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. Cariboostrom

    Cariboostrom Been here awhile

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    It is working fine Sheldon. Great pictures of Niagara Falls!
  2. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    Cool thanks for the feedback I reported the video I tried to put on as abusive and they took it down so all good. After over 2 years on here you would of thought I would of worked it out, ill try again I wasnt far away
  3. RobBD

    RobBD Been here awhile

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    " I reported the video I tried to put on as abusive and they took it down" Too funny - reporting your own video as too abusive must've been bad!!!
    Great pics of Niagara Falls.
  4. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    It was only the video I posted but the link came up as broken and wouldn't let me add to the page, the video of Eva, the midget and the donkey will forever remain on my portable hard drive.
  5. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    We had gopne opver to the falls on the first nioght and had a look around but it was pretty hot so we didnt stay long till we foudn a tree to lie down under in the carpark to relax for awhile. We had a long day so we headed off to try and find a campsite ok the first one nooone was there so we went up the road onto Grand Island only a few miles from Niagara Falls. Ok its was goign to cost us 46 bucks to camp so how much for one of your cabins 70 bucks ok that'll do give us a key and we are out of here.

    They found us one in the shaded area of the park and bloody hell im glad they did it was like a sauna in there. I saw that they had fans for sale in the shop which I mentioned to Ev as different but now I know exactly why they were there.

    Last night I had a really nice nights sleep on the lake at Union Springs but but last nights was to be the worst in a while. Plastic covered mattresses with no sheets so we had to sleep on out sleeping bags which was all that flash, I was spewing I had booked it for two nights after that. The second day we did all the tourist stuff as you can see by the photos ive already posted so only haqd to put up with one more nights in this box dam it.

    There was no way I was staying more than the second night. Niagara Falls is amazing and my first impressions was that it was more imopressive than Vicotria Falls though down in Zambia you had a herd of elephants walking by the waters edge as you viewed the falls.

    Here's what I was greeted with at the Victoria Falls in Zambia, not your every day tourists, spectacular in its own right though.

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  6. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    We left Niagara Falls and went through Buffalo for a litle look around, it's just another city im sure there is nice parts but the roads we took was obvioulsy the other side of town from them. A bit of mucking around were on the main highway the 190 then the 90 and away we went.

    We weren't sure where we were going but west. The ride was pretty uneventuful as most highway riding is stopped for fuel at one point then straight back on the road. The weather was a little warmish around 34 degrees celcius but nothing to extreme when you are riding. We were riding along minding our own business and came across a broken down motocyclist so pulled over and asked if they needed help. We got talking to the girl Jackie for awhile who was riding a Harley of her own, she said it was all ok they had the tools they need so we said our goodbyes and hit the road again. I was thinking to myself as we left I probably should of given her our website addy to say hi and catch up on facebook but oh well next time.

    We rode for another hour or so and decided that was enough for the day we had ridden a few hundred miles, I wasnt to tired but with the lack of sleep ive had in the last few days with the little sweat box we were in I wasnt going to push it to far. I thought about riding to the other side of Cleveland but there was quite a few hotels here in Painnsville and though it was an apt place to stop for the night.

    We checked into the first hotel I couldnt be stuffed camping, It was a little expensive but not goign to break the bank, Ev wanted to go look across the road at the others but meh as if i dont give a rats ass im happy to just walk in, im sure there all much the same and the pool area in this place isnt ooking very inviting.

    Its a nice hotel out of the way well on the highway so out of any town with a few fast food joints and restaurants around. The bed was so comfortable, just what I needed mmmm out like a light even before going for a swim. Ev was keen to go for a walk as she hadnt been doing any fitness training and she has been missing her gym sessions so off she went, I told her the story of the serial killer around the east side of Cleveland that had killed 11 women a 3 or 4 years ago and the other story of the guy that kidnapped the girls and held them for 10 years just to make her feel at ease as she walked out the door. Both true stories. So I was slumbering Ev was off for a walk and everyone was happy im sure Eva enjoyed her walk ahahahaha.

    I had my little rest Eva hadnt been gone that long I have no idea why she must of missed me. I got up and had a look on Facebook see a post that one of the guys I knew on there that he had posted on Bikers Code, it's a facebook page with stories of bikers helping bikers. Jackie had forgotten our names but had written a post on an Australian guy travelling the world with his Polish girlfriend and where I had been etc and Nick who was a member of this group had seen the story and realised it must of been us so messaged me asking if it was and yeah sure enough we got in contact with Jackie, small world hey.

    We plan to move on tomorrow so might still not catch up but ive already mentioned to Ev how comfortable this bed is and im happy to stop for a another day so unless its perfect riding conditions which its not going to be according the the hot forcast i reckon ill be in bed or by the pool tomorrow not riding.

    I don't know how I cope with Ev prancing around in her bikini every chance she gets, I just shut my eyes and think of flowery fields.

