Thursday, 28 June 2012

27th June 2012 to 28th June 2012

Wednesday, 27th June 2012 

We packed the bikes and left Everest and his entourage and headed north. Our mission today was to reach the town of Berat by continuing along the secondary old road. Everthing was fine until we got to Kelcyre and took the wrong turn and ended up on the main highway. We decided to turn back and rode the 18 kilometres or so back to Kelcyre and found the old Berat road.  It started off as quite a bad ashpalt road which got worse the further we rode until it all ended with a three way split into three different dirt roads.

Road splits 3 ways !!

We hooked left and so began 70 kilometres of probably the worst rubble we have ever ridden. It took us neartly 7 hours to reach Berat and most of the way in first and second gear. We were covered in white dust but we nade it through without dropping the bikes despite several occasions when we thought we had lost the front end - we deserved a beer. 

Albanian views

The first hotel we stopped at had no rooms so we took a look along the main part of town, We spotted some flags up a side road and my sat nav picked out bthe Hotel Mangalem - rooms available so we had ouir beer, booked in for two days and had a very welcome shower.

Hotel Mangalem

We ate on the veranda and fell into bed at the outrageously early hour of 9.30 still aching from the days ride.

Thursday 28th June 2012

As our hotel was on the road leading up to the citadel we decided to take a hike up there but not before getting some colour copies of my V5 registration document printed from a PDF file on my computer. They may work at the border - I hope so because that's all I have !

It was very hot as we set off up the slippery cobbled slope to the citadel - crikey it was a long hot walk upto the top but we were rewarded with excellent view across Berat and we also managed to find a shady spot in a cafe and have some iced tea.

Part of the walk up the hill

Entrance to Kala - hilltop citadel
Small streets within the citadel
Views of Mt. Tomorri in the distance

The walk back down wasn't much easier on the cobbles and we began to realise that we were foolhardy enough to attempt this midday sun walk without the benefit of sun cream or hats - we will pay for this mistake later I am sure.

24th June 2012 to 26th June 2012

I have not written up this blog for 5 days so it;s time to catch up.

Sunday 24th June 2012

We retrieved our bikes from the underground car park at the Hotel Famissi in Meteora and set off along a whole host of very small back roads which eventually spat us out onto the main road near the small town of Neapoli. We followed the main route 20 which is itself a very nice twisty mountain road with not much traffic and we eventually found our way through a network of valley roads to the small village of  Monodendri near the large town of Konitsa. The hotel Archontiko Zarkada was easy to find and when we were shown our rooms we decided to stay for two days. We had an excellent room with an ante room complete with sofa - all very nice. We had a beer on the veranda and watched the rain and hail pour down during a 15 minute thunderstorm and said that we were lucky to have arrived when we did or we would have had a soaking, but it soon cleared and the blue skies were back again in no time.

We showered and went to eat and found that the outside television projector was being set up especially so that we could watch the England Italy Euro 2012 quarter final game. We had a nice meal of Greek salad followed by grilled lamb before settling down to watch the game (started at 9,45pm because we were two hours different to UK). What a miserable game - we were joined by a coachload of Israelis (strange bunch) on holiday most of whom went to bed before half time and the remainder long before full time but even we gave up at extra time and had to get our sleep.

Monday 25th June 2012

Hot and sunny again - this is getting boring !

We chose to walk out a little and see the monastery at the beginning of the Vikos Gorge and took some pictures. The walk there in the searing heat was uphill and seemed to take forever but the views were worth it. After all that exercise the only thing we could possibly do was have a few beers in the bar and I spent the afternoon mending my broken boots and sewing my ripped riding trousers - what an exciting day - even better I let Mark loose with a razor on my hair - aaaarrrrghhhh , it's  very very short now and I look like a criminal (but at least it is cooler )

Tuesday 26th June 2012
We left Monodendri and doubled back up into the mountains and came out near the large town of Konitsa. We turned north towards Kastoria and my map showed a small mountain road just a kilometre from the small town of Plagia, What a wonderful road it was too. As with a lot of Greek mountain roads we took time to dodge the snakes and tortoises crossing in front of the bikes and every so often we would come across small icons at the roadside,

Icon at roadside high in the mountains

The small road twisted and turned upwards through pine forests and not a single bit of traffic save for a fire truck patrolling the area in case of forest fires.

