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.

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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

Goodbye to the Melbourne winter

Adventure, Australia, Motorbikes, photography, Victoria

I’m saying goodbye to the Melbourne winter

Cold old Melbourne winter

Windy cold icy Melbourne winter

Still cold Melbourne winter where the weak sun warms the skin but not the bones.

My home town

In many ways a beauty by the bay

View of Melbourne from Williamstown on a clear winters day

She sparkles at night

Arts centre and cafes in Bourke Street

And by some standards its not as cold as others suffer

You can even ride your motorbike.

But when the icy rain falls from the grey skies

Its time for this adventurer to give his goodbyes.

Welcome me the warm arms of Europa.

Chapter 3 of my European motorcycle adventure is about to begin.

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

 

 

Death of a Passport

Adventure, Africa, Asia, India

It was only 10 years old

Im sure looking

at the picture

I hadnt changed

Still the same person I was

10 years ago

Not the first passport

I have had to put down

But the nature of the passport

like life

is changing

the passport of the future will be more electronic

less stamps

no ornate visas pasted in

but with a wave of scissors it was dead

barcode cut off

chip card snipped

Dead

no longer able to see me safely across borders

Many borders there have been

So let me reveal some of the adventures in those old ornate visas and stamps

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Singapore, and India

Singapore the bustling humid city state.

Centre of trade between the hemispheres for centuries

The city  a mix of colonial and bustling modern edifaces

India the ancient history

Sights and smells that are almost overwhelming

Colour vibrancy and activity everywhere.

Ethiopia, Thailand and New Caledonia

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Ethiopia the cradle of civilisation

An ancient culture

Home of coffee

Dramatic landscape from high mountains to desert planes,

Many tribes, and diverse wildlife.

 

Thailand- the kingdom in Asia

long held traditions

 

New Caledonia the French called it the Riviera of the South Pacific

A place of beauty

But with the tense undercurrent of colonisation bubbling beneath the surface

Vietnam baring the scars of the American war

An ancient culture its capital a city over 1000 years old

Bustling streets markets and waterways

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The last stamps on the page are Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam.  The start of my recent European adventures but they have been documented in my recent posts.

Ten years of travel outside Australia, my home country recorded on the pages.

Vale passport!!!!

 

 

 

 

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

 

Springbrook National Park – nature’s beautiful garden

Adventure, Australia, Poetry, Queensland

A fellow adventurer

From Germany

told me

Wenn Engel verreisen, scheint die Sonne

When angels travel the sun shines.

So walking in the sub tropic rain forest

An angel must have been with me

Walking as if in nature’s hand

Trees as old as Gondwanaland 

Thick green forest

Waterfalls

Sparkling like diamonds in the sun

Walking in nature’s garden

When angels travel the sky is definitely smiling

Springbrook is a place for angels to travel.

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.

Back home

Adventure, Australia, NSW, photography, Poetry, travel

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

Gibraltar ranges

The rolling curves of the mountains

Ebor falls

The water flowing through moist valleys

Emerald beach

And smooth flow of the sandy beach, the water warm and welcoming.

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!