Category Archives: BMW

Granada Nicaragua

We’re in!!  After 30 something countries on this journey, it’s still exciting to me every time the border officers let me in. They have the power to deny.  And then it’s another new country.. new territory for me to explore!  After crossing the border to Nicaragua, Mark and I decided to head straight to Granada.

It’s Walter!  He’s showing me that my credit card isn’t working here.  Big problem.  Well it’s a little problem really.  Every border crossing means I need to have the local currency to buy things. Usually I like to wait until I am in a town with an ATM so I can feel better about the exchange rate than using the dodgey people at the border willing to exchange money for us.   So until I reach town, I have been lucky that most fuel stations take credit card, even though they don’t like it.  Not this one!  Time to resort to  “El Banco de Mark”.  😉

Which is funny for me really.  For weeks I was the bank for Young James.  When I told James one day that the Sherri Jo bank was out of funds, Kevin became the bank for James.  And I used to tease them so much!  Now! It’s come back to haunt me, as I need to use Mark as the bank.  We are bikers.. we help each other, always. 😉

So Mark and I make it to Granada after navigating around the madness of Managua.  We had a bit of trouble finding a place to stay, but once we were settled, we head out to explore the town and find a much needed meal.

Testing out the new country and the new beer.  And our chicken that is served on banana chips!  Pretty good really from the grill on the street outside the Chinese restaurant in Nicaragua! 😉  But is was local Nicaraguan dish, not Chinese.  If you want Chinese food you order from the kitchen out the back.  We wanted Nicaraguan food from the same people on the sidewalk out the front.. ;-))  New country!

As we wandered the streets, guess who we ran into.. speak of the devils!!  Young James and Kevin!! I don’t have any photos of meeting up with them.  I think we got into more beers and catching up.  I do however have a couple photos from the night out of Kevin’s camera.

Would it shock you that this is Kevin’s photo!!??
The next morning we plan to meet up again for “brreake-fast”.. still trying to say/type it in a Scottish accent.  
Young James manages to meet up with his best friend from England.  Mark is trying to nurse a sore knee from his accident in Guatemala.  So Kevin and I set off to explore the town.

A morning walk leads us right into the markets.
  
Kevin is most amazed you can buy hair color along with your carrots and pineapple.  I was more attracted to the eye pencils with radishes myself. 😉

This is Kevin’s photo. We were trying to work out what the pink stuff was.  The lady explained to me you drink it, but I still don’t understand exactly what it is.  So Kevin bought some!  He carried this little pink bag forever.  I asked him every time he’d pull it out of his motorcycle if today was the day to try the pink stuff.  He’d look at it and say, “not yet”.  He eventually threw it out about 3 countries later. 😉  So it’s still a mystery to me what it is, but it’s very popular in the markets!

This cute little boy is selling baby chicks!

And this woman selling the big chicks..

We wandered into the plaza and fell in love with this little guy..

This man came up to us and said he would love to take us around us show us more.  We usually shy away from those guys but we both felt comfortable with this one and agreed it was a good idea.  If we learn a little or a lot, it’s still better than walking around and guessing what we are looking at.  So he’s hired!

First stop, (took no time to convince me) is a visit to the Cacao Museum… Chocolate!!!!!!

I learn to grind the cacao beans.

There is so much history inside the museum that shows how the Aztecs and Mayans used the cacao beans in their culture.  The history trail follows right through to “Mass Consumption” as they describe for the modern times in the United States.  Really good museum, well thought out.  I walked away with a bag of chocolate tea. (I would have fallen into the mass consumption category and bought heaps of chocolate, but it’s far too hot and will melt instantaneously). Kevin walked away with a new tea mug.. combined with my tea, we’re set!

The guide walks us down the “Calle del Beso”, the kissing street!  One thing he commented on with Kevin was that I should be on the inside wall of the sidewalk and the man should always protect the woman by walking on the outside. Kevin is only marginally shorter than I am, but he learned quickly that it feels better if he walks on the sidewalk next to me while I walk on the actual street for him to be taller.  I think we both looked at each other and laughed.

Check out the traffic around here.. you can see why the guide was trying to give us the best safety advice! 😉

Now another fun stop, that really perked Kevin’s ears up, a look into making Nicaraguan cigars!

The man shows us how it’s done and then offers to let you make your own.

I don’t smoke, but Kevin made one!

After you pick which leaves you want, you roll it, then it goes into a mold and you need to squish the ____ out of it…

A very proud cigar maker he is.. 😉

We actually need to get a move on.. After all that we have accomplished in one morning, the plan is to ride to the island of Ometepe yet today!

I got back to the hotel and Mark was sure he needed to give his knee a rest today.  So Kevin and I pack up for the island.  The humidity is crazy, and I dread putting on my hot riding gear.  But a quick goodbye to Mark for now and a very sweaty hug.  See you again Mark!

Kevin, hurry up!!  I need to get out of the street, the horses are coming! 

We leave Young James behind as well to enjoy a few days with his best friend from England.  And we’re off!


Mexico City

Frida Kahlo, Self-Portrait, 1940. See discussi...
Frida Kahlo, Self-Portrait, 1940. See discussion of her works below. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Welcome to Mexico City!!!!

This morning I separated from the boys to visit Mexico City on my own.  It was a big decision at the time. Especially since we had so much trouble on the outskirts of Mexico City’s highways and roads.. as well as the dread of living amongst the smog.  

However I had organized to stay with my hosts weeks ago, who are friends of Adam. (See California Death Valley and Yosemite posts).  I studied Spanish history in school and I’ve wanted to visit Mexico City for many many years.   I can’t just pass it up, being this close.

Eran, my host, lives with his wife and son in a small apartment and there was not space for 3 more bikers.  Eran tried to find accommodation near his house for the three, but it was far too expensive to even consider.  It wasn’t worth the boys to tackle the traffic, smog and prices just to wait for me.  And I really wanted to go, so we went our separate ways this morning.  I’ll meet up with them again further on down the road. 

Nice consolation to be greeted by these smiling faces!

Eran, my host in the center, rides a BMW 1200, and the other two ride KTM!!  Good men!! 😉

They have another guest already in the house. It was such a welcoming place to be as well as a super good home cooked meal..!!  Recipes from Israel in Mexico City!  An ironic and fun change of pace. I’m feeling really lucky to be here and knowing I made the right decision to come.

