Rideforsmiles, Solo Australian to Africa Europe and Beyond, starting June 26th 2011.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by rideforsmiles, Jun 19, 2011.

  1. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    Lots of little towns along the way where the boat stopped to drop off supplies, this is just one of the many.



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    Passing one of the sister ships of the Polarlys and the view of it from our cabin.



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  2. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    Drying the fish, I asked later why dont the seagulls just eat it all to be told they jsut dont like it, that is strange i thought seagulls ate anything.



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  3. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    Some of the trolls of the Trollfjord and little Trollfjord



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    The Trollfjord looking towards the entrance to the little Trollfjord.



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    There is only a few photos in my blog that I havent taken myself and I didnt take this photo but it shows the boat and the Little Trollfjord where you go up and turn around, it really is a very beautiful part of the world.



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  4. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    Ok sunsets are at 1:38am here in the north.



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    And then 1:42am is sunrise.



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  5. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    The views of the mountains and fjords from the deck are really pretty special.



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    Well what can I say the views on the ground are just as nice as well. We went for a ride around Tromso and found a few nice viewpoints.



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  6. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    Some of these photos are a little out of order but they have all been taken in the last 6 days cruising up through the fjords, some of them I had taken on my phone and not uploaded.



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  7. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    Tomorrow the crusie comes to and end after 6 days and what a 6 days it has been, beautiful scenary nice company and relaxing times taking all the beauty Norway has to offer.

    We have decided we are goign to ride down across lapland Finland and over to Sweden and head down the baltic coast to Stockholm thn take a ferry back over to Finland, theres a couple of days ride in that and although they say this ride is pretty boring we are really just heading south now to leave from Germany, in saying that there is still some discovdering to do with Finland Sweden Estonia Latvia Lithuania and Poland to go on this little adventure beofre we arrive back in Germany.
    Ive pretty much had enoughb of Europe its been nearly a year and although there is till so much to see and do here im really looking forward to the new challenge and adventure in the America's.
    The cruise itself has been amazing we have spent alot of time with an Austrlian couple Micheal and Edwei from my old stomping grounds on the northern beaches of Sydney. Its funny the old 6 degrees of seperation deal that you know everyone from someone 6 people away and that was the case with them, there son had played soccer with a family I knew from the Central Coast so makes you thin of home that little bit more.

    Micheal is like me and has a love of soccer so we watched or tried to watch the Aussie world cup qualifier the other day I got it on for a little while beofre the boats server barred access to the site which sucked big time. Anyway in the end the Aussies had a one all draw which is better than a loss but they still have to win their remaing two games to qualify automatically for the world cup in Brazil, if they come third they play the 5th place South American team and although that might be good to see im not sure you would get out alive in a South American stadium barrackign against their team and knocking them out of the world cup.

    Edwei loves a chat so hearing some great stories of theior travels and ive been telling a few of my own as usual, Ev must be getting sick of hearing them already ahhhhh back in the good ol days when I rode through Namibia Botswana Malawi bla bla bla

    So we have stopped off at plenty of ports along the way in the boat and everyone of them has had its own little story and all quite interestign in their own right. Ive been lucky enough to be able to get the bike off on any stop of more than an hour as they jsut call me out and get me off first and away we go no probs.

    On one of the island chains in the mid north of Norway we got off the bike and rode and met the boat up the coast about a 100k's which was great as I was actually really looking forward to riding that section of road so to do was really nice, so in the ned my baby got to feel some of the tarmac of the roads of the fjords of Norway.

    Today we arrived early in Hammerfest the northern most town in europe, well they call themselves that due to there bigger population than any of the others but there are quite a few smaller villages.

    We have had long stops at Tromheim, Bodo, Tromso which has been great for me and Ev and getting the bike off to go an explore and there has been plen ty of small hour long breaks with enough time to go into town and have a look. I was surprised me and Ewa and only one other guy were up early to venture out into the quite little town of Hammerfest as in nearly every other stop there has been a horde of people making their way into town even if nothings open just to have a quick squiz, maybe it had something to do with the time 5am and the fact there was a tour of Nordkap later in the morning from Henningsvag.

