end to the beauty of these mountains.