The following morning, I have a service scheduled with the KTM shop in Mexico City.  (Another good reason to make the trip into the city.  Finding KTM parts from here on down will be a challenge and I best take advantage of the close proximity of the shop). My gps does not work with addresses in Mexico. And knowing the craziness of the roads and traffic, Eran offers to take time out of his busy day to escort me to the KTM shop.   (I think he loves the idea of riding about on his bike this morning too.. A true biker. ;-))

OMG, so glad to be following Eran.  It’s not even rush hour!!!  That sign says Nebraska is coming up. Where am I again???

The guys at KTM were great and Eran waited around patiently for my service so I didn’t have to find my own way back. How lucky am I to meet people like Eran all over the world!

He’s organized to meet another BMW buddy of his for lunch. They plan on riding their BMW’s in Baja California soon where I just came from, and they wanted to hear about the ride.  This is a nice part of the city called Condessa; very much on the pleasant side!  I wouldn’t have guessed I could live like this from what I went through on the roads to get in to the city.  But it’s nice to see our bikes look so cultured parked by a fountain 😉

Mmmmmmmmmmmm… check out the lunch food!!!  Great choice Eran!!!  I don’t think in any other country in this blog have I carried on this much about the food.  I am totally in love with it here.. can ya tell????

While we are putting our coats on to leave, I look for my keys.  Can’t find them.  Crap!  I don’t have my keys!!!!

I made a lightening fast dash out to the bike, and how could I be this dumb!!??  (Don’t answer that…) They are in the ignition in the MIDDLE OF MEXICO CITY!!!  I took a photo as I could not believe it.  I have done this once before in Spain (and I was lucky that time too on a busy street).  But I figured it out a lot quicker.  This time, I sat through an entire meal, oblivious.  I am so lucky my bike is still here OR Mexico City is not as bad as I was told when it comes to theft.

All is well while we pack up.. could have been a totally different story.

Now I let Eran get back to his day, poor thing.  We locked the bike up in the garage and I take off to explore on foot and subway.

By the looks of the air here, might be best to travel underground anyway?  The only time I’ve ever seen it this bad was in the Phillipines.
So, up for a bit of Spanish History?  Check out the Spaniards taking control of the indigenous people. What is the priest saying.. “Bless you but we are going to kill you and take your land!” ???

In this one you can see why the ruins are in ruins!!

Every country in the world seems to have a similar history.  This is just a picture of theirs.

The museum was cool, but back out into the lovely smog, I carry on.

I go from this….

To this….!!!

For a long time, Mexico City was the largest city on the planet.  Last time I looked (several years ago) it was number 2 behind Seoul, South Korea.    According to this list http://www.city-infos.com/list-of-urban-areas-by-population it is now # 9.  They list Tokyo as being number one now, I didn’t know.. I’ve been there too.  It was the first city I arrived with my bike on this journey.  I was overwhelmed with the size and population, but didn’t know it was number 1!  It’s quite an interesting list, have a look.

I escape this madness and take the subway to the neighborhood of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera’s house and museum.  I really enjoyed reading about this super passionate famous lady and her relationship with artist Diego Rivera in my history class. Also a good movie is “Frida” with Salma Hayek if you haven’t seen it!

I LOVE their house.   They don’t allow photos inside as usual. You can only purchase a book with the photos in the little store.  Nope.

This little sign in their garden says it all….

Back into the center.. I find the most amazing contrast.

This massive metropolitan Cathedral and the shaman outside healing the people. He had a fair line of up local people to heal too!

Another day, another museum.  Into the center for amazing ruins they didn’t uncover until 1978… 1978!!  The reason is they had built the current city over an ancient city more than once. It was only when electrical workers chanced upon an eight-ton stone disk depicting the Aztec goddess Coyolxauhqui. Excavation unearthed a pyramid built in multiple layers. This is the spot where, according to legend, the Aztecs saw their sign to settle from their wanderings.

First, before I go in, I’m looking at the buildings on the edge of the ruins and wondering if there is more under them.  They are looking a bit uneven and wobbly if you ask me.

Here’s a small look at what the main Temple would have been like.

English: National Museum of Anthropology in Me...
English: National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City. Reconstruction of the Templo Mayor of Tenochtitlan Deutsch: National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City. Rekonstruktion des Templo Mayor in Tenochtitlan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Templo Mayor was considered to be and built as the “Center of the Universe” !! 

And then a new generation came along and built a whole new world right on top of it.. how did it lose it’s importance for all that to happen?!  Maybe see the photos of the conquest again above ;-/

I’m still fascinated that they only unearthed all of this in 1978….

Inside the museum building to see some of the artifacts they found… I love this stuff!  Sorry if it might be boring for you, but this blog is for me to look at and remember when I’m an oldie..

This is the god of death… “El Dios de la Muerte”

OKAY!!!  On to more FUN stuff!!!!!

My wonderful hosts have some more friends coming into town and organized for me to meet them in a special part of Mexico City to the Embarcaderos Nuevo Nativitas.  The actual area is called Xochimilco and were formally the canals used by farmers for crop transport.

Somebody had the grand idea of using the boats and filling them with beer, food and music!!

Eran’s friend took the photo and then didn’t like that he wasn’t in it. So the new and improved version is below. 😉

Apples, corn, beer, tacos, fruit, more beer, music, dancing.. or you can even bring your own picnic.

What’s really cool about this is that it’s a gorgeous day out not full of tourists to Mexico City.. it’s full of locals.  A favorite spot to spend a Sunday afternoon.  Love it!!

Despite the look of the traffic police above, I have loved so much my visit to Mexico City.  Made even more fun by my hosts Eran and Keren.  I am more than glad I took the time to stop here and experience this great city.

But the time has come to get back on the road.. story of my life!

I decide to make my way to Taxco.

It took an hour and a half of driving out of Mexico City before the smog even began to diminish.

I can’t believe I am this far into the countryside now and still need to wear my bandana to breathe.

One last point..  natural environmentally friendly farming practices viewed along the way… Good!! Unfortunately not enough to counter balance the exhaust fumes from the city.  I really hope some day will be the end of cars and trucks bellowing out blue and black clouds thoughout the whole world.

I’m looking forward to my next stop Taxco!  It’s well known as a silver center for Mexico.. and I love silver!!

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South Spain

 

After my night in the truck stop.. I decide to continue my way through Spain on the back roads to Madrid.  

I found a great property for sale… should I??  😉

Bull fight advertising in a village.. wasn’t sure but they seem to still be popular!

I love the back roads.. it appears that life is good out here.. and definitely more authentic than the toursity areas I was just at in Palma and Barcelona, however not taking away from how much I loved those places as well!