    We got back on the boat it was only a small town with a big natural gas plant not far from town so I guess thats a driving force of their economy here along with fishing of course.
    We arrived at henningsvag and the guys called us out straight away beofre everyone to get the bike off which was great cause there were quite a few poeple gettign their cars off to drive back south so any time waiting woudl of been time wasted and we only had 4 hours to explore even if Nordkap was only 35k's away.

    While we were sittign on the deck waiting for the Gps to load the maps the bus driver who was takign a few of the crew up to Nordkap had got up out of his seat and off the bus and the bus had started to roll back twards the water. I saw the tour guides from the baot waving at somethign and turn to see the bus tour guide goign from talkign to everyone on the microphoen to jumping in the drivers seat and puttign his foot on the break ahahaha im sure that made the tourists feel comfortable seeing that happen.

    We left town and headed towards Nordkapp, the road was great so was getting stuck into it a little but then the fog decended and the spedd dropped....somewhat. I was actually thinking it was like Sudan in a dust storm about the same visibilty but jsut a different colour although in Sudan you get this bus coming the other direction lookig like its going sideways, I dont knwo what it was it was like you know when you see a car thats been in a prang and the chazzy oisnt sittign straight well over there in Sudan you see that so often so either they are rebirthed buses from somewhere else or they have all just been in crashes at some point and repaired and are out of alignment.

    Back to Norway and we arrived at Nordkap and got a bit of a surprise the fee they were charging tog et in was about 100 aussie bucks or about 75 euro so pretty dam expensive but if you want to go in you got to pay so it was out with the keycard and away we went. I had a feelign it was goign to be expensive when we were sittign behiond a camper and they were handing over their credit card so not many people dont carry some cash with them.

    So we get in I asked the guys if I can get the bike up to the nordkap marker so they told me to jsut go aroudn and up the bus lane and not into the car park and ill be able to get up close. Im glad i did I was able to ride right up to ti and although the view was non existent cause of the fog I got to Nordkap.

    While we were there we found out that it isnt actually the most northern point that is about a few k's walk ahahaha yeah righto as if im going to do that then and you cant see jack shit anyway cause of the fog so in the end I got to Nordkap and a few k's from the most northerly point.
    We did all the tourist stuff had a look in the museum and the lit cave or whatever it is dont do that its a waste of money seriously you aint missing anything at all.

    We headed back to the port and as we were flyign aroufn a corner a reindeer decided to run out across the road in front of us, I saw him coming so was on the anchors hard Ewa didnt know at the time I have no back breaks so it was hard on the fron and all good we missed him by about about a foot or two plenty of room, its definatly not the closest ive been to hitting something, brings back fond memories of the two donkeys in Ethiopia that tried to hit me only to have me weave through them at a rapid rate of notts.

    We got back to Henningsvag and I saw the guys warming up on the local soccer pitch so was diossapointed when Ev told me we only had 15 minutes till the boat left it woudl of been cool to see the northen most soccer game in Europe being played.

    So in the end today ive completed from the southern most tip of Africa to the most northern part of Europe so you could say excluding the poles ive ridden up the world now all I have to do is ride around it, ok there will be another little detour up and down again through the Americas but ill get there eventually hopefully beofre me or the bike break down, the bike didnt start the other day and came up with an error message EW5 I think it was and then today when I went to start it it made a clunking noise that sounded like it was from in side the motor it really did sound suss. Come to think of that error message might of been telling me something EW5 looks decidedly like something or someone else ahahah Ev's sitting her watching me blog with her eyes shut she hasnt see this yet im sure she will just raise her eyebrows at me.

    Anyway we are off the ferry in the morning and heading to south we might ride over to the Rusky border its only a 30 k ride not that it s a big deal but they do say that ride is nice so we will see what the weather is like it might be jsut get on and head south yet.

    About 3000k's to go till im on off the bike and heading to America and then the time frame will be slightly less hectic other than just having to be out of Cananda and Alaska by September.

    Great memories of this cruise im so glad I did it with Ev we have had a really nice time and it is a memory im sure we will both have for the rest of our lives.



