A full moon to guide us
The skipper preparing the boat
The merry revelers on board
Keeping watch for other vessels
Under the Bolte bridge
The city skyline full of light
Then at midnight the fireworks
Now it’s 2018!!!!!
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
March in the Australian Alps
April trip to SE Queensland
June/July in England and the Mighty Breva II
July Into Northern Europe
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
Camped on the edge of the river
Amongst significant historic and prehistoric sites
and Chateau de Losse
But southern France is also about the beautiful villages
The continuation of the wonderful biker culture that exists in Europe. *
And of course in France food
* 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.
I’m back home
But can’t settle
Miss the rumbling wheels beneath me
Melbourne still a touch too cold
So headed north
The warm arms of the north were beckoning me
To reach the humid warmth of the sub tropics
In northern NSW
The rolling curves of the mountains
The water flowing through moist valleys
And smooth flow of the sandy beach, the water warm and welcoming.
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
Or the uniquely English narrow boats that carried goods and produce from the midlands to London prior to rail
And now provide floating pleasure.
So I did go to London!
From Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald you can see the Aletsch Glacier. Running over the mountains.
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.
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
And onto Santa Maria at the foot of Stelvio
Then the climb 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.
But it’s a lake of life and vitality.
From the tourist towns like Bellagio
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.
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.
The Alps are a beautiful but precipitous place.
The mudslide is a reminder of the both the beauty and power of nature.
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.
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.
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.
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.
All types of bikes some very exotic
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.