I have a host coming up in Madrid.  Alberto had given me his address for the gps.. and from the direction I arrived, I managed to navigate quite a busy highway system around the city.  Welcome back to the big time! 😉
Alberto met me at the driveway electric gate and we went in.. What a lovely home!  We went into the back yard to have a chat. 
Then he tells me after a while of talking… “My wife is not real keen that I have a strange lady at our house”..  I’m like “What?”  Heck,  I can understand that, thank you for inviting me, but I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable, and I can move on now.. no problem.  He says, “No, just meet her first and let’s see how we go..”  I sort of agreed, but really, it must be better that I go.
Other than the fact I am a strange woman in the house.. (?!ha!?), she was concerned that she doesn’t speak English.  Well, I took Spanish in school.  It’s been over 20 years since I’ve had a chance to practice, but I’ll do my best.
We had a little tiny chat.  I was able to say a few things and then went back outside.  I think there was a small approval, so Alberto set me up inside, I took a shower.  More chatting, Alberto grew up in Australia so we had plenty of stories to share.  He had lots of ideas and things he wanted to show me on the bike.  PLUS!  HE had just sold his KTM 690, same as mine, the week before I arrived!  Gee whiz did he have really bad luck with his, super bad experiences!  Part of wanting to meet me was to see how the heck I’ve gotten so far on my bike without it breaking down! 😉
However, the next day, he needed to go to work, he has a great business, making and distributing eyewear (www.veroptic.com).  Anytime you see photos of Alberto in this post, he has a different pair of glasses on.. all very cool ones at that. 
Alberto is very keen to show me around, but he has a business to run and my first day he must go to the office and work.. Just as well for me as it gives me the chance to stay around the house and work on my blog. We’ll head out to explore tomorrow.  Feeling uncomfortable around the house as I know that I must still make his wife uncomfortable.  But little by little we had more little chats in Spanish.  I  was amazed I could still get some of the words out that I did, but when I screwed up or completely forgot, Susana always helped me. 
She was really great for me.  I needed the practice really bad as I have got a lot of Spanish countries coming up.. Mexico, Central and South America.  Susana and I ended up getting on really well and she joined us on the ride the next day.. yay!

They took me through some beautiful back roads surrounding Madrid and met with a couple more friends at a very special authentic Spanish restaurant in a small town.   
I could read some but not all of the menu, and Alberto says I must try the local “delicacy”, baby pig.. I laugh at him and say “NO WAY!!”  Can’t eat a baby pig no way no how.  So we continue down the menu, nothing really jumps out and he explains more to me about this baby pig and how he thinks I would love it.  It’s certified and grown under controlled organic setting and is not a new born, but several weeks old needing to reach a certain height and weight before it is “ready”.   They worked hard at selling me on the idea of eating this, I still wasn’t keen but agreed.  It’s that funny line that I try to decide if I should experience this culture by saying yes and worrying about offending their culture if I say no.
The kooky waitress brings me my section of the pig.  Only the one side of hind quarter, thank goodness, it’s not like eating an entire piglet!  

Alberto, Primi, Susana and Pauli

And I have to say… “Lord have Mercy”.. it was DARN good!!! Guilt guilt guilt!!  But good good good!!!  Gee whiz, however they cooked it, was perfect.  So tender that meat, and a flavor that is truly different in a good way.. I’m so sorry little pig, or anybody else I might be offending by trying this.
I’m not a vegetarian but could be easily.  I don’t eat much meat normally, but on this world trip, you can’t avoid it.. a lot of the countries are mostly meat eating, including breakfast, lunch and dinner.. 3 times a day!  In my real life, I’d be lucky to eat any meat in 1 meal once per week.
I honestly pass up a lot of meat, especially at breakfast on the road, don’t usually eat much lunch if anything at all, but I admit that I’m eating more at dinner than I have ever included in my diet before.  And like this little pig, it is a dish this region is particularly proud of, and it will be something I will always remember.  

I ran out of business cards, and she wanted my website.. written on money.. okay!
After that amazing lunch, we set off for another town nearby to see a very large and famous Roman aqueduct.. gee whiz!! Those Romans gets around! 

Anyway, this freestanding aqueduct in Segovia is evidence of the medieval periods prosperity and was built long before there was a town around it. Alberto tells me it stands today without ever having a need for re-build. That amazes me, as it looks like something that could come down easy in an earthquake or war! Could we do the same today??  Even with modern machinery??

It was a great day all around, seeing a lot of this area and learning the history, experiencing the culture, good friends..this is what I love the most!

Ducking for cover during a little rain shower!

Now for another day.. Alberto and Susana keep talking me in to staying!!  There’s more to see!  They want to show me the city of Madrid, just a quick look around in their very cool convertible.  Nice little change!

Beer on the square..

Entertainment on the square is…. entertaining!  This one made me scream and jump (too many people saw me and laughed).  The head in the middle is the real guy, I wasn’t sure, and then he abruptly pushed the box up at me with some weird scary noise.. I screamed.. he turned his head like this in the photo and says.. very loudly.. “Besame!!”  (Kiss Me!!)  Oh my gawwdd…  I sat with my beer and watched this guy quite a lot.  He truly was disturbing on a continuous basis.. Could he be that good of an actor is this his way of being who he really is and making money at it.. ???

Not sure what this is really?  It’s teeth chatter for money.. part kangaroo and part antelope?

And a quick look of the old city.. very impressive clean city.. despite all the upset in city centers at the moment!~  All of the cities so far.. A lot of protests due to unemployment.

They are reporting 5 million people unemployed in Spain.  I’m not sure what protesting would do to create jobs.  Plus the country is on the verge of bailout from the European union.  A real mess and Alberto explains to me that the country as a whole has very little industry to rely on compared to other countries.   And he doesn’t see any change to this situation soon.

And a look at the new Madrid! These high rises are built on the old Madrid Real (soccer team) site.. which if I understand was sold when they bought “David Beckham”!  They’ve since relocated.

I love Spain.. Love it love it love it!  Besides these great people who took me in from a BMW forum!!  Who’da thought!?  They are the best hosts and I really got a lot out of my stay with them.. To live in their home for 4 days!!! and experience their family life, super yummy Andalucian food.. Susana!!  Regions are different, and she is originally from Andalucia..  I felt like I was actually was staying with family.. lucky me!!  I do hope they come to Australia someday so I can return the favor..

