BMW R1200GSA vs Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX

Saturday, 1 December 2012

We're packed and on the road.


Well, after a struggle our gear was squeezed onto the bike. Do you know we have over a kilogram of cables and chargers with us. Then there are the computer, camera, spare batteries, and so on. It all adds up very quickly to be far too much weight, so we culled as much as we could. Let's hope we haven't left anything behind we need.

We wobbled off down the road. It's been a while since I've ridden the bike fully loaded. I'd forgotten just how heavy it was. We got away about two pm which was a much later start than I would have liked, but as we weren't sailing until about eleven pm, and the departure point was only two hours away, I wasn't too worried.

We swung by Brian and Julie's in Essex to say goodbye and to pick up my first UK fine. I was captured on camera riding down a road in London that I wasn't allowed too. I can remember riding through an area thinking "I don't think I should be in here" but it was London, peak hour, dark, raining, on a Friday night, and I was following the sat nav's instructions. I'm going to write them a letter begging forgiveness for my lawlessness and I'm hoping that being an Aussie, they'll let me off. After all, we saved the poms bacon more than once in two world wars. Didn't we? Unfortunately Brian and Julie weren't home. It was a shame because it's always nice to see them. They are just nice people.

Next stop was a camping store where we picked up another Pacsafe, then we had everything we need security wise. Did I mention that the temperature was around three or four degrees and it was very cold riding. We bought some extra thermal socks and put them on in the shop. 

So here's a run down of me getting dressed to ride today. Jocks, thermal socks, another pair of thermal socks, triple layer riding pants, boots, T shirt, thermal shirt, jumper, triple layer riding jacket, buff, balaclava, helmet, thermal gloves, and, finally, motorcycle gloves...and I was still cold. 

As we got close to Harwich the temperature hovered around two degrees, then dropped to one and a half, then one. Yes, cold. With six miles to go the BM trip computer told me I had forty five miles left in the we shuddered to a stop with no petrol. Not again. Luckily I had our camp stove fuel bottle full of fuel and that one litre got us to Harwich. 

We made it with plenty of time to spare and decided to have a feed at the hotel near the port. I have lamented a few times recently that you don't see T Bone Steaks on the menu much any more. So when there was T Bone on the menu the decision was easy. I had the biggest T Bone I've seen in years.

We rode up the ferry ramp (as the first vehicle again) at around nine pm. After the bike was secured we found our cabin, dumped our gear, got changed, and found a bar to sit and have a drink. Half an hour later we were tucked up in our bunks and ready for a good sleep. The cabin was quite small, but very well appointed and very comfortable and I got the top bunk. Yay!

Good bye UK, it was fun. Tomorrow morning we'll wake up in Holland and trundle up to Amsterdam. I might even buy a pair of clogs.

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