Friday, April 27, 2012


Well it was to be an interesting couple of days.
We left Denmark and rode across two of the most amazing water crossings maybe in the world. I say water crossings because the first one is a bridge that is 6.8km long, the Grand Belt Bridge, and the second the Øresund Bridge/Tunnel which is a 4 km tunnel from Copenhagen to an artificial island which then becomes a 8km Bridge to Sweden.

This is the Little Belt Bridge
We had stopped outside Cophenhagen to book a hotel for the night and to get an oil filter and some oil for the bike as I had wanted to do an oil change as the oil was looking pretty grubby. The Lyckebo B&B Sharon had picked was in a place called Maglarp and it was perfect they had a shed I could the oil change in. Brilliant!

So I set about to doing the oil change plus put in the new clutch i had brought with me Australia (just wanted to get the last bit of life out of the old one and they are quick to change) it about 10 I was done and it was time to start the bike up and get it warm for a final check of the level all good.

Or so I thought! At one the bike stopped and I realized I hadn't turned the fuel back on so did that and turned on the rear tanks at the same time. Started for a bit and then didn't start! Mmm a problem for the morning.
Morning comes and I discovered a surprise not only was an Aussie staying in the small B&B that we were. There was one who rented a shed next to the one that I had fixed my bike in! Chappy had lived in Sweden for 20 years and was a specialist in old British Sports Cars and Ferrari Dinos, he was rebuilding one for a customer, which was about a years worth of work. Very nice guy, invited us for lunch where we got to meet his lovey wife Jenny and his mate Anders. It was excellent.

Anyway back to the bike, we got it started but it would only idle, not rev! mmm after a fair bit of mucking about it was discovered that the rear tanks had got water in them! Possibly a cause of our earlier problems! Anyway a quick drain for carb bowls and the tanks and some clean fuel and were up and running again. We did some quick mods to ensure that it would occur again. After a long day we stayed at Lykecbo for another night, it would mean an early rise to get to Stockholm in time for the ferry! For all our dramas Lyeckbo will give us fond memories and hopefully a follow up visit!

Our lovey host Sanna.

Bob and Grazyna from the Gold Coast.
Again a big thanks to Chappie, Sanna and all at Lyeckbo!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

2 days 6 countries

When arrived back at Linda and Rupert's house the Sun was out and it was great. Rupert and I took the dog for a walk, and coffee all on the pretext of getting groceries, while Sharon and Linda started on dinner.
It was a lovely final evening with them and we very appreciated there hospitality.

The following day it was off Canterbury for our final night in England before catching the ferry to France. The idea was to get into Canterbury early and take at look at the Cathedral. Well the weather had other ideas, it was wet cold and miserable when arrived at our Hotel for the night. The very luxurious Howfield Manor, when they upgraded the is to their nicest room it was a very easy decision to stay in and not go back into the rain.

Planning the run up through Europe!

Dried out, we made our way to their restaurant for a magnificent meal of lamb and vegetables we have ever had, by a French chef aswell. Great Food, great staff, great room. It was excellent.

Up early for the run into Dover the following morning, more rain but at least not quite as cold. Met a bunch of bikers on their way to Cologne to snort chocolate. Once aboard the ferry it was dry and importantly for Sharon very calm.

The famous White Cliffs.

This couple owned a house in France and went their six month of the year.

Once in France it was time to learn a whole new trick. Let's drive on the other side of the road. A specially prepared arrow on the bike should help with that. Going around roundabouts the was very weird. Once we had found a quiet spot I set the GPS for Stockholm! And we see how far we would we get.

Half an hours riding later and we were in Belgium the third country we had been in since getting up that morning and to boot the sun was out and we were warm. A stop for lunch saw a local bike copper take some interest in us. The good kind, he was amazed that a bunch of Aussies where riding around the world. Very funny guy and let Sharon sit on his bike for a photo.