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Ephesus to Gocek Turkey

For the first time in a very long time, we make a mistake choosing a cheap place to stay for the night.  With promises of special discount to a place under renovation, we go.. However, it was more than under renovation. This place has been and will be forever under construction. A total scam.

I didn’t want to stay, but our bikes were inside the gate before we saw the conditions… big mistake.  Guilt and obligations to the family that lives there who are lovely people.  But the guy with the promises?  I wanted to shoot.  I’ve been in some rough places along the way, but this is the worst night I’ve had so far.  The room was full of smell of paint, which made me sick. And the dust from sanding not cleaned up from the floor.  Then I ended up having one of the worst dreams ever, (probably from inhaling the paint fumes) woke up in such a scare and just wanted to go..  Couldn’t get back to sleep in worry and also couldn’t wait for sunrise to wake Poly in another room so we can get out of here.

THEN, in my haste to get out using the ridiculous ramp the guy made, I fell.. big time.
Bike landed on my leg at full force, and it hurts like heck…  let’s just get outta here!!!

I’m really ticked off and embarrassed at the same time. Mama gets me a chair and truly concerned.. giving me kisses on both cheeks.. but where’s her dag gone son… ugh!!! (I had more words for him, I just deleted them.. 😉

Today Polytimi and I make our way north to Ephesus.  A good part of our route was recommended to me by a wonderful man, Robert at BikeTurkey.com
He suggested we ride north to this most amazing historic place before riding south to spend more time exploring Turkey.  Turkey is a huge country, and I’ve only allowed myself 10 days to explore..
Ephesus is a massive site, an entire city that can be wandered all day if you want.

Neither of us felt up to the 3 km walk around Ephesus.. which is a shame.  But from what I can see from here it is soooo impressive.  And so are the hundreds of tour buses showing up at the starting gates. So my plan to be the first on in at Delphos, was not the case here!  To see it off season with so many visitors first thing in the morning, I can only imagine the mayhem to come here during summer.. so plan accordingly if it’s on your list!

In a very quick nutshell, Ephesus was originally an ancient Greek city, which later became a major Roman city..with a population of over 250,000 in first century BC.

It also plays a major role in Christian history, being the place that the Apostle Paul wrote the Gospel of John and is also claims to be the last place that Mother Mary lived.. Whew, big history!!

Moving on down the road, at some point, I couldn’t take the pain in my leg.. as I realize the swelling inside my big boots is becoming quite a problem.. So at a fuel stop, it’s time to pull out the medical kit for the first time ever.  Which isn’t bad for the length of my journey to date not needing the kit yet!

But fuel stops here are a treat as well.. Not only do they fill the tank, but offer you a cup of tea (chaj)!  Granted it is the most expensive country in the world to buy fuel in, but being there is nothing I can do about that at the moment, let’s enjoy the tea.

Isn’t this great!!!!!While I’ve got the camera out, a photo of a young boy who works at the fuel station.. I just thought he was good looking..

Now some views from the road..

I don’t know the story here, but I saw this a couple times..  all these buildings are empty!  Modern Ephesus?  Looks like I returned to earth after the big war!

They do make good use of donkeys in this country… life still has a balance here of modern and old culture.
For the modern, plenty plenty plenty of road construction!
So much that every time we stopped for a big bulldozer, we started laughing!  How could there be that many roads all under construction at the same time?

This is not just on one road, these photos are various from the ride all day!

Now I understand that the super high price of fuel is being used to upgrade all the roads.  I can honestly say, that Turkey truly does have really nice roads.  And also good to see that a government or fuel contractors are not just pocketing the extra money.

Another fuel stop, with Poly in the lead.. she pulls in and I am like “what?”  and she keeps pulling in.  Realizing that she is not realizing, I am laughing so hard in my helmet.  She stops the bike, turns it off and starts to get off.. and when I pull up next to her with my laugh, she notices what the funny is..

As we head south, we get more mountains a little different weather, but really pretty.

After the rotten accommodation last night, tonight we opt for something better.. With a seriously throbbing hurting leg to help us justify, and prices still low before season starts, he find a good spot in Gocek.  Proper parking, no shonkey dodgey ramps tonight. Yay!

Poly’s bike is really great, she has all the newest and best gear!!   Mine is looking really awful in comparison..  (jealous!)

And out for a nice rewarding dinner!

 
And a very cute flirty waiter! 😉

Gocek Turkey is a beautiful part of the world, I am so glad Robert recommended my stop here.

Next morning, a little walk around before Poly moves on from her Sherri Jo tour..  She only had a week off of work and must start making her way back North to Athens already.

As for me, I continue my journey South.  Was really fun riding with Polytimi.. we had a great time! She now gets to experience for the first time as a SOLO rider on the trip home.. welcome to my world! ha!

Safe travels my friend! 😉

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Kos Greece to Bodrum Turkey

The ferry from Santorini to Kos, Greece is a midnight ferry.  The port is right down the serpentine cliff road.. and here I wait.. all on my lonesome.  Well, except for a really cute stray dog that wouldn’t leave my side.  If I sat in a chair, he sat IN the chair next to me.. If he heard a noise, he perked up and growled.. how cute to have my own little security device.

Eventually a handful of tourists were dropped off at the port as well, and ferry finally arrives.  I am here off season which means ferry choices are few!  But I’d rather go at midnight than at Noon during season with the supersize tour groups. 😉

Made it through the night, off the ferry in Kos.. just in time for a beautiful sunrise.  Hmm, what to do when you arrive an island so early in the morning??  Explore!  What else!

There goes my ferry to Rhodes, Greece..

That dag gone shadow is following me everywhere this morning!

 

I rode around the entire island and could have gone to the next ferry to Bodrum Turkey that afternoon.. but Miss Polytimi from Athens has decided she would like to get a taste of this travel on her new motorcycle.. and I love the company, so I decide to stay the night as her ferry is to arrive from Athens the next morning.

And here she is!

Early morning arrival and off to the first available ferry to Turkey this afternoon.. didn’t know what to expect, but it’s a cute little ferry!  I am used to little ferries, and big ferries now.. I still can’t believe how much of my journey involves a ferry!

We did it!

Arrival to Bodrum Turkey.. another new country, try to set the gps.

Navigating Bodrum, even with a gps turned out to be a great challenge.. it was taking me on pedestrian only paths right through the crowded market center near the marina..  I don’t understand, but I do know I need off this track!  Finally wiggled my way out with Polly following.. (I can hear the locals now as I tried to find my way.. damnn foreigners..) ha!

