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    July 10 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    I've been home since Friday night. I've unpacked and cleaned the BMW GS 1250.

    When I returned from riding my Vincent to the Arctic circle in 2008 I was able to list all the repairs I had done along the way and what needed to be done now that I was home. I could say with reasonable confidence that the Vincent had returned 55 miles per gallon and had used half a litre of oil and a can of chain spray. Back then I traveled with my friend Graham who had a new BMW 800. We both set off trips to zero at the start and when we checked in northern Sweden they where 1 mile different from eachother so of course I said Graham's must be wrong.

    Riding the BMW a longer distance from UK to Malta to Latvia to Sweden then back to UK is a different story. It has a bigger engine and I went a bit faster than I did on the Vincent. The BMW returned 60.1mpg. it used no oil and nothing at all needed adjusting. I had set the trip to zero before I started and it says I've traveled 5170 miles and was riding for 113 hours. I counted 15 countries visited.

    My next trip may well be back on an old motorcycle. Riding my Velocette Venom to Malta. Either in autumn or next spring.

    I'll attach pictures from the Vincent trip and one of the Velo which is ready to go and one of the BMW in Malta.
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    Congratulations on another successful trip [Andrea]

     
  • Day19

    Hook of Holland port

    July 8 in the Netherlands ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

    I'm sitting on a ferry waiting to sail back to UK from the Hook of Holland and I was thinking the last time I watched any TV or heard news was June 5th. There was TV in every hotel but I never switched it on.
    Not knowing the news can have a down side as I remember setting off one morning from a hotel in Poland very close to the border with Ukraine. The road ahead was blocked by a military tank.
    I thought the war had escalated.
    It had broken down.
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  • Day18

    Apeldoorn Holland

    July 7 in the Netherlands ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    I wasn't looking forward to the ride down past Hamburg and Lubeck on highway number one in Germany as I know it is always very busy and today it was a nightmare. After less than half an hour I saw the sky was black ahead of me and rain was falling very hard so I stopped under a bridge and put my phone in a plastic bag with my passport in my inside pocket. I had ready a thin cheap but very waterproof jacket of the type walkers use and put that over my motorcycle jacket then set off into the mailstrom. The rain was so hard I could see only the length of two trucks in front of me. Thankfully everyone driving was sensible and we all slowed to 50kph and kept a good distance. The rain was hammering off my clothing. If forgot to change my gloves for the waterproof ones so my hands after soaked in seconds but it wasn't very cold so it didn't matter until I stopped and had to peel my gloves off. Eventually the rain cleared and we speeded up. Normally I sit around 125kph but as I was on a road with no restrictions for a few minutes I sat at 190kph and had a laugh when I looked in my mirror and saw a white van wanting to overtake
    .
    Now I'm in a not very nice hotel in a forest near Apeldoorn Holland. Two hours ride from the ferry which I'll get tomorrow afternoon.

    This morning I got an email from Google whom I have let track my whereabouts for years. Every month it gives a summary of where I've been, how far I've walked, cycled, driven, flown etc. I'll put a screenshot in the photos. As you might imagine it has been an interesting month.
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  • Day17

    Lübeck Germany

    July 6 in Denmark ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    Thanks to friend Gunter for a meal last night a place to stay and a hearty breakfast.
    I rode over the bridge from Sweden to Denmark then after a boring ride through Denmark I got a ferry which took around an hour to get to Germany. This was followed by another boring ride through the very north of Germany to my destination for tonight the rather pretty city of Lübeck which has a collosal cathedral but sadly by the time I made the half hour walk from my hotel it was closed.
    Tomorrow's ride will be a busy one through Germany into Holland. The forecast is for rain
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  • Day16

    Helsingborg Sweden

    July 5 in Sweden ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    My ferry was only 6 months old and very comfortable. The sailing was 13 hours I didn't realise the time difference is an hour between Lithuania and Sweden and another hour between Sweden and UK.
    I got to Sweden. Well done me!
    Today's ride was only a couple of hours and at first it was nice to have much cooler weather at 14c then the first rain since April 2nd in southern Italy on the way to Malta. The rain got heavy enough for me to need to stop under a tree and transfer my phone and passport into a plastic bag in my inside pocket.
    Now I'm very close to Helsingborg Sweden and the Danish border staying with good friends I first met while traveling on my Velocette to Sweden in the 1990s. We had a nice meal together and where joined by a third man who was riding a Vincent Rapide.
    Time passes so quickly at times like this.
    After a long discussion plus a look at the weather and ferry timings I've decided to ride over the bridge from Sweden then through Denmark to Germany tomorrow and I've booked a hotel in Lubeck.
    I'll attach some photos from today.
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  • Day15

