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

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The heat and glory of Lago Maggoria

Adventure, Europe, Italy, Motorbikes, photography, Poetry

The beautiful big expanse of water

Baked hot in the mid July sun

It spans the border I to Switzerland

But it’s so Italian

The colour

The richness

The food

The unexpected

James Bonds amphibious car

The exuberance of the Italian language

Talking with the hands

The language almost a song.

On a hot day in July on Lago Maggoria

Paradise Found

Europe, Italy, Motorbikes, photography, Poetry, travel

Paradise found

In Italy

Worth a kings ransome

The Kings hunting ground

Gifted to the people in 1922

Italy’s oldest national park

Nestled at the end of the Conge Valley

Paradise found

Gran Paridiso

In Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost he regrets the loss of innocence and in some ways the loss of beauty to sin and greed.

Gran Paridiso is the opposite to that natural beauty returned to the people.

Into the Pyrenees – 3- a touch of local culture

Adventure, Europe, France, Motorbikes, photography, Poetry, travel

Following the race route

Up and down

Round and round

Towns and villages

Snakes the Tour d’ France course

Through little villages where the French traditional food culture thrives

In the village of Arreau Christmas tree cake

Rich almond batter

Still baked in the traditional way

Over the open fire

Pretty little villages

Full of life and joie de vivre

Into the Pyrenees – 1 – Cauterets, the Pont d’ Espagna, and the World Cup win

Adventure, Europe, France, photography, Poetry, travel

France wins and Cauterets celebrates

In a quite valley

In the Pyrenees

A few sort miles from Spain

Over the Pont d’ Espagna

Cascading

Water

Bringing joy and beauty

On the bridge to Spain

In the Haute Pyrenees

And in bars in Cauterets the faithful watch the world cup being won

And the Gendarme too sounded the victory siren

In Cauterets when France won the World Cup.

Impressions of North West Spain. Part 3, the beaches.

Europe, Motorbikes, photography, Poetry, Spain

Bay of Cathedrals

The Atlantic

The Bay of Biscay

Cold clear waters

Wrapping round North West Spain

Shaping the land

Forming sandy beaches

Atlantic Coast beaches

Roads winding around the coastline

And the sun setting over the Atlantic.

Next stop

England, Europe, Motorbikes, photography, Poetry, Spain

Bilbao

Spain

Passionate Spain

Gateway to Galicia

Another Celtic nation

The night ferry said goodbye to England

Departing Portsmouth

Along the coast of France

Across the Bay of Biscay

The often wild sea a mill pond on this crossing.

Its night

The morning brings Spain

Ready to catch the ferry to Bilbao with fellow bikers

Ch Ch Changes (with apologies to David Bowie)

Adventure, Europe, Motorbikes, Personal, photography, Poetry, travel, United Kingdom

Changes are afoot

ch ch changes

Turn and face the strange

ch ch changes

Don’t want to be a richer man

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Just gonna be a different man

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Time may change me

But I cant trace time  (lyrics from David Bowie – Changes )

So changes are the theme of my life at the moment

I have 12 working days left till retirement from full time work.

By mid June I will be back in the UK on the Mighty Breva for chapter 3 of my Moto Guzzi European Adventure

This time

Tracing my Celtic heritage and Celtic history in Wales, Cornwall, Galicia, Brittany and Ireland.

Riding the Haute Pyrenees/Altos Pireneos

becoming more adventurer and less piecemeal

more spontaneous and less planned

more in the moment.

There is a strange mixture of excitement and trepidation coursing through me

from the anticipation

of the

ch ch changes

in front of me

 

 

For the long riders

Adventure, Australia, NSW, Poetry, travel

This one of for the long riders

The 1,000k in a day riders

The numb in the bum still going riders

For the north south riders

The east west riders

This is an unapologetic piece about long distance motorcycle riding.

Australia is a country for the long riders

Curly twisty roads

Straight roads stretching to the horizon

traffic sparse on the secondary highways and byways

With the beating heart of the Mighty Breva eating up the distance

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On the Black Stump Way mid west NSW

One of my favourites long rides in from Melbourne to the Northern NSW Coast

Its just on 1500 km from Melbourne Victoria to Coffs Harbour in NSW.

It combines open agricultural land

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Cotton fields on the Black Stump Way

Fields of cotton, wheat and other broad acre crops.

Past cattle grazing

 

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Cattle grazing roadside

Little towns with quirky sculpture

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Horse Sculpture at the old trough in Urana NSW

 

Scooting along the gentle curves on the mountain foothills

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Bylong way midwest NSW

And then over the mountains

with their deep gorges

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and along the Waterfall Way

so aptly named

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Ebor Falls

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Dangar Falls

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Running right beside the road

Till the mountains meet the sea

At Coffs Harbour.

A special treat of a long ride in spring is seeing a new born calf being encouraged by its mother to take the first tentative steps

 

Addendum:

I need to add 1500 km in a day is beyond this piecemeal adventurer these days.  But Australia is a good place for eating up long miles.  On my most recent trip north I covered around 950km in the first day from Melbourne to Coolah at the start of the Black Stump Way.  That allowed a more leisurely 500 ks the second day – and stopping for photos and sightseeing which I can share.  I try to keep to the back roads which makes disctance eating harder but travelling for more enjoyable.

In the more closely settled countries of Western Europe off the highways 5-600k is a big day on the road