I had an address to the pansion I had prebooked.  But it just was not going to happen.  Turning circles, I still don’t know why the gps is all over the place, but the streets are thin and going every which way, must be built long before cars were part of the scene. We finally found a lovely man who led us to the address on his scooter.. Wonderful man!!

And with a new challenge of getting our motorcycles up a very tall concrete step for safe parking inside.. we’re here!

This was Poly’s first attempt at such a step.. I’ve done worse, still worried about it..but I wanted to give it a go. Poly didn’t want to and insisted to leave her bike parked on the street. It took a little encouragement, even though I am not the best person to give the advice.. but, she eventually did it too!! 

We have a lot to accomplish in a short time, and I wanted to see a bit of Bodrum, so we had a quick walk around.  Gee whiz they have some lovely things here.  Always a challenge when I see fun stuff I would love to have, and I can’t buy it!  So, a photo will have to suffice..

Then it’s the next challenge to get local money in a new country (Turkish Lira) and a mobile phone sim card.  I always try to get one if I will be in country more than 2 or 3 days..and I plan for 10 days in Turkey.  However, we are getting quite the run around as to where and how in Turkey.. Each store I go to seems to not know how to sell a sim card to a foreign person and pass us on to another shop.

Luckily, Poly made the process more fun as she dropped her supersize Starbucks coffee in this one!!

Knowing we can’t buy anything, we wander around Bodrum to see more of what it is like.. These Turkish boys on the beach must be best friends..

 Turkish scooter, no doubt!
Wood boats are the go around here.. I can only imagine what it’s like during summer tourist season, there are so many!
Caught a couple of guys playing cards in the morning on this one..

It’s fun to have a friend to wander around town with.. I usually do this alone, so it’s a nice treat for me that Poly came all the way from Athens to enjoy a few days with me in Turkey..  watch out Turkey.. two female bikers on the loose!!! 😉

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Athens, Greece Part 2

So.. it’s Alex and I on tour today.. through Athens and to Acropolis!  First to tend to some errands though.  One thing not to forget on such a big journey.. you are not exempt from running important errands, no matter where you are in the world! ;-=)

Somewhere amongst the spring blossoms are lots and lots of white Greek buildings!

First order for the day was a wild and hairy motorcycle trip on the highway around Athens to the sea port Piraeus, where I need to pick up my ferry ticket and more for me to know where I need to go the next morning on my own.  (I usually do this as I hate being in a panic if I can’t find some place as important as the boat.. especially with a 7:30 AM departure the next day.. best for me to be prepared!)

I also don’t make a very good motorcycle “passenger”,  as young Alex flys full blast through the highway traffic.. in between cars who are side by side at top speed??  All I could do was hold on and keep my eyes closed!  I knew from Poly he is a good rider and to trust him.. but it tested me!!!  (Thanks again, Alex ;-))

The next errand was an absolute SHOCKER!  Some very NAUGHTY Greek friends had an idea sparked by Spyros Simopoulos from Los Touristas.. to pay for the items I had ordered at the Makan Trt Touratech shop in Athens…????? Four of them got on board.. Spyros, Vaios, Nikos and Poly.  Can you believe they paid for my things??  I am so shocked and grateful.. How totally amazing are my friends here! I’m disappointed I didn’t take a photo of Spyros and Vaios from Los Touristas Moto Club when they visited and interviewed… but here is one of Nikos (from BMW Club Hellas) and Poly.

Nikos, Me and Poly

Luckily, Poly had a couple photos to send me of the guys….. thank you!  This is Vaios..!  Who rides a KTM 990 Adventure.. Good Man! 😉

and Spyros Simopoulus (we won’t mention his bike.. from Japan.. ha! ;-)))

Naughty Naughty freinds.. love them!  So Alex drove me to the shop to pick up my new shoes and battery for my gps.  Both of which were not cheap!  THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH… !

I can not tell you how sad I was to let go my shoes.. I even considered paying to send them home in the post.. until I came to my senses.. But remember, these are my ONLY pair of shoes, they have been everywhere with me.. PLUS, remember the story when my subframe bolts broke in Siberia, and Walter tied on the rear end of my bike with packing straps until we made it to the next town over 400 km away?  Along this path, he carried my gear and lost my shoes!!! Then he back-tracked 180 KM!!!! to find them on the side of the Siberian road and returned them to me..big thanks again for that Walter! The Drama these shoes have seen.. and I have to let them go??  ;-(

Here is my parting photo.. and their replacements..  Angela kindly gave my old ones a proper send off in the box.. I’m sad.. but Thank You to my shoes.. who have taken me to odd places in the world.. miss you!!

Welcome new shoes..!!  I hope you will be happy with what you are about to encounter.. 😉

I had contacted Angela from Italy, and she had worked hard to track down the exact model and color of shoes and had them shipped here.. she is the greatest.. but then she goes the extra mile.. as I have learned all Greek people do.. She gives me a new TOURATECH JACKET!!!  Holy schmoley..  I am blown away again!!   I love Greece,  I might have to move here.. ;-)))  Here we are with our matching jackets.. and thank you so much!!  I love it and wear it.. everyday!!  Obviously, if you want the best service in Athens, go to Makan Trt Touratech http://www.makan.gr/  ;-)))))

Okay, we still have that all important Athens tourist attraction to see.. Acropolis and the Parthenon.  it is an amazing part of history and the focal point for most visitors to Greece.

I like this easy explanation that I found at http://www.in2greece.com/english/places/historical/mainland/acropolis.htm :   

Acropolis
The word “Acropolis” means city by the edge, and there are many acropolises all over Greece. They were always situated on a high spot, and were often used as a place for shelter and defence against various enemies. The one in Athens is the best known of them all, and is therefore often referred to as “The Acropolis”. Towering over the capital, its is a very impressive sight, and walking around on its grounds, it gives the visitor a feeling of awe and a true sense of the greatness of the ancient Greeks.

Mythology :The founder of Athens and Greek civilizations was king Cecrops, according to mythology. He had been born out of the earth and was half man half snake. He taught the people many crafts, as well as the burial customs, and decided which god would protect the city.
There were two candidates: the goddess Athena and the god Poseidon. In order to prove their worth, and perhaps bribe the people, they each presented the city with a gift. Poseidon struck his trident into the rock of the Acropolis, and out sprang a well. The people ran to the well to drink its water, but had to spit it out since the water was salt, Poseidon being a sea god. Then Athena touched the ground, and an olive tree grew out. This proved to be a much more useful present, so Cecrops decided that Athena would be the patron of the city – thus giving it her name as well. The wooden statue of Athena which originally stood on the Acro-polis was believed to have fallen out of the sky. 