Sheer bliss

Difficult to find a bad road in this part of Greece !!
We reached the main road into Kastoria and decided nto fill ouir fuel tanks. We were stopped by a couplke of Greek bikers who insisted that we travel into Kastoria and have a coffee with them (I had already been to Kastoria ;ake nbut Mark had not) so we followed them in and had a frappe (cold iced coffee) by the lakeside.

Our new Greek friends
Mark... complete with pelican on Kastoria Lake behind him
It turns out that this day, Tuesday, was their day off - one was a bus driver and the other a border guard, They wanted to take us on a tour of the lake but as I had already done this befor we politely declined. We showed them our planned route and they told us the road from Korce to Permet in Albania was not a good road and very dangerous. They escorted us nback to the road to the Albanian border and we set off to our next new country.

Beware of bears in the Kastoria region

We left Greece after a quick passport check and, for nsome nstrange breason, a look at our insurance and we entered the Albanian side. Passport check OK but I just could not find my vehicle registration documents anywher. I knew that I had taken them with me when I left the UK...  we stripped down my bike at the border until, in the end, the guard got fed up and just put my bike registration into his computer and told me to carry on So, I am in Albania but can I get out with my bike - I will find out at the next border !!

There was nowhere that we could see to buy insurance so we pressed on uninsured, We reached the first large town of Korce in the heat of the afternoon sun and found a bank.  We cashed 200 euros in exchange for 27,500 Albanian Leks and so we now had fuel and money for the next part of our adventure.

We started out from Korce and found the road to Permet. It was good tarmac but was potholed in places but easily rideable. We soon spotted one of the many thousands of concrete bunkers that Albania is famus for at the roadside. The road was fairly flat for about 35 miles then it picked up and we had a nice mountain ride with fantastic scenery through the Barmash pass at 1759m highand then followed the Vjosa River gorge with ints mint green mineral water. 
View of the Vjosa River

Road to Permet
We stopped around 5pm and found an nice roadside hotel which did us dinner, bed and breakfast for both of us at 35 euros ~ (less than £30) and that included beer and wine too with the added bonus of air conditioned rooms. Everest, the nephew of the owner spoke good English and looked after us as we entertained his younger brother and cousin with some magis tricks (I always carry something to show the locals !)

Saturday, 23 June 2012

19th June 2012 to 23rd June 2012

Tuesday morning, 19th, we left Bulgaria with a heavy heart as we had enjoyed both the country and its people - so much more different than I had imagined the place to be - if you get the chance go, I am sure that you will be as surprised as I was. We made our way to the border south avoiding the Shipka pass and using little forest back roads until we hit the big town of Stara Zagora. The main road took us back into the mountains and back down to the flats for our entry to Greece at Ormeni. A quick passport check by a Bulgarian policeman on the way out and  the same again into Greece by what was probably the most grumpy Greek that we met in all of the country - so much for welcome to Greece please spend your euros with us....

As we pulled into the town of Orestiada looking for our hotel we were accosted by Stefanos on his BMW 1200 Adventure who stopped us and then led us directly to the hotel door. We agreed to meet up with him and his friend, Chris, later in the evening for a beer. 


A good shower and cool down with the air conditioning saw us ready to take on the night. We met Stefanos at the appointed hour and had a couple of drinks and swapped stories of past and upcoming adventures. Stefanos is off on 23rd on a two week trip to Poland and back so he will have to cover 4500kms in 12 days.

We said our goodbyes and fell into bed ready for another day of riding.