    Ill add some more pictures of the last days on the cruise later but its after misdnight and we have to be up early so here jsut a few of the day today.



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    Me and my baby at Nordkap after a 40000 km ride around Europe



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    Oh and one with me and both my babies in the shot just to keep the peace.



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  8. TrevorHeath

    TrevorHeath Roaming the World

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    Congrats on making it to Nordcap. Indeed some great images and memories.

    We trust you will enjoy the America's just as much.

    You would be welcome here for the night should Sonora be your entry point into Mexico.

    TH
  9. Blue Icebreaker

    Blue Icebreaker Been here awhile

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    Awesome ride report!

    Sheldon, how did the road tyres serve you? Which type? Tubeless? I have an exact same F800 GS (Metzeler Tourance EXP tyres) and I was thinking that I'd need all-terrain tyres in places like Africa or South America.

    How did they serve you? I'm especially interested how well did they fare on dirt, mud and off-road in general.

    Also, as I can see, you didn't have any spare set of tyres, have you?

    Thanks for the info.
  10. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    Im sure I will enjoy the Americas just as much Trevor, every turn ive taken on this adventure has been the right one. Mexico is a ways off yet no idea where ill be but if im near there ill definately drop in and say hello, thanks for the kind offer and for following.

    Sheldon


    QUOTE=TrevorHeath;21602058]Congrats on making it to Nordcap. Indeed some great images and memories.

    We trust you will enjoy the America's just as much.

    You would be welcome here for the night should Sonora be your entry point into Mexico.

    TH[/QUOTE]
  11. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    You can get spare tyres in South Africa Namibia Nairobi and im sure you would be able to source them in Egypt if you needed to I got a sef when I got to Turkey.
    Ive had the Metzler Tourance I think 13000ks still heaps of life in them but changed anyway as I was leaving Namibia and wasnt 100% sure when I could get more there I got the Anarchys they lasted till Turkey lasted 20000 so really good wearing so replaced them with another set which took me a fair way arohnd Europe great wearing tyre although when you get stuck into them they do tend to move around a bit, I can recall a few times heavy under breaks and the bike was moving around everywhere but I like that feeling that your nearly on your ass it gets the blood pumping. I then put on a set of Pirellis unless your riding the swiss alps or mountain passes id steer clear of them tbey are great gripping tyres but at 6000 k's they were dusted totally. Back on the Anarchys for another 18000 thd front was ok but back was srating tk be a little low so back on the new Tourance now.
    As for what tyre to use delends where you want to ride off road highway whatever I wasnt looking for offroad but thought id find some anyway and when I have ive been lucky enough to have good weather with it. If your going looking for off road and theres a chance of rain id go with the continentals heard good things about them but that is something I cant tell you sorry.
    My phones about to die so better finish up sorry about anh typos ill come fix it up

    Cheers mate hope that gives you some help



  12. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    Left the ferry today at Kirkenes after a great cruise up through the fjords. We got up and had breakfast and caught up with Micheal and Edwei to say our goodbyes, its been really nice to spend time with them while we've been on the cruise.
    We had got packed up earlier and left our gear near the lift so all we had to do is put in in the lift take it down to the bike and load it on which made things easy.
    We rode off the boat pretty much last vechile off at Kirkenes which wasnt a big deal we we were not in any hurry.
    We stopped in Kirkenes for petrol and ask what the petrol situation was heading south as Osmond in Bergen had told us that there could be big gaps between petrol stations up this way. The girls working in the shop assured us its all ok so off we went.

    We had decided to ride over to the Russian border as it was pretty much on the way we were heading about a 15k detour, they have a tourist jaunt over to the border so we thought there was something to it but as expected the closest we got was talking to a soldier carrying a machine gun holding back a German Shepherd.


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    So we arent doing much here at the border so on the bike and on our way heading south. We rode for a awhile and came across this bridge with fantastic rapids running past them. I was thinking to myself in most other countries this would probably be called an attraction but here in Norway its just another little section of river. We crossed into Finland and were cruising along the road was great very scenic with lake after lake after lake. The weather was beautiful about 21 degrees celcius bright sunny day great riding.


