Happy New Year-fireworks over Melbourne 

Adventure, Australia, photography, Victoria

I love fireworks and the best shows are always on New Years Eve

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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.

Roads to Lago di Como

Adventure, Austria, Europe, Italy, Motorbikes, photography

I want to thank the countries of Europe for boring tunnels and building motorways so there is less traffic on the beautiful mountain passes.

The piecemealadventurer atop Stelvio Pass

Riding the passes of Austria, Switzerland, and Italy to Lake Como was sublime.

Emerging from a congested Fern Pass and then onto Reschen Pass the traffic eased, the pace quickened and the dance of a motorbike carving the curves of a mountain road took form.

Lake Reschen at the top of the Pass

Looking down Reschen Pass the road in the gallery clinging to the cliff face

The old fort that guarded the Austrian Emporer (a Habsburg) from the unruly Italians

The Reschen Pass links straight to the bottom pass of the Stelvio. On a run through to Bormio.

The Umbrail Pass is just below Stelvio and with the weather closing in Stelvio was for another day.

On Umbrail Pass

With Bormio the objective before too much rain fell.

Rain over Bormio

From Bormio to Lake Como there is a tunnel or Passo Gavia. One on the highest roads in the Alps.

War memorial Passo Gavia

Atop Passo Gavia

The last miles to Lake Como is small villages that link together as one and tunnels. Pushing hard to get to the booked room before dark. The GPS suddenly announced that in 500 metres I would reach my destination. In the middle of the tunnel! I was 100 or so metres below there I was to stay. A lesson in making sure I enter a detailed and accurate address lol.

The Bergennen at Seebodenalp

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

Program for the historic meet

The Bergennen or hill climb race at Seebodenalp is a 500 metre climb over a 5 km track.

The top of the track providing views over Kussnacht am Rigi.

It was an event for historic bikes and some cars

Endurance racing Laverda

Studibaker hill climber from yesteryear

The pits were perched atop the track

With some lovingly restored bikes.

And sidecars

A different day at the races!

High peaks, glaciers, lakes and fine twisty roads this must be the Swiss Alps – revisited

Adventure, Europe, Motorbikes, photography, Switzerland, travel

WARNING

Alpine roads and scenery and culture are known to cause Alpinitis, a disease that creates an almost uncontrollable urge to return. The only relief is more Alpine riding, which results in reinfection.

This warning sits in small print on the first page of the book Motorcycle Journeys Through The Alps and beyond

September 2016, I had my first taste of the Alps.
I hadn’t noticed the onset of Alpinitis but in February this year I felt compelled to do a five day ride in the Australian Alps

The Bonang Highway, 105 kms of twisty road

But it wasn’t enough and here I am again in the Swiss Alps reinfecting myself.

The piecemealadventurer at the top of St Gotthard Pass

Up amongst the glaciers.

Looking

Across the valley to the next twisty climb

Looking at Grimsel Pass from Furka Pass

The climb up old St Gotthard pass

Down at the switch backs just conquered

Old roads

The cobbled surface of the old St Gotthard pass road

And fast sleek sweepers

Fast corner on the Susten Pass

The past the lakes

Looking down

Looking across

Days in the very high passes

Nufenpass the highest in the Swiss Alps at neatly 2,500 metres

Grimsel

Furka, Susten and St Gotthard

I’ve been reinfected and I’m glad there is only one response. More Alpine riding!

Adendum

To ensure the total reinfection I have was drawn to the tortuously narrow Pragel Pass.

And its partner the Klausen.

There is no end to the beauty of these mountains.

Some nights I just pinch myself – a photo montage 

Adventure, Denmark, Europe, Germany, Motorbikes, Netherlands, Norway, photography, travel

It was just six months ago that I placed an advertisement on the Moto Guzzi Club of Great Britain asking if people would help me buy a Moto Guzzi in the UK to tour the UK and Europe.

Six months later I’m sitting at my campsite at Kunzelsau in southern Germany half way through my tour to Europe.

