Impressions of the north west of Spain – part 2,the mountains

Adventure, Europe, Motorbikes, photography, Spain, travel

Looking to the Picos de Europa from Potes

The Picos epitomise the mountains of North West Spain.

High

Views of the Picos de Europa

And for the bike rider. The toads to get there.

And camping camping in the lush green of North West Spain

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Impressions of North West Spain – Bilbao

photography, Spain, travel

It’s late June 2018

World cup fever grips Europe

Do you follow football? I ask my Spanish companion.

Si, was his reply.

I started to commiserate about Spain’s poor performance.

Quickly he responsponed. I don’t support Spain. I’m Basque.

In time I learn how different north west Spain is.

Ready to alight the ferry in Bilbao

Bilbao of course is a little different

There is the Guggenheim

With its amazing installations

To add to the old city

The beaches and harbours

But then there is the green.

The thing that is different about north west Spain is its the green Spain.

A day in Dartmoor National Park

Adventure, England, photography, travel, United Kingdom

Dartmoor National Park neighbours Cornwall

Famous for the Dartmoor ponies

Beautiful patches of forest

Such as Lydford Gorge

And of course beautiful riding across the moors with a stop for a pint along the way.

Starting in Stone: Chapter 3 of my European motorcycle adventure

Adventure, England, Motorbikes, travel, United Kingdom

Back in England

Start of my next motorcycle adventure

Canals a starting theme.

Stone in Staffordshire the starting point for this 3 month tour of the UK and Europe

The shakedown trip north to Skipton in North Yorkshire

An old mill town

A canal town

With Skipton Castle playing a special part in the English Civil war.

But my main reason to travel north was the Moto Guzzi Club Pennines rally.

Meeting new friends and experiencing the welcoming biker culture.

And of course riding through the beautiful Yorkshire countryside.

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

 

Colour and Light

Adventure, Africa, Poetry, travel

 

Kenya061

Colour

and light

stands alone

often in the wilderness

the boundless plains

the culture of different peoples

The colour

of a land

of the wildlife

the people

are the constant

like a beacon

colour and light

like life itself

cannot be diminished

 

This poem was inspired by travels in Kenya and Ethiopia

The colour and light of the animals

The People

The Land

 

 

NYE Yarra River Cruise to the fireworks in Melbourne, Victoria

Adventure, Australia, photography, Poetry, Sailing, travel, Victoria

The vessel

Futura in her pen flag flying ready for NYE

A full moon to guide us

The skipper preparing the boat

Image by Brian Mckinnon

The merry revelers on board

Up the river under the Westgate bridge

Keeping watch for other vessels

Image by Brian McKinnon

Image by Brian McKinnon

Under the Bolte bridge

The city skyline full of light

Image by Brian Mckinnon

Then at midnight the fireworks

Image by Brian Mckinnon

Image by Brian Mckinnon

Now it’s 2018!!!!!

2017 a year of many adventures, many places and many miles-a pictorial summary

Adventure, Australia, Motorbikes, photography, travel, Uncategorized

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

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Home away from home with fellow Guzzista and drying out the wet weather gear!

 

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 – 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.