Wednesday 20th was another hot day but luckily we managed to pack the bikes in the shade. We had made plans today to follow a small mountain road from Metaxades south to Alexandroupoli and then head north-west (again on back roads) to the hotel Dimokristos in the centre of Komotini. Our hotel overlooked a small park and we sat on our shaded balcony drinking beer bought cheaply at the local supermarket and eating bread and cheese with salami - tasted really good.  We have been averaging around 40 euros a night bed and breakfast with air-con and free wi-fi (that's just a little over £32 per night for the two of us) and all the hotels so far have been good value for money and a hundred times better than rough camping.. A great day's ride in the mountains and we were looking forward to more of the same tomorrow.

Typical Greek rosd

~Thursday 21st we packed in the heat of the morning sun this time only too glad to start cooling down as we left Komotini. The first part of our journey eastwards was fairly mundabe until we hit bthe city of Xanthi where we took the road (eventually after half hour riding around in the midday heat) out and up into the cooler air of the mountains. We stopped for fuel near Panesti and got invited to sit with the locals eating cherries and apricots which we did in the shade of an old bar umbrella. We shook hands and said our farewells and set off back down the mountain to the city of Drama then onto boring two lane highways towards Thessaloniki before finishing the day at the Hotel Gala around 25 kms from Thessaloniki in a quiet part of the world. 

We had arrived hot. Mark asked a question, I answered sarcastically then suddenly we were not on speaking terms and Mark junped on his bike and took off. Shit ! I thought. We don't normally have arguments and this wasn't really an argument but the end result was similar - we had gone our separate ways. I took the room and had a shower and sent Mark a text along the lines of "What was that all about". To his credit Mark did return to discuss what had happened but there wasn't much to talk about really - just a hot headed reaction from each of us. We agreed to carry on - man hug, man hug - and all was right with the world. 

The hotel did not serve food so we went into the local town, found a bar and asked for two beers and something to eat, We got two beers and a small bowl of cherries and peach slices - not quite the meal we wanted so we asked for the whereabouts of the nearest mini market and we were directed to a small backstreet of the village where. indeed, there was a mini market. We spent 17 euros on beers, cigarettes and lots of food before taking it back to the hotel and scoffing the lot !

Friday 22nd - Despite not serving an evening meal a breakfast was prepared especially for us so we felt obliged to eat it. We had booked a hotel in Meteora and hit hit the road taking the main route (but not motorway) to Veria where we picked up twisty mountain roads to Kozani where we took a detour across Lake Aliakmona and then onto the small country roads to the town of Kalambaka which sits under the shade of the hilltop monasteries of Meteora.

View down to Lake Aliakmona

The Dutch receptionist at the Hotel Kosta Famissi was so very pleasant and the rooms good that we asked for a two night stay. We got some beers and wine from a local store and had a lazy afternoon before stepping out in the hot evening to have a traditional Greek meal at a nearby restaurant. 

View from our hotel balcony

Later in the evening I sent a text to John & Brigit at Wildcat Adventure tours to say bthat I notice from their website that we must have just missed them in Meteora. Not so came the reply - they were coming through this way tomorrow at midday - how much of a co-incidence is that. We swapped texts and agreed to meet for lunch !

We watched Germany beat Greece 4-2 in the Euro footie and thanked our lucky stars that we were not German.

Saturday 23rd - another bright, sunny hot day. We had breakfast and went for an early morning ride around Meteora before the coach parties arrived. It was nice to ride in the cooler air withouth all the motorcycle gear but the 10km ride only took an hour or so and we parked up outside the hotel and waited for John and his tour group to arrive.


The guys arrived hot and sticky from their ride from Kastoria so we all had a cold drink from our hotel bar before heading into the town for a sandwich ( we avoided food at this stage as we would eat later). We then went with the group up to Meteora and then back down to Kalambaka where we said our goodbyes to the guys who were off to Igoumenitsa to catch the overnight ferry to Italy and home.

