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.

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

 

 

Reflecting on the Swiss Alps

Adventure, Europe, Motorbikes, photography, Poetry, Switzerland
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View from Furker pass looking across the Valley to the Grimsel

The ride down Furker Pass and up the Grimsel has to be one of the most beautiful and exhilarating rides available.

Down Furker

Past the wall of the Rhone Glacier

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Looking across at the Rhone Glacier from the Grimsel 

Through the little village of Gletsch

Then up the Grimsel

Winding up to the lake at the top of Grimsel Pass

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Grimsel Guest house under repair

If that is not enough

Turn around

Down the Grimsel

Then up the Nufenen PassOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

What a day of riding it was.

In a few months I will be back in Europe

On the Mighty Breva II

More mountain passes some old some revisited.

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.

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!

Last stop in Switzerland for this trip

Adventure, Europe, history, Motorbikes, photography, Switzerland, travel

From Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald you can see the Aletsch Glacier. Running over the mountains.

View of Aletsch Glacier from Lauterbrunnen

And Grindelwald

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.

Past lakes

And beautiful waterfalls

In Grindelwald

In Lauterbrunnen

But in time as the Glacier melts the villages, the lakes, the waterfalls will in turn be reshaped.

Stelvio

Adventure, Europe, Italy, Motorbikes, photography, travel

A carnival atop the Stelvio Pass

Its the big daddy of the Alps

Stelvio

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

Lago di Como (Lario) 

Europe, Italy, Motorbikes, photography, travel

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

Village steps

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.