I have to admit, I was struck by the greatness of it all as well.. but I was also struck by the greatest amount of tourists who are visiting this place.. off season!  (I get really.. looking for the best word.. ancey?  when I am surrounded by crowds)..  I found it really hard to enjoy Acropolis with the masses.  Therefore, we did a somewhat quick run-through and left.  I have read and learned plenty outside of the site.. I am glad I went in, felt it and experienced it.. but it was enough for now.

Alex is an excellent tour guide for the day.. many many thanks to him for showing me around.. He has good taste, and intends to be moving to Melbourne Australia soon… watch out ladies!!!

Now we can fast forward to another great night out in Party in Athens.. !! It’s a birthday celebration in a really cool bar downtown..

 Happy Birthday Sophia!

I get to ride on the back of another bike with another good looking Greek man, Vasillios!  Well half Greek, his Mom is American ;-))

These are the busy streets of Athens at 3 in the morning!

We arrived home around 4.. I got straight to packing my bags so I can get on the road to the ferry by 6.. they surprised me again with Nikos showing up at the house to ride with me, Poly and Vassilios to the port.. with no sleep!!  These are great friends!  You all are THE BEST OF THE BEST!!!!

It was a chilly ride and I learned that I can still be really drowsy..on a motorcycle on a highway in cold air when I haven’t slept.. that’s a worry!

But seriously, I am truly amazed these guys would ride so early with me on a Sunday morning.. so far out of their way and a nice sleep in.. xxxxx

We arrive the port in plenty of time.. and I got ONE MORE last and great surprise…  I actually have a dear old friend myself.. whom is currently working in Spain and I did not expect to see.. but my April Fools’ surprise number 800 for Athens comes to see my at my ferry!!!

Because he is such an OLD friend, he gets the black and white photo.. ha!

His name is Captain Giorgios Apistolas.. and we met way back in 1995 while I was on a Mediterranean Cruise with my sister.. (no photos in my computer from then.. long before I was using a digital camera)

I did have this one photo in the computer for some reason. Here we are on the Carribbean Island of Martinique in 1997.. in a tiny hideaway restaurant on the beach, of which we rode to on George’s little motorcycle that he kept on the ship!  14 years ago!!  Can’t believe it..  We’ve continued to stay in touch this long..

So so happy to see my good friend.. really special to me.. and quite a perfect ending to my time in Athens..

The time has come to say goodbye to all these amazing Greek friends.. I feel like the luckiest woman biker in the world!!  And you can see why it wasn’t the location of Athens that made this trip… it is TRULY the people.. outstanding memories I will cherish forever… 😉
Time to board the ferry…

Usually, I’d be waving to George as he sails away.. this time it’s the other way around..

How I will miss everyone in Athens.. Special thanks to Polytimi for being the most amazing host, introducing me to so many new friends and credit for many photos above!  As well as BIG thanks to everyone, your freindship and so many amazing gifts..   Grateful doesn’t seem a big enough word!!!

I do hope we ALL meet again…


Athens Greece

Delphi was hard to leave, I knew I could stay there another day.. easy!  But I’ve got a plan, and sometimes it’s best to stick with it.. how to absorb so much history in such a short time!?

Here are some little snipets of my ride from Delphi to Athens…  sorta liked the look in the rear view mirror!

I see these everywhere.. in all shapes and sizes, in memory of someone who has died here on the road.. many times in the middle of nowhere and there are candles burning inside.. very dedicated to their losses..

Old meets new…

On to the supersize city of Athens..!!!  Part of the decision to leave Delphi for Athens, is the weather takes a big turn to several days of heavy rain tomorrow.. I’d rather ride today, it’s nice! Looking forward to getting there of coarse.. but it’s even better when you know you have a place to stay, a new friend and host!  And with a handy Garmin gps, it guides me right up to the house of this big city of 11+ MILLION people, no worries.. I love that!

Here I meet a lady, Polytimi Boznou, who has invited me to stay with her while in Athens.. introduced by another friend Ian Coates..!

I arrived to her house a bit before she did and got the photo!

I’m not sure how she sees out that visor, but she says its good! 😉

Poly has recently bought this nice bike, and looking forward to some adventures of her own.. we have lots of stories and info to share.. 😉

We immediately know we will get on well and surprisingly she has my 4 days in Athens completely scheduled!

Being that it IS raining nearly the entire time I visit, the schedule and my Athens experience is more about the people than the destination..looking back at all of my favorite places on my trip so far, I noticed that each of them were my favorites when I had good people around me..

First stop, Poly’s BMW Club meeting with the presidents 40th Birthday (George Bernados in the white shirt) to boot!

 Poly and I at a very beemer blue bar..

We both love to be surrounded by good looking men, and we’ve achieved that here!! How lucky are we!!! ;-))))

(Thanasis Pafilis, Spyros Kapodistrias, Vassilios Exarhos, Konstantinos Fountas, and me!)

Try to say all their names 10 times fast.. ! (Glad they are not fussy about the bike I ride.. 😉  So Night #1 in Athens, was a treat, really had a good time.. so much so, that the birthday boy ends up giving me gifts! Is this a Greek tradition I might learn to like?? ha! A club t-shirt, stickers, patches, calendar.. thanks George!

Probably the easiest thing to do with Night #2 is to post the interview/video they made.. Poly invited another bike club she attends over, called Los Touristas.. they came bearing treats (really yummy box full of desert cakes) and video camera!  Oh dear, should I be worried? With a few prepared questions, I did my best to answer them all… I sound like an absolute idiot, (as usual), but it was so nice of them to have an interest.. and I really love the music and photos at the end!!  Thank you Poly, Spyros, Vaios and Los Touristas Moto Touring Club!!  And if you around Athens, they are worth meeting..! http://www.lostouristas.gr 😉

Want to meet more interesting Greeks on bikes??

Night #3 we meet Orestis and Elias at a coffee shop around the corner.. Two very interesting men who travel a lot on their bikes and many more interesting stories to share..  I think this is part of the fun traveling by motorcycle rather than by camel.. or backpacking.. I might be wrong but there seems to be such a feeling of “brotherhood” if I can use that term as a woman in the biking world.  It seems like meeting with family at every stop, in every town, in every city.. it’s the greatest club to be a part of.. the World Club!