    Latvia and Palanga Lithuania

    July 4 in Lithuania ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    I'm writing quickly as I'm in a nice new ferry sailing to Malmö in Sweden and I will loose my internet soon.
    Another great day riding with Gintaras sight seeing and this time we included about an hour off road on roads in Latvia on tracks which were full of corrugations, gravel and dust so bad I couldn't see if I stayed too close to the other bike. Great fun sliding the big BMW. It was a while before I thought to change the riding mode to enduro. I'm not sure what it does but I could keep up with Gintaras easier with this. We visited a couple of lovely picturesque seaside towns. Palanga was particularly nice,and enjoyed some good food.Read more

  • Day14

    Nida Lithuania

    July 3 in Lithuania ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

    It was so nice to leave the journey planning to someone else for once. Gintaras took me to the coast only a kilometre from the border with Russia. We are on finger of land which is connected at the Russian end only so we had to get a ferry then ride towards 40klm to the border town Nida. It's great riding with Gintaras he's a good confident rider, a bit faster than I normally ride and I enjoyed the change of speed. We rode as if in formation cornering together accelerating and braking together. It was easy as we are both on 1250 BMW's No motorways today it was great fun.
    Now I'm sitting at an outdoor restaurant listening to the bubbling hashishas of Gintaras and his friends, one of whom gave me several oysters he was preparing from him own restaurant further down the road. It is so peaceful here.

    I have a change of plan for tomorrow. I'm no longer heading north to Tallinn Estonia then a ferry to Stockholm. I'm catching a ferry from here to Malmö in southern Sweden and my friend Verner is driving down from Stockholm which is a six hour drive to meet me.
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  • Day13

    Kaunas Lithuania

    July 2 in Lithuania ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    This morning I managed to stay ahead of the rain for the three and a half hours it took to ride to Kaunas in Lithuania.
    My good friend Gintaras who I met on my way to Malta in early April organised a hotel near his house, he came on his new BMW GS 1250 Adventure and took me to his go cart track where we left the bikes in the middle of the circuit and went sight seeing in his car with his girlfriend Erica. It's a lovely city. We had a meal of traditional Lithuanian food, cold beetroot soup which wasn't as bad as it sounds and meat balls in potato. We ended up at a lake side pub where I tried a hashisha. I only had one puff as I don't smoke so it made me cough. There was an American car club showing their cars. A really nice dayRead more

  • Day12

    Bialystok northern Poland

    July 1 in Poland ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    The forecast is for this hot spell to end in thunder storms tonight where I started this morning's ride, and will arrive where I am now in Bialystok northern Poland by tomorrow afternoon so I hope to stay ahead of them by continuing north in the morning. I'm only 25 miles from the border with Belarus.
    Bialystok is absolutely beautiful. Totally unexpected. A very nice cathedral and just look at the photos. Wow, I love it. My hotel is very posh. They are cheap in Poland. I was smiling to myself as a bell boy helped me unload the bike and carry my crash helmet up to my room. I've been for a nice walk and soon I'll go for a meal at one of the many places to outdoor eat. They all look good.
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  • Day11

    Lublin Poland

    June 30 in Poland ⋅ ⛅ 32 °C

    I'm in Lublin Poland. A four hour ride to get here once again in unseasonal heat. The first three hours were not on motorways which was very nice and the first hour was up in the mountains of southern Poland with hairpin after hairpin which was fun but would have been more fun if there were not so many huge trucks.
    Tonight I'm in a hotel which is in the botanical garden of the town so today's photos are of trees and lakes.
    Tomorrow is a 3.5 hour ride north and I'm staying at a hotel in Bialystok. I'll have Belarus on one side and Kaliningrad Oblast in the other and neither of them are fond of the English so I'll hide the bike and use my Maltese identity.
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