BMW R1200GSA vs Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX

Sunday, 15 July 2012

More rain, more mountains, more winding roads.


Last night we endured what was probably the biggest thunderstorm I’ve ever encountered. Rain and hail pelted down for hours and hours. The lightning was just one flash after another with the gaps between flashes being less than a second. It was almost like a strobe light. The thunder was incredibly loud and rolling across from our left to right and each clap lasted ages. The second a thunder clap ended another started straight away. I thought our poor little tent was going to give in under the onslaught of the hail, but it stood up to it all. We got a very small amount of water in the tent but all in all it did a great job of looking after us. It’s an MSR Mutha Hubba and the only thing I’ve found fault with is that he bright yellow fly makes it very bright inside early in the morning. Otherwise, brilliant. Suzanne was so impressed that she wants to write MSR a letter and tell them how good the tent is. We have now added our first advertising sticker to the bike - an MSR one that was in the bag with the pegs. We're happy to display it.

OK, it's really the second ad sticker. We have had a Concept Music sticker on the bike since day one but it's not really an ad as much as a thank you to Graham at Concept, and spreading the word about a great shop in Perth. No, he's not sponsoring us, he's just a genuinely good bloke and will look after you if you ever need a musical instrument. 

I’ve just taken a walk around the camp site. There is water lying everywhere and people are drying out gear all over the place. The front office was flooded overnight, and a lot of people slept in their cars. I think we came out of it very well.

Breakfast was taken care of and we hit the road at our normal middayish time.
We punched Postojna Cave into the Sat Nav and pushed the “Avoid Motorways” tab. This tab is probably the best bit of equipment we have with us. The plotted course was an hour and a half, as opposed to forty minutes on the motorway, but it was worth every extra minute. We rode along roads that wound through farms and little villages and the whole thing was just what we imagined Slovenia to be like. Once you’re out of the city it is stunning. We even saw our first stork perched on a chimney.

Our first stork, no baby though Maybe he just dropped it off.

On one particular stretch of road I had to stop and get Suzanne to take a couple of photos as I rode past. Just look at these roads. We left the panniers and a lot of gear back at camp and I reckon that combined with Suzanne being off the bike it dropped about 150 Kg. Boy was it noticeable. The bike pulled a hell of a lot harder out of corners, and on roads like this that means fun, fun, fun. I have to get out for a few rides by myself I think.

One out of ten for style, but ten out of ten for fun.

I haven’t worked out exactly what these signs mean...

...but I think it means don't ride like a dic*****

We arrived at the Postonja Caves and bought our tickets for the train ride through the cave system. Yes, train ride. Off we go for about a kilometre into the cave, then it's off for about a one and a half kilometre walk through this extraordinary cave system. No photos are allowed (but as usual that didn't stop the dic****** taking photos, flash and all. I did my best to get in their photos and ruin them. Terrorist photo bombing.

You can read about the cave at:

How good is it travelling? While we were queuing for the train we met a couple from the Czech Republic. Ota and Lida. When they heard what we were doing they asked if we were going to visit the Czech republic. When we said yes Ota immediately invited us to stay with them for a few days while we are there. We were separated during the tour and we got the train after them on the way out, but Ota was waiting for us with a piece of paper with all their contact details. Great people, and we'll take them up on their offer.

After the cave experience it was onto the cave animal display which features some “Human Fish” which are much like Salamanders. This was followed by a butterfly collection containing 7,000 butterflies. I think Suzanne took a photo of every single one. Watch out kids, every face painting from here on will be a butterfly. Here are a couple of her favourites.

And so on, and on, and on...

It was a day with a difference today, and very enjoyable, but tiring. We decided that the quick way home down the motorway was our best option. Yes, we woosed out and took the easy way home. Hope there’s not another storm tonight.

Where’s Rex’s Buff?
She was a cheeky girl, with a Buff.

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