Another couple of hours and here we are in country number four the day - Holland - the ancestral home! Within 50 minutes we were in Germany, that was five different countries in one day, normal for a European but mind blowing for an Aussie!
Germany means the Autobahn and in many places no speed limit. It makes eating up the miles a breeze even at only 130 most of the way. Halfway across Germany and it was time for a bed for the night, took the next exit and stayed in downtown Oberhausen for the night.
Up early the next morning it was back on the Autobahn, before getting to Kolding in Denmark for our next stop.
2 days riding and we had been six different countries. Fantastic!

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Friday had arrived and the sun was out! We might have a nice day of it yet! Today we would go from Buxton to Bath to see my mum's cousin Anna and her husband Joe. To make the most of it I told the GPS to avoid the Motorways.
It was slow day but we got to see a number of lovely old buildings, especially in the towns of Leek, Painswick and Leek. Of course once you hit Bath you are surrounded by a town of beautiful Architecture. Bath is a place that you an understand the tough planning laws that are in place in many parts of the UK, modern looking buildings would spoil the whole town.
Joe and Anna live right in the middle of Bath and have really nice place built in an old Tramshed. It was great to see them both, it was 2004 since we last met.

For dinner they took us to their local restaurant, a little wine bar whose name escapes, but whose food was tremendous. Port belly, rhubarb pie, crème brûlée and a decent lemon, lime and bitters (with some instruction). Joe presented them with an Absinthe spoon as an entrance gift! It was a great night out with excellent company.

The next morning it was into Bristol for me to pick some wheel bearings and a bike cover. For Sharon it was shopping with Anna!
On my return from Bristol, Joe leant me the charger from Anna's Mac to see if mine would work, and what do you know it did! Yippee! Armed with this knowledge it was off to the local Apple dealer to source a new power supply and see if they had any key caps. Not only did they provide they key caps they had a whole keyboard that I could take - for nix. Double Yippee.
Once the newly acquired goods had been delivered back to the apartment it was off to lunch at this very nice Italian Restaurant.
After lunch we did some of the sight seeing that Bath is famous for including of course the famous Roman Baths, with their history extending back for 2000 years, they are most extensive from Roman Times. I wonder what they would have done had they discovered New Zealand!

With the sightseeing done it was off for a lazy dinner at the flat.

Repairs with the mandatory bag of drop!

Sunday morning was cold, wet and not the best weather so Sharon and Anna went to the markets for a spot more shopping while Joe and I lay about. Mom that decision cost 200 quid for an antique ring

Shopping done if was time to say good bye and head back to London for one night and then to Dover for the ferry to France. As surprise gift Anna gave Sharon a beautiful scarf to keep her warm for the rest of trip!
As we rode away the weather broke and for the first time since arriving in England we had Sunshine and no rain! All the way to London. Triple Yippee.
Very nice stay and it was great to catch up with the both of them.

Location:Bath, UK

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Peak District

Well attempt number two at getting to the Peak District - destination Buxton in the heart of the Peak District National Park.
When we left Fulham it was cool but there was no rain about 30 mins in up the freeway there was a huge accident, we probably could have ridden around but since there was someone trapped in a car we didn't think it was the appropriate thing to do. In the end the emergency services called in helicopter to take her away. It was pretty bad.
We ended up with some clear weather for a while but it didn't hold and while we could appreciate the the countryside once we left the motorway, we were both very cold once we lobbed at the Buckingham Hotel and were happy to get warm.
The hotel is quite close to the Buxton Opera house and had pictures of movies stars every where and lift was plastered in playbills. The room we stayed in was huge and had some great views to hills, very pretty. The restaurant had lamb shanks and mashed potato perfect for cold day, so good that I had it the next night also.

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While Sharon had a lay day I headed to Mytholmroyd (don't ask I don't how to say it either) to Adventure Spec to collect a bash plate for the bike (planned purchase when I left Aus) and Kreiga bag to replace the burnt top box (not so planned). The guys there offered me a cuppa, open their shed to let me put on the bash plate and were up for a good chat at the same time. Big thanks to them.
The county though the Peak District was desolate, cold and uninviting, but it was magnificent because of this, I had great day out even though it cold again. On the way back to Buxton I took a number of back roads to avoid traffic and ended up on top of a hill with views to Manchester one way and over the steep mountains of the Peak District the other.

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We will be back in the future for sure.

Location:Buxton, UK