BMW R1200GSA vs Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX

Friday, 30 November 2012

We're nearly ready to roll.


I spent ten minutes outside first thing in the morning making a small modification to the bike. I learnt a lesson from this. "DO NOT BREAKDOWN WHEN IT'S COLD". The sun was shining but it was only three degrees, and after a few minutes my fingers were freezing, and painful to use. I'd hate to be working on a bike for half an hour in these conditions, or worse. Brrrrrrr!

With this in mind we really need to move now. The temperatures are plummeting here this week (below zero at night) and I'm concerned about the dreaded black ice. I've never seen it, I don't want to, and I have absolutely no idea what to do if I encounter it. So I'll just try and avoid it.

After sorting our gear we have decided that it was just too expensive to freight stuff home. We don't have time to try and source a cheaper alternative, so we'll just leave it here in our suitcases and sort it all out when we get back.

With the morning sorted Nina picked us up to take us out for lunch. That's where things started to go wrong. We drove into London to visit a Japanese restaurant that has a great all you can eat deal. Unfortunately the deal was only for dinner, not lunch. No problem, we'll have lunch anyway. Then Nina got a nice surprise. A 60 pound parking ticket. Poo! That put a bit of a downer on the day. 

We made our way back to Hemel and stopped in at a fantastic camping store. Both Suzanne and I found some really lightweight running shoes made by Merrell. They are super comfortable and they squash nearly flat for packing. I'll be happy to leave my old sneakers behind. There's nothing wrong with them except that they take up way too much space in the panniers. We finished off the day by having a walk around old Hemel, then a couple of drinks at The White Hart.

  The White Hart, the only place I've ever been give a scotch and ice in a tall glass.

Tomorrow's plan is to get going around 10 or 11 am and head towards Harwich, dropping in on Brian and Julie in Essex on the way. The ferry is booked for tomorrow night's crossing around 10 pm from Harwich to The Hook of Holland so we have plenty of time.

It will be good to get back on the road.

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