I pinch myself again.

My last post summarised the tour of the northern mainland of Great Britain.

The European part of the journey started with catching the ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam.

Then to the new TLM premises in Nijmegen, the Netherlands to get a couple of issues I had with the bike sorted out

A quick dash across the German border heading north

To Hirtshals, at the top of the Jutland Peninsula in Denmark a ferry and fishing village and a crossroads for bike travellers

A ferry port for those going to northern Scandinavia

For me I was seeking a taste of Norway

I say a taste because Norway may be revisited. I think Scotland and Norway in one trip was too much high northern latitudes weather for a fellow from the driest of continents.

A dash to Rodby, Denmark thought torrential rain to catch the ferry to Germany

Where it’s warmer and drier.

Yes sometimes I pinch myself to check it’s not a dream.

I’m halfway through this tour and the Alps only 300km south.

Pinch pinch

Angel(s) of the North

art, England, Motorbikes, photography, travel, United Kingdom

Overlooking Newcastle upon Tyne the is the Angel of the North

An imposing piece of public art that hovers on a hill above the Tyne and Newcastle.

Tyne Bridge

There were also some angels of the north at Mo Tech the Moto Guzzi dealer in Newcastle.

The provided me a bit of space out the weather to make a running repair.

A little workshop space out of the weather

Rocker cover gasket replacement

Angels come in different forms

Boys Big Bike Bash in Tassie

Adventure, Australia, Motorbikes, photography, Poetry, Tasmania, travel

 

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big boys on a dirt road at Poatina

 

It was a boys big bike bash

looping Tassie like it was a race track

Roaring bikes

From the cold damp west coast

Misty wet Queenstown

settled in the heart of the wild west coast

windy roads in the mountains

constant dam filling drizzle and rain

looping across to the east coast

 

The beautiful fishing harbour of St Helens at dawn

Fresh fish washed down by local beer and wine

The mountains

Elephant Pass and St Mary’s Pass clinging to the side of the mountains range.

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From the coast climbing the past Poatina

Up onto the high plains

Winding through Bothwell

The home of the worlds best merino wool

and the high plains lakes

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Great Lake at Miena

The nature was not the only thing of beauty

In Hobart there we visited a magnificent collection of classic bikes

Perfect for a Boys big bike bash

 

Tassie (Tasmania)

Adventure, Australia, history, Motorbikes, photography, Poetry, Sailing, Tasmania, travel

 

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Looking past Wineglass Bay to Schouten Passage in the Freycinet Peninsula

 

I’ve looked at Tassie from both sides now

from in and out

and still somehow

Its Tassie’s illusion I recall

I really don’t know Tassie at all

(will apologies to Joni Mitchell)

 

I’m going to Tassie again

I place I can always go back to

find something new and beautiful

In Australian smallest State

An island State, part of an island nation.

 

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Looking out to sea over the remains of the old jetty in Bridport NE Tasmania

Looking out across the blue clear waters that surround Tassie.

Looking in from coastal anchorages at

 

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Storm over Maria Island from Chinamans Bay,

 

At storms rolling past

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At the play of the light on the rocky shoreline

 

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Sleepy Cove, Freycinet Peninsula

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Looking in to tight harbour entrances

 

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Hells Gates the entrance to Macquarie Harbour in perfect conditions

 

Sitting safe in historic ports

 

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Futura in Constitution Dock, Hobart

 

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Looking down on the Stanley Fishing Harbour from the Nut

Travelling through beautiful wilderness

 

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Gordon River Wilderness

 

 

 

 

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Looking towards Frenchmans Cap in the South West Wilderness

 

And a quirkiness that is only Tassie

 

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Ship’s dog watching passers by

 

Next month I’m going back to Tassie again

Taking the mighty Breva down for her second trip

I hope the sun never sets on my Tasmania adventures.

 

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Sunset over Coles Bay TasmaniaSouth East Tasmania