John's tour group - Turkey 2012

We popped into Lidl for more beers and some bread and cheese and here I am typing up my blog which I have missed for the last few days !!!  

Tomorrow we head for the mountains again to spend our last day in Greece in the small town of Monodendri before crossing into Albania on Monday morning.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Monday 18th June 2012

I woke up this morning to the sound of the shepherd herding his goats past my open window. The bells on their necks clattered away as they made slow progress through the village of Idelevo.

View from my bedroom window this morning

I missed morning coffee and shower as a power cut had taken care of that so we got our riding gear on and set off for the monument at Buzludzha (click here for a link to Wikipedia) which has been abandoned by the Bulgarian government and is now in disrepair - but impressive nonetheless.

Doug was kind enough to lend me his Garmin sat nav which had the Bulgariaqn maps that mine did not and soon we were off to the Shipka Pass via a network of back roads that Doug had programmed in.

The road leading off the Shipka Pass to Buzludzha was a 12km potholed affair but the BMW's coped very well and the awful road was worth it when we reached the monument perched high on the hill like a spaceship looking out over the surrounding beautiful scenery.

Approaching Buzludzha...

We were the only people there and it was indeed abandoned - the concrete was gradually failing and it won't take many winters before it starts to literally fall apart. 

The views from the top of the hill were magnificent and we stayed a good hour or so just taking it all in before heading back to the Motocamp by a different route.

By the time we arrived back the sun was blisteringly hot - nearly 100 degrees farenheit today and not a cloud in sight. A quick shower and a beer soon put the world back on its axis.

Tomorow we head for Greece - we have shelved the idea of going to Turkey and the Gallipoli peninsula mostly because I have already been there in 2010 and there is not much scenery once you get there. So another country in the morning.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Thursday 14th June to Sunday 17th June (Father's Day)

The breakfast at the Hotel Fiume was not a McDonalds and we eat well before we set off in what was to be a nice day weatherwise. Our destination for today was yet another country - Romania and luckily we had some currency leftover from our round the world trip last year so the hassles of finding a bankomat were put to one side this time. We reached the border crossing quite quickly as Bekescaba was not too far away and a quick passport check and we were in and on our way south.

The roads were very busy, full of trucks and vans stuck in long jams and we soon reaslised that our sat navs were taking us on a southerly main road route which avoided the mountains - this was not what we wanted so at Arad we headed east towards Deva and we soon picked up nice back roads through the foothills of the mountain ranges.

Our route took us through the Judental Gorge alongside the Jui river and eventually we found a roadside motel - the Europa - where we had a good night's stay for around £35 including evening meal and breakfast for us both and by extreme good fortune...a waitress with nice boobies who insisted on leaning over in front of us to display her wares....... it's been a long dusty road he said with his tongue hanging out.

Judental Gorge

Friday morning was upon us and we set off early (bearing in mind that we lost an hour crossing into Romania) and our destination today was the Horizons mini bike meet at Doug's Moto Camp in Bulgaria.
We made good time to the Romanian/Bulgarian border which was crossed, not by road, but by ferryboat. We paid our dues and soon we were being carried across the river at Orahovo and off into a relatively quick border crossing the other side.

Goodbye Romania.. on the Ferryboat

We soon found a fuel station that took our visa card so we now had enough petrol to get us to Doug & Polly's Moto Camp but the local bancomat was out of service so we didn't manage to get any Bulgarian currency until much further into the journey in the city of Pleven where, purely by luck we missed the bypass road, and ended up outside a bank with an all shininhg bancomat ready to dish us out some dosh.


On the road in Bulgaria

Loaded up with our Bulgarian Levs we set off and by 3pm we were turning into the gates of Doug & Polly's biker camp just in time to have a cold beer before we unpacked. It was very hot so we opted for a room instead of sleeping in a hot tent toasting in the hot Bulgarian sunshine.  

Doug & Polly's Moto Camp

Inside the gates

Doug & Polly made us very welcome and soon more bikers turned up and we sat and drank beer and chatted until we couldn't stay awake - around 10.30pm - what lightweights we have become in our old age !