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    We stopped off at this little town in Lapland in the north of Finland to grab petrol and something to eat. There was a burger joint in it called Scan burger I think it was a wow talk about a burger. There was a xxl burger but me being me I went the next one up a Super burger it was huge but I got it down, Ewa got a mini one so we both left this little town happy.
    One of the locals was having a chat with us saying a month ago they still had a metre of snow here, crazy looking at how green and beautiful it is today and no sign of snow or ice anywhere. He was telling us about all the flies and mosquitoes like just about everyone we've come across but so far ive seen no sign of anything out of the ordinary.
    After just having such a huge munch I was getting tired riding so we decided to find a nice lake to relax for awhile. Found this secluded little lake parked the bike next to it grabbed the tarp off the bike layed it down and relaxed. There was hardly anyone on this road we had only past a few cars so it was nice and out of the way and just beautiful this area is amazingly. You come across some places in your travels and think why did they stop here well this is one place you can see exactly why they did its just beautiful.
    Needless to say there was a little hanky panky going on lying there on the tarp by the lake and 2 minutes later im closing eyes and having a sleep.

    Get up we have to make tracks south if we are going to go through all the countries we want and see Ev's parents in Poland then get to Germany before the 23rd or 24th. Thats the date ive given us to be back in Germany to give me a few days to sort out shipping the bike, I know Stefan organises it all but I dont want to lob one day and fly out the next leaving everything to him without seeming to help or care. Not to mention it is a nice place to stay there at Stefans they have rooms or you can camp and have a great kitchen setup and its always a good place to meet fellow bikers like I did last time I was there, Frederico, Knut, Greg and the others as well as catching up with Mike who I rode through Kenya Ethiopia Sudan and some of Egypt with. I still the story of the 2 guys from the states that I met there that had travelled to Europe as 20 year olds and said they would come back next year but never did but here they were 45 years later still mates done the family and business thing and finally made it back rent a few bikes of Stefan and to ride around Europe together, great story and I love telling it cause it always reminds me of all my friends ive got back at home going as far back as kindergarten in Hilly which is really pretty crazy when you think about it, ive been pretty lucky in the mates dept over the years in every area ive lived up on the North Coast the Central Coast and Sydney

    One of great mates from the Central Coast Gribbo has just hadhis wife diagnosed with terminal cancer given her a little while but not looking good, three young kids under 10 so next time your having a bad day cast a thought to Nicki and think it could be worse. From what Ive seen and heard shes handling it with alot of class and dignity, its just hard to imagine what she and Gribb, the kids and their families must be going through right now. I wish I could have a little bit of what she has in style and class and id be a much better person thats for sure.

    Anyway remembering that it brings back just how lucky I am to be doing what im doing and I try to remind myself that pretty much every day just how lucky I am to be able to have this adventure and see the world like I am, we are all on an adventure its just called life the ups and downs the places it takes us the people we meet its all amazing whether your on a motorbike travelling the world or in a small town in the north of Finland flipping the best burgers ive ever had or in my case having my wicked way with a sweet Polish girl by a beautiful lake, all I need is beer and I could be in heaven, what she talks oh great how to ruin paradise Ev. Gawd better post a few pictures in the blog to push this post down the list or I could be going through a dry spell yeah as if baby she cant keep her grubby little mits off me, cant blame her really, everytime I look in the mirror I see this devilishy handsome man staring back at me on the dowside to that ive had to give up afternoon naps cause I could only bringmyself to look in the mirror once a day as it was starting to bring my confidence down.

    Anyway got sidetracked there for awhile back at the sunny lake lying on the tarp relaxing with Ev and not a fly or mozzie in sight, just a amazingly beautiful spot to rel

    Back on the bike and ride for awhile and cross another border into Sweden. It basically doesn't get dark here so your riding days are long if you want apparently alit of the local guys rest during the day and ride at night well the night hours as theres no traffic and no cops as the world still functions as normal with business hours its just light for 24 hours which by the way is so wierd but id prefer that than dark all the time everyday like it is for the winter here.

