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!!!!

 

 

 

 

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Seasons Greetings to all

Adventure, history, Poetry, Uncategorized

There are times to focus on peace and happiness

Jesus my have been the son of God or just a good bloke

It all depends on your perspective.

But he did try and spread a message of peace.

We often focus on the differences in humanity

Differences in religion and beliefs

Differences in race and skin colour

Differences in culture.

In nature there are also difference

As the solstice passes

At one end of the world there is endless night

At the other endless day

As it was nudging a sweltering 38 degrees in Melbourne recently.

My friends reported – 5 and snowing in Stoke on Trent.

So this is an opportunity to forget the differences.

Forget the distances between us.

And though at one end of the world it is dark and the other end light.

Accept

It is one world.

And though there are many religions and races and cultures

There is one humanity.

I wish you all peace and happiness.

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.

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.

Maloja Pass Mudslide

Adventure, Europe, Italy, Motorbikes, photography, Switzerland, travel

The Alps are a beautiful but precipitous place.

The mudslide is a reminder of the both the beauty and power of nature.

Albula Pass

Shifting rocks above the Pass

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.

Story of land

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.

Castles in the sky not just high Alps – Switzerland part 3

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

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.

Castle 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.

Castle Lenzburg

Perched on hilltops

Castle Wildegg

And on lake sides

Castle Thun

The villages and old towns have their own special charms.

Decorated building eves and old town entrance in Aarau

Monument in old Lenzburg

Looking across the Rhine to old Laufenburg in Switzerland from Germany

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.

Thursday nights at Trimbach bei Olten

All types of bikes some very exotic

Adendum

Bridge to old centre of Olten

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.

Old main gate in Aarau

Curved walls in Olten

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!

Back on the Celtic Ray

Adventure, history, photography, Poetry, Scotland, travel, United Kingdom

Back in Glasgow

The light

The buildings have a new feel

Sight

Texture

I’ve been touched by the Celtic Ray (the Awen)

Harris Tweed Cap made on the Shetland Islands

‘Ireland, Scotland, Brittany and Wales
I can hear the mothers’ voices calling
“Children, children, children”

Listen Jimmy! I want to go home.
Listen Jimmy! I want to go home.
I’ve been away from the Ray too long
I’ve been away from the Ray too long’ – words by Van Morrison

My heritage is Irish, my great grand parents migrating to Kalgoorlie in the 1890s

Part of the Irish diaspora.

But spending time in the north of Scotland has put me on the Celtic Ray

John O’Groats

Fishing harbour John O’Groats

Touched by the Celtic Ray

Glasgow has a new light.

I found the Glasgow Enlightenment

And the fact the the world’s first Afro-American doctor was trained in Glasgow by slavery abolitionists. He was James Mcune-Smith.

I have been away from the Ray too long