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

 

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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.

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

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.

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!

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.

Great adventurers and a taste of Norway 

Adventure, Europe, history, Motorbikes, Norway, photography, travel

Borders I’ve never seen one but I have heard they exist in the minds of some people.

This quote from Thor Hyerdadahls captures a vision of adventure and cultural interaction.

The Kon Tiki

To see see the Kon Tiki to know the strength of that quest bought tears to my eyes.

Fram, Kon Tiki and Rah form part of the maritime history at Bigdoy in Oslo.

Thor Hyerdadahl and polar Explorer Rould Amundsen were adventures after the highest order.

The Norwegian team led by Amundsen that were first to the South Pole

The ship Fram a wooden ship designed by the great Colin Archer that still holds the record the furthest north and south of any ship.

Fram

These are names that have fed my love of maritime adventure.

For as it is said about the Norwegian sailor.

If there is a boat that floats he will be the first one there.

The Norwegian prowess at sea has existed for centuries. The Vikings emblamatic of their skill and exploration.

As these Viking burial ships show.

Viking burial ships

A day at the Norwegian maritime museums is a wonderful insight into a rich maritime history.

My taste of Norway took me north past Trondheim and its fjord.

And to the very steep fjords on the west coast

And its glacier covered mountains

But a summer full of rain in the high northern latitudes was too much for this bloke from the driest continent on the planet.

So it was a taste of Norway till maybe another time.

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

Touring Northern UK on the mighty Breva II – a picture narrative 

Adventure, England, Motorbikes, photography, Poetry, Scotland, travel, United Kingdom

Went to England but not London

Went to Scotland but not Edinburgh

Didn’t do Manchester, Liverpool or Leeds

Touring a motorbike is on a different path

With strange admirers along the way

Crossing the Burway on the Welsh/English border

Started in Stoke

Made it to the top

Coast to coast

From Newcastle in the east

To Skye in the west

Past castles grand

And those that bare the scars of Britain’s violent history.

Sinclair Castle

In search of monsters real or legend

In the highlands

Fortingall Hotel Central Highlands

View from the Burway

And in the low

Smoo cave on the North Coast 500

Went to England and didn’t do London

In Scotland missed Edinburgh

But saw a bit.

Mighty Breva II loaded and ready for the European adventure to come