Saturday morning and we awoke to blue cloudless skies and decided to go out on a ride with a few of the other bikers. We spent a few hours in the hills visiting a few of the local sites and stopped for a long lunch at a roadside restaurant not far from the Trojanski monastery. One thing we learned about Bulgaria is that they have to have cigarette or three with everything and we stopped frequently on the ride for a smoking break - we soon found out that it was a race to get to the shady spot for the stop or you would soon bake in the midday sunshine.

Same again for the evening- a couple of cold beers and chatting - we actually managed 12.30 before hitting the sack !

So here we are on Sunday - lazy day under the shade of the bar roof just catching up with washing etc etc...........

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Hungary 13th June 2012

Waking in our Slovakian Pension to the soft patter of rain falling in the courtyard outside told me that it was going to be a wet ride today. The Pension Oaza was a total surprise in that it was quite a swish place with a good restaurant decked out in an African theme of palm trees and bongo drums and a good chef to round it off with. The owner greeted us in the morning as we packed the bikes telling us that breakfast was available...... at McDonalds just a kilometre from the pension - we politely declined breakfast and set off in the cold rain.

Slovakia is a lovely country with rolling green hills and small mountains and I am sure it would look even better bathed in sunlight than the low level cloud that we were seeing today. The ride south was uneventful (no kamikaze cars, lorries or sheep today) and we soon found ourselves at the Hungarian border where we bought ourselves a vignette allowing use of certain roads in the country - no vignette can mean a hefty fine.

Hungary differed from Slovakia in many ways aside from the money (Forints) and the language. In Slovakia the journey would be slowed by reaching a village every couple of miles or so whereas in Hungary there seemed to be towns and then nothing other than long straight roads over flat terrain between them. The major difference for us today was the parting of the clouds to reveal sunshine and blue sky which started to cheer us up.

By 5 o'clock we were getting tired and hungry ( we hadn't eaten a thing all day) so we found a hotel in the town of  Bekescsaba in the south of the country. The Hotel Fiume was built in the 1890's and looked far too grand for us but a quick check with the receptionist had us in for a twin room at 12000 forints (about £36) including breakfast and free WiFi.

Hotel Fiume, Bekescsaba

Showered and changed we took advantage of the changed weather and ate outside on the pavement terrace of the restaurant - 4 big beers and two huge helpings of Goulash (well you have to don't you !) set us back just £21 in total - we had to scurry around to find notes small enough to leave a tip !

Hungarian Goulash

There is a McDonalds close by so let's hope that the hotel breakfast isn't the same as the Pension Oaza !

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Czechmate !

Sunday 10th June 2012 to Tuesday 12th June 2012

We enjoyed the German Horizons meeting. Fern's dad turned up in a van to collect his daughter and her busted bike - she is going to get it fixed in England and the she will set out on her big trip again before all her visas run out. We chilled and watched all the crowd pack up and leave on Sunday. We had asked if we could stay an extra night so our tents stayed put until they were the only ones left and the campsite was eerily quiet.

Monday morning was overcast with just a few spots of rain, in fact ideal weather for packing up as it wasn't too hot. Our aim was to reach the Czech Republic and we set off in earnest at around 8am. The weather held for a while but it didn;t take long for the rain to start but we persevered and finished our marathon journey on Horadovice, well inside the Czech Republic.

We took a room at the Zlaty Jelen hotel where we soon learned that nobody spoke or understood English so we reverted to a mixture of German and Russian and some phrases from my east european book which seemed to get us where we needed nto be in the buying beer and food stakes. We took a brief walk around the town before dinner to whip up an appetite and we found a small restaurant which also had the England v France game on TV so we availed ourselves of the local pilsen beer and had a hearty meal.

