Sunday, 26 April 2009

No rain hooray!!!!

Now in Ohrid, Maceconia having a day off. This is a lakeside town that has a stunning old city and is far from being horrid. We are staying in a rented room in a guys house. He rode allongside us on his push bike as we passed slowly through the town so we rewarded his cycling fitness by staying in his house for 2 nights. Aren't we thoughtful. Nothing to do with the fact that we were tired, hungry, cold and angry that we were charged 50 Euros apeice for green card insurance for our 3 days stay. It was only 2 days but we were determined to get value out of the insurance. Since leaving Mostar we have been to Dubrovnic and its stunning Old City as can be seen from the photo. The bike is running well 'touch wood' and tonight she has an evening under the stars since we are camping. Staying in guest houses is so cheap that it seems non sensical to camp. It is the unpacking and packing of the bike that puts me off. From there we passed into Montenegro and then Albania which is the fly tipping centre of the universe. The road from Montenegro to Albania was terrible and though we expect very poor roads on this trip we thought that we would get off the European Continent first. Tomorrow we enter Greece and it is hopefully 3 days until Istanbul. As you can tell I have not got the idea of the layout. The first three photos are Dubrovnic the fourth is Ohrid and the last Albania. I tried some motorcross jumping between a couple of buildings but was not wearing the braces on my trousers. Lost my trousers again!!!

Friday, 24 April 2009

Mosta the place where they blew up the bridge and then built an exact copy

One more country down and we are now in Bosnia. To get here the ride was again waterlogged but involved some good twisty roads. Currently staying in Mostar where the bridge was blown up in the war and an exact replica has now been built. The bridge and surrounding old town have been nominated a world heritage site. As we crossed the border Bosnia had a very different feel to Croatia. It seems poorer and Russian influence is still apparent with a number of old Russian trucks spotted driving around and road signs are also in what appears to be Russian though this portion has been painted out. The muslim influence is also apparent with numerous mosques. It was quite srange to see a large cross standing on a nearby hill whilst the town was full of mosques.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

7 countries down

Before I left J&S Motorcycles in New Malden got me out of a fix by doing some last minute work to my bike. In addition they spent a lot of time helping me to prep it. Thanks especially to Mike and Sean!

Due to the ferry blockade I took the Eurotunnel to Calais and the road to Ypres where I visited the Menen Gate and a number of cemeteries. Then met up with my riding buddy at the Nurburg Ring and travelled onto Nurnberg. A very historical place since it was the HQ for the Nazi party and quite amazing to think what happened there. Then we headed for the Alps and had some awesome winding roads which were fun despite the weight I was carrying, the wet roads and knobbly tyres. Italy, Slovenia where we stayed near Kranjska Gora (ski resort, closed and so no beds) but the locals found us a room. Now we are in Croatia having a day off. Oh yes it has rained nearly all day everyday.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Trepidation or Excitement?

24 hrs to go and my feelings are mixed. 'Brilliant I am going at last' and 'boy 18 months is a long time'. To top it all my bike is going into the garage today to have its swingarm bearings replaced. Talk about taking it to the wire!! Tomorrow I will catch the ferry to Dunkirk and then ride to the Nurburgring where the Brits will show the Germans how to ride slow, knobbly tired, Japanese bikes around their race track.
So until the next update from Europe, Russia, The Americas etc etc Da sveedaneeya.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

ROUND THE WORLD Soon to hit the road (not literally - I hope)

I and a friend, who I met via the Adventure Motorcycling Website 'Horizons Unlimited', are about to head off on an unsupported world motorcycle ride. The plan is to depart on 17 April 2009 and ride east through Europe to Turkey and from there through a number of the 'Stans' to Russia and then to Vladivostock via Mongolia. We will then take the opportunity to test the bikes for their sea keeping capabilities during the ferry ride to South Korea. Having tried them at sea we will test them in the air from Soeul to Vancouver before we head south to Argentina. Another flight from Buenos Aires to Cape Town will precede the ride home through Africa.

After a snowboarding accident I was medically retired from the Royal Navy. This followed some months as an in patient at Headley Court the military rehabilitation centre in Surrey. The centre is a leader in its field but is now overflowing with victims of the conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq. The treatment that I received there helped me to focus on those things that I am still able to do and develop techniques to minimise the effects of those things I cannot do. Headley Court is strongly supported by the charity Help for Heroes which aims to provide facilities and services for our servicemen and women disabled through their service. The treatment that I received at the centre has helped me to recover sufficiently to take part in this trip. I have included a link below in the hope that some of you might donate to this worthwhile charity. Thankyou.

I will try to update this blog as I meander through the countries of the world.