    Another border Crossing made short work of Finland unfortunately looked beautiful from what I saw of it.

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  13. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    Sorry for the bad blogging and no pics but im on the phone and im having to copy paste all this from my memo thing and its a pain in the ass, seriously.
  14. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    We found somewhere to camp this nice little river village. There was two French guys Francois and Jean Phillipe who were gendarmes in Paris, they had just been up to Nordkap on a Gs Adventure and a Ducati. Jean Phillips pirelli on the back of the Ducati was absolutely finished syeel belts coming out everywhere. Obviously that type of Pirelli are soft to as they had it replaced before they left Paris.
    After joing them in their cabin for awhile for a drink to swap a few stories we hit the tent to crash. There was a few mozzies but nothing to severe.
    When we got up in the morning Jean Phillipes tyre was flat so he wasnt going anywhere. They organised a tyre last night but now had to organise a tow truck to get them there to get it.
    The tow truck arrived and we loaded it on said our goodbyes and they were off. Its those problems that make a motorcycle adventure and adventure, you always sort them out eventually with help from different people.
  15. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    We packed the after Jean Phillipe had left on the tow truck and hit the road south ourselves. We were cruising along the highway with it its pretty shiity single lane highway with that wire barricade in the middle of the road so you can only overtake in the designated lanes which is a real pain.
    We we just killing some distance our next goal is Stockholm really.
    It was looking like it was going to rain all day but we seem to miss the main part of the rain for most of the day.
    We stopped at a service station to get something to eat and drink and met John an Englishman on a ride to Nordkap and back. He wasnt happy he had been getting rained on the whole way he said, poor bugger he will be home a week or so early I told him to tell his misses he was just midsing her so much he wanted to come home early to be with her so instead of getting the "oh you softy" or the "oh I told you so" to the "oh arent you a sweetheart honey"
    Back on the road watching the blackest of black clouds closing in on us and luckily I sped up and we skirted right across the front of it and only just copped about a minute of rain. I had to laugh John would of been leaving a few minutes behind us and ridden into the downpour to end downpours after just whinging that he seemed to be getting all the rain, why break the trend here hey poor bugger but I had to laugh

    We continued on and in the end was getting low on juice and it was getting a little late so when we couldnt find a campsite after turning off the highway at a sign I thought stuff it next place I see im stopping so we ended up in a hotel 15k's further on. It was a little expensive but not outrageous for Scandinavian standards and it included breakfast so all good. Tomorrow Stockholm.

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  16. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    Got up had breakfast and Ev packed while I watched the Aussies playing their world cup qualifying game against Jordan winning comfortably and are only one win away against Iraq in Sydney from qualifying for next years world cup in Brazil. Its not a certainty either the way they have been playing, im not 100% sure but I think a draw gets us through as well which is a bonus

    Hit the road and was cruising along the highway and the only being able to overtake in designated areas certainly sucks im sure its everywhere in the world but as soon as theres an overtaking lanes that means everyones speed increases by 30 kilometers an hour yhen when its finished its back to 10 k's under the limit im thinking to myself I'll never get around the world at this rate.

    We stopped for petrol and the bike was sluggish to start which is never a good sign but she roared into life straight away after that. My baby isnt well thats for sure that error message the other day when the bike didnt start EW5 that at the time it was my two girls just arguing but something isnt right it has never done anything like that.

    About 200k's from Stockholm the full on expressway started and so did my problems. I was cruising along and noticed that the instrument panel was flashing off and on, oh no thats definately not a good sign. The bike was still running ok so though id just keep going but about 20k's further down the road I started to feel a miss in the bike. My baby hasnt missed a beat the whole way so I noticed every little hickup she made. I was hoping to get to Stockholm but at 150k's away that was just not going to happen now.

    I went past one exit and thought about going past the next but as it was starting to get a little later in the afternoon I thought I better get off this expressway and find somewhere to relax and maybe get this looked at. I had put a fuel station in the gps but as the bike was starting miss a fair bit I decided it might be wise to just find a hotel first and im bloody glad I did.