The following morning (Tuesday 12th) we woke with the lark and packed our bikes in the courtyard at the back of the hotel where we also met the customary drunk (yes ! 8am in the morning). He seemed happy enough to watch us load our bikes and he even had a chat with a nearby car.

We left Horadavice and took a myriad of small backroads across the Czech Republic in what turned out to be a fantastic days riding with the exception of a truck, a car and two deer all of who had tried (unsucsessfully) to remove me from the road by either driving at me head on, pulling out in front of me or bounding across the road just a few feet away from my tyres. I survived the onslaught in time to receive a blast of heavy rain as we crossed the border into Slovakia a nice warm but wet rain which gave us a good soaking. We had prebooked a room in a hotel in Prievidza but even with two sat navs we were beaten when we tried to find the address, Sat in an outlying village I rang the hotel owner but we had a strange conversation as he spoke only Czech and Russian but no English. I gave up and ended the call but then I spotted a young girl walking up the road who, when asked, told us that she could speak English. I rang the hotel owner again and she translated for us. She told him exactly where we were and he drove the 4 kilometres to us and guided us back to the Pension Oaza - easy when you know where it is !

The Pension Oaza surprised us as it also had a well kitted out restaurant and bar so we ate and drank well before heading off to bed. Tomorrow (Wednesday 13th) we are aiming for Hungary. on our quest to be at the Bulgaria bikers meeting by Friday.

Some pics of Horadovice.....

Hotel Zlaty Jelen


Saturday, 9 June 2012

Wednesday 6th June 2012 to Saturday 9th June 2012

We left Kirschlengen in the dry as, thankfully, it had stopped raining. Len gave us both a hug and was joined by Doris's next door neighbour, Rosie, who also wanted to give us a hug and wish us well on our journey.

Despite the fact that we had now fitted our intercoms to our helmets during our stay at Doris's we managed to lose each other within a couple of miles and so we each had a separate trip to Ober-Leibersbach in the Odenwald area of Germany. We had been there before so we both knew where we would end up and I was only about 15 minutes into unloading my  bike at the campsite when Mark turned up. We analysed how we had lost each other but it didn't really matter as we were back on track now.

Lunchtime at the campsite

Our Pitch

We set up the tents and settled down for a long weekend of catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. One girl, Fern, had just set out on her lifetime journey - England to New Zealand - only to find out that her bike's engine had given up the ghost and she is now waiting to take it back to the UK to get it fixed quickly so that she can ship back out in time for her visas to be still of use to her.

The campsite is cosy and around 100 bikers have turned up for this meeting. We are heading to the Czech Republic on Monday so we are keeping our fingers crossed that the weather holds out.

Forest Walk near the Campsite

View of the Campsite from Nearby Ridge

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Friday 1st June 2012 to Tuesday 5th June 2012

Whose idea was it to leave at 11.30pm ?  There I was at just half hour to midnight on Thursday 31st May setting out from home on yet another madcap adventure. This time we were planning to do everything on the cheap by camping wild wherever possible and saving on hotel accommodation costs... the thinking behind this was to give us more time away to explore our next destination.... The Balkans.

First saving was the Channel crossing. To get a really cheap deal we had to travel at silly o’clock in the morning so our £23 fare was achieved by agreeing to sail at 3.20 am from Dover to Calais. We met up at the Warwick services on the M40 just before midnight. Mark, keen as ever, had beaten me to the rendezvous and, after a quick fill at the petrol pumps, we were off on our sojourn. Through the dark of deepest night we rode and made good time until we met with a flashing overhead sign on the M25 which announced that junction 12 was closed. I kept my fingers and toes crossed that junction 12 was behind us but it wasn’t and we were unceremoniously dumped onto the M3 heading south towards Portsmouth instead of eastwards to Dover. A quick reset of the satnav however had us popping into Chertsey & Cobham via some small back roads and joining the M25 further along past the obstruction but now battling to catch up our lost time.

We made it to the port with 10 minutes to spare but then Sod’s Law came into play and we were selected to go into the customs shed where the very kind lady let us pass by answering a couple of easy questions and we made it onto the ship just before it sailed ... Phew !!