Orestis wanted to meet to also do an interview for an online biker magazine,  http://www.bikerstime.com  as well as on to his personal blog at orestistrips.blogspot.com.
And Elias has also done a lot of traveling and had many good tips and stories to share as well!!  I have to admit, I am really really embarrassed by the attention… but love that I had an opportunity to meet these guys as well.. all organized by Poly!

But wait!!  She has one more to meet tonight…Poly says I must meet the best looking biker in Athens..  Alex!

Sheez.. what can I say.. Poly has lots of awesome biker friends (and they are all good looking!) While they are talking, Poly has arranged for Alex to show me around Athens and Acropolis tomorrow.  Well…. okay!  And somewhere in there they have decided I won’t be taking my bike, instead to ride on the back of Alex’s beautiful red 1200gs.. Well.. okay!  Did I mention.. I love my life!??!!

Athens to be continued..

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Croatia Mountain Ride

It’s not sunny, but it’s not raining either….Hallelujah! Let’s Ride!!!!!!
It’s Croatia in the Mountains today… whew hew!!  Meet Rakela, Ivan and you already met Anton, my host!
The day before this it was raining hard so I went into Split, just 20 km down the road to wander around the historic old city.  When I was walking on the street I see a big BMW1200 on the sidewalk with heaps of worldly stickers on it!  That bike has been places and where is it from?  I see the registration in Croatia, and I’m like.. hmph!  Then this tall man walks up to me and clearly his bike, I introduce myself.  He enthusiastically asks many questions of which I tell him I am staying with Anton.. He says, I know that guy!!  Why didn’t he call me to tell me you are here??!!  “I don’t know!!”  So he rings Anton straight away.. Anton apologizes for not putting out a Croatia wide post that Sherri Jo is in town, but we make a plan to ride together.  Cool!  
So this is the day we ride!

Good view of how curvy the roads are.. this is the same way it looks when riding along the coastal road, such tight twisty curves which usually stays right on the water.. which is cool,  but usually I don’t have a bigger view of it like this.
I always feel good when all the bikes are together…  
Close by, Ivan (pronounced eevon, not eyevan) shows me amongst the hills these little war bunkers.  He points out a few of them within view.  One thing that is always a part of my experience ever since I have been anywhere in Europe is war history.  From Estonia to here.  All countries have it, it just seems to really stand out to me in these particular countries, probably because there is so much of it!  And of coarse here in Croatia, their last war was so recent in the 1990’s.  But these bunkers are from WW2 if I remember correctly.
As we follow Ivan around, I remember thinking in my helmet that he is like a proper tour guide!  He stops the bikes and explains and shows things. What a nice guy!! I didn’t realize it until later in the day when I asked, but Ivan is quite a tour guide… seriously!  I knew he was a good friend of Anton, and that he had a motorcycle shop near Split, but I’m slow.  I found he rents out motorcycles in the shop to tourists and can include Ivan as a tour guide if they choose! Here is his website if you might be interested in a motorcycle or any other holiday in croatia! http://www.visit-croatia.co.za  Highly recommend it, especially if you want to explore away from the mad tourist route!! 
So, our next stop is a water well.  He was pretty sure I had never seen how the villages get their water, and he was right.  That embankment is built for rain water to drain into the well, and the little house is where you’ll find the bucket when you need some water.  Gee whiz, I have had it easy in my life!  Regardless of the work involved, the water is clear and beautiful.
Rakela, whom I just met yesterday, is on the phone.. He finishes and comes over to tell me that he has organized a newspaper and television interview for me in Split.. Man on the job!! Heck!  I can’t imagine!  I feel a bit embarrassed and not particularly worthy of such interest… I’m just a girl on a bike, and not very good at it either…

Photos by: Anton
We ride through many little mountain villages.  With the gray clouds of winter and dead trees, it certainly adds to the character.
After a very fun morning both on road and off road, we pull up to this house.  Off the bikes and Ivan asks, “You all hungry?”  Well, actually, yes!  But where are we??
Ivan, being the ultimate explorer on a motorcycle had found this house a few months ago by accident.  He befriended the owner and knows he can whip up an excellent meal.  Without notice, we are hoping we score a good meal today too.
Yes!  He’s home and there is plenty of trout in the pond!
The stream water flows into and out of his own little catchment.  With the net in one scoop, we have fresh fish.  On to the floor where they get a knock on the head.  (I couldn’t watch or photo that part..)
And then moments later, dinner in hand!!! (So sorry little guys, but thank you…)
Next surprise, I think we are just going into his house, but this is more like a pub/restaurant.  We are in the middle of nowhere!  There is not a sign outside, I would have never thought to stop here if I was riding on my own.. and it’s so cool!!!!!
He gives us a drink of his homemade brew… really strong, so I just had this tiny bit.  I don’t drink while riding motorcycle, but in this case, it is special hand made and I don’t want to offend…  Check out the walls!!!
 
The boys warming up by the fire… isn’t it romantic!!?  ;-))  ha!
Food starts coming out, bread cheese and meat..
And then, the fish and potato!!  Oh dear, they were so alive moments ago, but they look darn tasty now…  finger lickin’ goooood…
I’m still amazed at what a fun restaurant is out here.. They have really put a lot of work into creating such a treasure, but who would know it’s here??  Understandly some of the locals would, but it’s far off the beaten track and wouldn’t be sustainable by any means.. But lucky for us, it was absolutely awesome..
Back on the bikes, and it has actually started raining again.. who cares, we are all so full and happy, and I didn’t know it at the time, but Ivan has a lot more he wants to show us!

To be continued…

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Old Road of Bones Russia – River Crossing Part 3

I wasn’t looking much forward to getting on the road from Tomtor, because the road into town was so gravelly.. I didn’t like it.

But I was pleasantly surprised that the road was good for a really long time!  There had been a bit of rain, gravel was gone, and it was more like compacted hard mud.
Very easy, and I was cruisin’!!
Walter stops at one point to check on me and he says, “I am really impressed with your riding today Sherri Jo”.. I said, “Don’t be impressed with me, it’s a really nice road for once!”
He mentioned we have a rather large water crossing ahead.. the biggest one of all.. Why did he have to tell me that???
We arrive the river, and the big broken wood bridge.. Then it dawns on me, that is the vision I had in my head that defines the Road of Bones for me. Big river crossings with broken bridges.  I got this from the “Long Way Round” series, and even though I just skimmed through that series before leaving on this trip, I did see this part and remembered it clearly.  Ewan and Charley got a big truck to carry them across.
My biggest fear about this trip was water crossings.. particularly deep water crossings.  And I knew to travel with the “boys”  I must be able to do it myself.  I envisioned the others would be watching, but if I fell over in deep water, and my bike pinned me down would they get to me in time before I drowned?!!!!  Crazy thoughts, I know… seen too many movies..
But it turned out they boys cancelled, and it was just me and Walter.
So I ask Walter if maybe we should go back to the village and at least get a back up “male” person with more strength than me to have on stand by??
Walter wants to walk the river first – too see what we are up against.