    We rode up to the only hotel in this beautiful little town called Tierp and the bike died wasnt restarting and was dead as a dodo. Perfect timing if my baby is going to die on me at least she had the decency to get me to a hotel. She really has been a good girl for so long with me humping her so hard all the time. Anyway getting back to the bike and leaving Eva out of this lol a nice couple came walking past and I said hello to them he was from Ankarra in Turkey and we had a chat about where id been in Turkey.

    They offered to ring the owner of the hotel for us which was nice so get onto the owner and he will be down in 15 minutes. We said our goodbyes to them and waited till the owner arrived checked in and told him what had happened with the bike and he said we can sort it out in the morning. So we just unpacked then went for a walk around this nice little town.


    I was happy to find such a nice little town but you should of seen the smile on Ev's face ive got no idea why she was so happy.


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  17. RobBD

    RobBD Been here awhile

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    Hope you have sorted this out by the time you get this - sorry I cant' offer any advice but I'm sure someone in ADV-land will know how to sort this. Good luck
  18. Johnscaff

    Johnscaff n00b

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    Hi Sheldon, I'm John the Englishman. It's was really good meeting both of you in that service station. That cup of coffee that you gave me tasted great and lifted my spirits.
    You are right I did ride straight into that downpour after just taking off the waterproof oversuit :D. You were also right, I didn't get a lot further about 100 miles that night before tiredness started setting in. However, I did make it safely home by Wednesday night covering 950 miles and 6 countries that day. I hope the two of you stay safe & continue to have a good time.
  19. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    Hey John im glad you got home safely, im sorry for laughing at your expense, riding along thinking of you after your bad luck you had already had with the weather I just had to laugh.I dont know if you have ever ridden the north of Scotland,Loch Ness, The Hebrides but loved my riding up there.
    Talk soon mate safe riding.

    Sheldon and Ev
  20. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    So the day started with breakfast then realising the owners family was Polish as were some of the staff so was nice for Ewa to be able to have a chat in her own lingo. Turns out the little cleaning lady was a biker too and used to do big trips on the back of her husbands Goldwing, she was so small one of the panniers would weigh more than her.

    Had a nice girl Carolina help us out contacting some people about the bike apparently her brother has suggested a bike shop in a town about 35k's away but when I asked her to see if they did warranty stuff on beemer it was a no so looks like the bike is getting towed to Stockholm.

    They ring another guy up for us and 10 minutes later Bjorn arrives in his tow truck. Bad news on this front as well when I tell him it has to go to Stockholm, the price of his truck is about 500 euro. Umm no thanks Bjorn. He was really nice though he mentioned that there was a place down the road that hired cars and trailers and offered to take us down there and sort it out for us.

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    So me an Ev jump into his truck and off we go. The service station just on the edge of the centre had cars and a trailer and available to so we were in luck. I think it cost me about a 180 aussie bucks so a little xy for a smallish car and a trailer but its not going the 140k's any other way.

    Said our goodbyes to Bjorn he had to get back to work it was really nice of him to go out of his way to help us like he did. Im pretty sure my bike made the right choice to pull into this town before dieing, everyone we have had the good fortune to come up across has been genuinely really nice and a credit to their small community of Tierp.

    Its actually the first time ive driven a car in Europe on the wrong side of the rode so was continually grabbing for the gear stick with my left hand not to mention it was one of them keyless jobs so even before I got started im sitting there thinking how the fuck do you start this thing lol

    In the end I had to go back into the shop feeling like an idiot but oh well im sure im not the first person thats happened to not to mention the instructions being in Swedish were no help to me. Ok clutch in first then hit this button ok no probs away we go.

    Back to load the bike on and the owner of the hotel comes out to help me so on she goes strapped down with a small tie down I carry and we pack our gear into the car and off to Stockholm we go.

    Its straight down the highway so no dramas and when we arrive its only a few hundred metres off the expressway so all good. I had rung them earlier and they told me to just get it in and they would see what they could do but they did have a one month waiting period.