You would think that the 3.20am would be a ghost ship but it was far from it with coachloads of kids on their way across the sea to some outing or other but luckily we found a seat and just sat out the 75 minutes of excited noise.

We were pretty much first off the boat and there was no stopping at French immigration which meant that we were on the road to Dunkirk in no time at all.  We chose to use the motorway system for our journey to our first campsite adjacent to the Bever Dam near Huckswagen in Germany. We arrived on site at around 2pm and set up our tents as it began to drizzle, had a brew and then slept for a good couple of hours.
Camping near the Bever Dam, Germany

We had agreed to meet up some other guys who use the Adventure Bike Forum for a weekend of camping and a ride out to see the dams attacked by the Dambusters in WWII. As the day went on the gathering swelled to twelve of us and we rounded off the day with a meal and drinks at the campsite bar/restaurant before hitting the sack for a good snore.

Sorpe Dam

 The following day (Saturday 2nd June) the skies had cleared and we set off on a group ride to see the Sorpe Dam, Eider Dam and finally, the Mohne Dam. It was a good route and we had a thoroughly good day out but the evening get together at the bar was a bit more subdued as many of the guys were not used to 300+ mile journeys and they were a little tired to say the least. 

Most of the guys left the site on Sunday morning just as Ken from the Stafford area arrived. The rain set in and me and Mark just stayed in our tents talking and sleeping throughout the day before meeting up with Ken for drinks and a bite to eat in the evening. Ken didn’t mind that he had missed the meet as he said that he liked solo travel and his own company. On Monday Ken stayed to do his own tour of the dams as we took advantage of the improving weather to pack up and move on. This time we were on our way to Kirschlengen to stay with Mark’s uncle Leonard and also to see Mark’s son, Ian, who is stationed at the nearby army base in Gutersloh.

When we arrived we discovered that we were not actually staying with Len but rather at the house of his good friend, Doris, who was away on holiday but coming back soon but he was not sure on what day. We later discovered that Len  had not asked Doris and she was not aware that we were now living in her house !

We eventually got to pick Ian up from the local train station (I say eventually because, in true Ian style, he got on the wrong train at first and was hurtling in totally the wrong direction until a kindly,  but confused, ticket inspector got him sorted) and we all headed to the local Kartoffelhausen – potato restaurant – where we filled out boots and washed it all down with some local beer.

Tuesday morning (5th June) saw Len knocking on the door to take us out for breakfast and a visit to the local supermarket to stock up with some pasta for the next batch of camping later in the week. 

Len took Ian back to the army base whilst me and Mark fettled, farkled and repacked the bikes. When Len returned we went into a nearby town and had a Chinese meal but not before Mark made Len telephone Doris to make sure that she was OK with us staying at her house. She was OK with it all and she was not coming back home until Friday – we would be away by Thursday morning so everyone was happy.

Fettling & Farkling at Doris's House

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

What Goes Around Comes Around........

Tuesday of last week we had a visitor.... Jun Young Jang better known to his friends as Neo.

Neo is from South Korea and his pal, Seoul Joe, asked on the Horizons Unlimited website if any travellers in the UK had any spare biking/camping kit to donate to Neo to help in his quest to ride his motorbike back home from UK.

When we were in Vladivostok last year we were very close to South Korea so me and Mark decided to throw out a lifeline. Neo travelled up to see us and we kitted him out with enough stuff to get him well on his way. We then took the opportunity to show him around our local tourist towns of Stratford-upon-Avon and he ended up next to Ted Simon's "Jupiters Travels" Triumph Bonneville in the Coventry motor museum.

We will be meeting up with Neo next month for a ride out just before he sets his compass towards the east and home.

Neo & Imogen (our 3 yr old grandaughter) at the Curry house

Neo outside Shakespeare's Birthplace

Neo with Ted Simon's Triumph at Coventry museum