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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Next stop

England, Europe, Motorbikes, photography, Poetry, Spain

Bilbao

Spain

Passionate Spain

Gateway to Galicia

Another Celtic nation

The night ferry said goodbye to England

Departing Portsmouth

Along the coast of France

Across the Bay of Biscay

The often wild sea a mill pond on this crossing.

Its night

The morning brings Spain

Ready to catch the ferry to Bilbao with fellow bikers

A day in Dartmoor National Park

Adventure, England, photography, travel, United Kingdom

Dartmoor National Park neighbours Cornwall

Famous for the Dartmoor ponies

Beautiful patches of forest

Such as Lydford Gorge

And of course beautiful riding across the moors with a stop for a pint along the way.

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.

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

 

 

For the long riders

Adventure, Australia, NSW, Poetry, travel

This one of for the long riders

The 1,000k in a day riders

The numb in the bum still going riders

For the north south riders

The east west riders

This is an unapologetic piece about long distance motorcycle riding.

Australia is a country for the long riders

Curly twisty roads

Straight roads stretching to the horizon

traffic sparse on the secondary highways and byways

With the beating heart of the Mighty Breva eating up the distance

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On the Black Stump Way mid west NSW

One of my favourites long rides in from Melbourne to the Northern NSW Coast

Its just on 1500 km from Melbourne Victoria to Coffs Harbour in NSW.

It combines open agricultural land

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Cotton fields on the Black Stump Way

Fields of cotton, wheat and other broad acre crops.

Past cattle grazing

 

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Cattle grazing roadside

Little towns with quirky sculpture

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Horse Sculpture at the old trough in Urana NSW

 

Scooting along the gentle curves on the mountain foothills

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Bylong way midwest NSW

And then over the mountains

with their deep gorges

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and along the Waterfall Way

so aptly named

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Ebor Falls

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Dangar Falls

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Running right beside the road

Till the mountains meet the sea

At Coffs Harbour.

A special treat of a long ride in spring is seeing a new born calf being encouraged by its mother to take the first tentative steps

 

Addendum:

I need to add 1500 km in a day is beyond this piecemeal adventurer these days.  But Australia is a good place for eating up long miles.  On my most recent trip north I covered around 950km in the first day from Melbourne to Coolah at the start of the Black Stump Way.  That allowed a more leisurely 500 ks the second day – and stopping for photos and sightseeing which I can share.  I try to keep to the back roads which makes disctance eating harder but travelling for more enjoyable.

In the more closely settled countries of Western Europe off the highways 5-600k is a big day on the road

 

Autumn in the Snowy Mountains (Australian Alps)

Adventure, Australia, Motorbikes, NSW, photography, Poetry, Victoria
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Ghost Gully Campground

The still winds

The warm last days of summer

Moving into Autumn

Called me to the Mountains

The Snowy Mountains

Natures call

The primal call to be in the wild

In an ancient land

 

A land of Snowgums and Stringybarks

Sacred to the indigenous people of the land

The land of the Man From Snowy River

A land of

Spirits

Ghosts and

Legends

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Swampy Plains River at Geehi campsite

The Snowy’s catching the clouds and sending water in creeks and rivers into the plains below

Little creeks and springs

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Fresh water spring at Ghost Gully

That flow over waterfalls

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feed into the big rivers that water the plains

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Murray River

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Murray River at Tintaldra

Water

For cattle

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For the native animals

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Kangaroos and wood ducks and Geehi Flats Camp

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In the bare

Wild nature

The sky smiling

As angels travel

In the beauty of nature

Simple

Free

Alive

In the Snowy Mountains

As summer ends

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Camp at Ghost Gully

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.