    As we arrived a few guys came up to say hello and see what was going on, they were off to a Touratech adventure bike rally up the coast a bit and invited us to come along. First things first I need to get the bike fixed. One of them went in the shop saying he knew them inside and called they guys out the front to come and help us which was really nice. They helped wheel it off the trailer and out the back. I said to the guys who welcomed us that id try and get to the rally but will see it is 300k's back north so pretty much not on the radar for us which was a shame im sure it would be a fantastic weekend. First things first get this bike fixed then see.

    I walked in the shop to sort out the paperwork and just said to them im at your mercy you guys can only do what you can do ill be very appreciative of any help you can give me doesnt matter how long it takes as im not going anywhere till it is.

    I walk back out to talk to Ev and have a ciggie and a chat so think ill just go have a squiz on where they've put my baby. I walk to the door of the shop and one of the guys Christofer is already working on it. I asked him have you found the problem and he says its fixed.

    Wow that was cool what was wrong and he informs me the battery was dead. I thought that was a bit strange a brand new 2 year old battery dieing but im no expert. Asked them if it was under warranty and apparently not so thats going to cost about 160 aussie bucks oh well the bikes going again so all good. Theh give it a good wash and im ready to go.

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    Pay the bill they help me load the bike and we are back on the road to take the car and trailer back and hit the road again. On the way back we discussed going to the rally but the timing of it and the we have to get where we want isnt going to happen so we decided we will just pack up come back down to Stockholm and camp near the ferry somewhere and sort that all out not to mention decide if we are going to Helsinki ot Tallinn.

    We get back to Tierp and unload the bike and gear, as we are doing that I see a police officer heading my way.

    Oh no whats going to happen here and im immediately thinking is this going to be a problem as you do when a burly cop walks your way.

    Anyway he saunters over looking at my bike so I say hi. I introduce myself and we have a chat for a minute. Barry is one of the local motorcycle cops and loves his bikes and is actually off on a tour of Canada and the US in August. He asks can he get a picture of the bike of course mate. Him and his partner were again really friendly this community is really nice.

    We finished packing the bike after swapping details with Barry you never know it would be nice if our paths cross again. Hit the highway it had been a long day and was late in the afternoon id already driven a few hundred k's so we will just get to Stockholm.

    We went down the highway the bikes running smootly so all good so I say to Ev lets just go check out the ferry situation before we find the campsite. Ride straight up to the terminal pretty well sign posted I had Ev looking for the sign as I was busy looking for the naked chicks and hot tubs in downtown Stockholm which ive been waiting to see and im still waiting.

    The terminal was shut as it was 8 oclocjk so we know where we are going when we decide to leave here to wherever we are going. We rode around downtown Stockholm its really pretty nice down by the waterfront and I must admit I did see some gorgeous women, hey im only human.... just.

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    Ok enough is enough im getting really tired now so we go to the campsite in town and its only for campervans. Ok no dramas next one it is get back on the bike and NOTHING oh shit ok it wasnt the battery then. I try again and she starts phew thats ok at least we can get to the next camp site.

    We decide to go back to the northside 20ks across town to a campsite near the bike shop. We arrive and the bike dies at the gate and I push it up to the shop. They say I have to sign up for a camping card as well as the camping fee and thats going to be about 60 aussie bucks so I think fuck that ill go camp in the carpark at the shop.... if I can clutch start the bike.

    Ok no problems quick Ev jump on lets blow this candy pop stand. We arrive at the shop which was only a few k's away and pull up and just standing around wondering which car spot we are going to put the tent up in and out walks Christofer who lives in a caravan near the workshop since he lost his license for speeding.

    We have a quick chat and he says bring the bike in we will put in on the computer and see. Its 9pm by now so its really nice of him to do that. 10 minutes later the problem is solved its the alternator so ok not much I can do till we talk to the boys in the morning. Christopher looked up the price for the alternator which is 8000 krone about a thousand bucks so that I have 4 days left on my warranty is just amazing luck that it happened when it did.

    Christofer opened up the gate to the back of the shop where there is a little grass area to put the tent up. We get all set up for the night then head over to maccss down the road to use the toilet and grab some dinner. A long day but everythings ok just hopefully we can get it sorted asap but again im at their mercy im sure they will do what they can to help.

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