He checks several different spots.. quietly going here and there.. for literally an hour.
The water current is so strong.  Difficult yet do-able in the shallow, but the deep part is a problem, and there is always a deep part..  How to hold the bikes up in the deep current and if my bike stalls, how the 2 of us will be able to push it out ourselves through the boulders.
He finally comes back to shore and I mention my idea of going back to that deserted village we passed (you know the one in Long Way Round where Claudio the cameraman gave up on the boys and took his sleeping bag across and slept in a defunct house?)
I saw a man on a roof as we passed by earlier, maybe he could be the “back up man?”
Walter says no, he can do this..
Okey Dokey!!  I know he knows what he is doing!
We are very lucky with low water levels this year.. 
He makes a decision where we must cross.
Wouldn’t you know, my bike goes first!  😉
First job however, is to take off as much gear as we can walk across.  This is my first trip across and now I really get to feel how strong that current is..  I am carrying an armful of gear, and deary me.. I nearly fell over often.. so now I know it’s not just the bike when I go down next time..  
I love my Rukka gear, it is Goretex, but the water is coming in anyway, under the pants leg and into my boots.
I have big supersize motorcross boots with the best protection that go to the top of my shins.
They filled up immediately with super cold mountain river water.  These would be ideal for leg workouts in the gym!
Okay, struggle back across to get the first bike.
Walter jumps right on, ready to go… I think he’s pretty hyped up.  I am huffing and puffing, and wishing we could just take a minute.. 😉  I’m usually good with energy.. and I used to tease Walter that he was slow on foot.  But on a bike, that sucker has all the energy in the world!  And completely reversed as I am the slow one..  I best not tease him next time he is struggling to walk up a hill… 😉
Lets go!
My job is to be on the opposite side of the current to push against the bike to keep it from going downstream while Walter motors through.
He goes in well, but there goes the back end downstream.  I focus on pushing there, and then he goes again as the front end takes a turn downstream.. So up to the front I go.  Back and forth until we make it across.. Good news, the bike didn’t stall!
Whew!  I am pooped!  That was hard work.
My camera is well protected on the other side..  but I said to Walter I would like to film this.  He said that it’s common for the best things to photograph or film get missed because it takes everyone to help do the job and no one to hold the camera!
So back across the river in heavy water logged boots we go.. and start his bike up. He’s had a think about this photo opportunity, and says, after I help him get past the deep part, we should be safe for me to go to shore to set up the camera and then come back to help with the rest.
Same deal, the front end wants to wash away, so I push there, and then to the rear.  Once out of the deepest bit, I trudge my way to shore, and he yells out.. “Hurry Up, my battery is underwater!!”
I set my camera quickly on a log to film and head back.
He starts going before I get to him, and throttles right through to the other side.  Easy Peasy!!
He’s a Master!!  And made it look so easy in the process!  We crossed the river, completely unassisted, no men behind the scenes as he puts it.
I did end up posting the little clip on Youtube.
We didn’t get to film the hard parts, but it got recorded none-the-less.
And one very proud Walter Colebatch, as he deserves to be!! 

Waterlogged and cold, but happy to be on the other side.
Just up the embankment is Kyubeme, which is only fuel stop, and the official end to the Old Road of Bones! (They do have very creative fuel stations here..)
So there we go!  We survived the craziest most hazardous road I have ever been on!!
Big marks to Walter who was brave enough to take on this unpredictable road with a completely inexperienced off-road female rider.  He must like to set up his challenges to greatest difficulty levels!
Now, you’d think this would be the hardest part of the day.. Niyet.
We rode 150 km from Tomtor, crossed the big river several times with gear and motorcycles.. and we are back onto the “main” road.   You’d think this would be enough for one day??
Nope, it’s just the beginning….  and it gets worse..
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Yufuin Japan – My night in the Motorcycle Museum!

Of all the most interesting discoveries on my adventure!

How did I end up sleeping at the museum?

Before I left Adelaide, I put the question out on the Horizons Unlimited website for any advice on routes to take in Japan.  (where I met Hiroyuki and his wife!).. well I also got a message from Kim in Denmark who advised me of a Rider House in Yufuin along side a Motorcycle Museum.. they offer free accommodation to those on a bike, and I was up for free!!  They say Rider Houses are more common in the north.. but even though I am south, I knew it was a place a wanted to check out and of coarse a motorcycle museum to boot!

Wow!  Had no idea what an incredible and complete museum..!

Warning…. Heaps of photos to follow…

Sorry the photos don’t express just how many there are.. and how fascinating it is to walk through starting with the ancient ones, through to how they developed, and nearly up to date..
I thought it was interesting to see the process of how today’s bikes have morphed into what they are little by little.. 
So many different ideas with a common goal..
Here is one of my favorites.. I love this bike, the Honda Goldwing.. same as my Dad’s old bike.. Must have been when I fell in love with riding.  Dad had a Goldwing and owning his own business, he worked 6 days a week.. then on Sunday, if Mom didn’t want to go, I went on a ride with Dad.. Just loved riding on that bike, big comfortable seat, with armrests – it was great!

I remember sometimes when I would come home from school, I would polish Dad’s bike.. I used to get on it and move it around myself… pretty brave for a kid with how big and heavy it is..

Around the corner and I came across a World Adventurers bike — very cool!!

I don’t know his name, but I am impressed and inspired!

Hiroyuki has read my blog – good on ya Mate! This is a friend of his, and forwarded his details!  He is my friend, name is Toshiyuki Araki who live in Fukuoka-city.
http://www.wtn-j.com/html/ridersalbum/toshiyukiaraki.htm

And what an amazing route!

I can’t read Japanese, but from what I could tell, this was 1977? That might be totally wrong.. but needless to say, it was a while ago..

(I wonder if my bike will end up in a museum someday.. ha!)

I will continue the blog on another page, as there is that much more!!  Stay tuned!

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