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  7. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    Ev sat by the pool while I watched tv today ahhh im not getting out of this bed for anyone its just so comfortable. I walked out to have a swim at one point and oh no baking like a chicken, turn over sweetheart or you will be sorry. It was a hot day about 34 so any more than 15 or 20 minutes in this heat and your going to be burnt pretty badly when you have no colour like Ev and I. Sure enough Ev comes back inside a little while later and red raw, thatll teach ya sweet cheeks, you didnt listen did you. Ok shes not to bad only her back and ass but ill let her know by giving her a few slaps on the backside to remind her not to do it again and im sure its going to give her some grief sitting on the bike tomorrow.

    We went down to the servo for dinner its all so cheap in these places not like in Oz where eating in a service station cost you and arm and a leg. A few hot dogs for me and polish sauge for Ev and back home to relax and watch some movies and chill out, I like it here its not busy its got a nice pool and its not near to much to make you feel like you have to go out and walk and see anything.

    I don't know who the hell Ev thinks she is but give me back my remote control, see what I have to put up with its enough to put you in an early grave.

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  8. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    Got a message on facebook late last night from Jackie last night inviting us to a cafe in Willoughby the local town aroudn here where all the bikers gather for coffee and drinks on a Saturday afternoon so you guessed it we are staying again mmmmmm comfy bed. We hung around by the pool for the day doing absolutely nothing but chilling out.

    We organised to meet over at the cafe at 7 so we got dressed and headed over, I sort of asked the receptionist where town was ok I wasnt listening to hard but got the general jist of the direstion it was over there somewhere , shit how hard can it be theres one of the great lakes not to far down the road if I hit that ive gone to far... obvioulsy.

    I reckon I know where we are going I said to Ev and yeah sure enough awhile later im stopping saying ok wheres the phone. As im stopped there a guy pulls up with his window down saying do you need directions must of looked pretty obvious, an Australian registered motorbike with country stickers plaster all over it in this remote middle American suburb looking at my phone. Yep mate we are trying to get to Willoughby and the Arabica cafe. No problems this way, that way, this way, that way, and your there, done and done thanks mate and off we go. Whatever im heading that direction i forgotten what the first second turn was already.

    Not long after we arrive in the little town its really pretty again around here all the lawns are mowed they certainly do have some pride in their communities, it really is very nice. We park across the road from the cafe and theres Jackie and the crew so we walk on over and meet everyone. We had a really nice evening there chatting about destinations rides and places we should check out, everyone keeps mentioning Bampff or however you spell it so that definatly has to be on the hitlist of rides.
    We hung around enjoying the night chatting, we were made to feel so welcome by everyone. It was starting to get late so we decided to hit the road home it was far this time they had given me better directions to get directly back to the hotel. Ok Right right Left was that left or right oh I dont know shit ok rode down there for 5 minutes oh ok this isnt the way, turn around ahhhh this is better I remember this now. So we arrive hime there is alot of lightening around so there is going to be some sort of storm tonight looks like we jsut left in time. We stopped off to get some pizzas to eat as we hadnt eaten and we were both starving but when we got them back to the room they said not microwavable, what the hell you cant nuke a pizza, in what world. It does say for safety reason so ok we better not maybe theres some meat on there that needs to be cooked properly dont want to go getting sick or anything so in the bin they went lucky they only cost 2 bucks a pop.

    We walked back over to the service station and grab a couple of hot dogs and as we are walking back to the hotel down she comes, so we actually timed it perfectly another minute and we would of been drenched. Pigged out and watched a movie and im blogging, its pissing down outside im glad i put the cover on the bike tonight the panniers arent totally waterfproof when it comes down like this.

    Ev and Jackie relaxing at the Arabica here in Willoughby Ohio.

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  9. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    Well today was nice we ended up staying again but this time we had a real reason. Was sound asleep last night only to be woken by the phone umm hello, yes, your room is flooded we will have to move you, no its not its ok im asleep I say, no your room is flooded, ok let me have a look ill see about this. I step out of bed into a puddle of water wtf the whole hotel had burst a seam and water was everywhere. I go and see the lady at the desk and mmm its not to bad the beds dry we will be ok.

    By this time Ev has woken up and gotten up into about an inch of water all our gear that was on the floor is wet all Ev's paperwok was sitting on the ground, ok we will move. 4am and four loads of gear later and we are upstairs trying to go back to sleep. Finally crash out at around 6 and its still pissing down out stairs and the water sounds like a river running over our heads in the roof cavity, I tell Ev a story how the roof of a hotel collapsed killing 10 people cause it was flooded, ok this one was bullshit but it sounded good at the time.

    You got to feel sorry for the owners I hope its covered by inurance there is water absolutely everywhere. We get up in the morning all our clothes were on the floor so they are all wet so we go and see them to ask if there is a room availble for tonigth so we can atleast dry out everything, fortunatly we are in luck, I was thinking as half the hotel was out of action maybe with reservations we would have to move which would of been a real pain packing everything wet.

    So they say we will be upgraded to a king room and thanks for being so understanding, look theres nothing you can do about nature is there,when it wants to flood you or give you grief it will. We hang around for awhile till one of the other rooms is avaible then move again so all good.

    Jackie had told us about an Amish community about 30 miles from the hotel and that it is really interesting so I checked the weather out and it looks like after 4pm its all good and set to clear so we will head down there. Caught Jackie on Facebook and told her our plans about the ride so she rang friend and got the conditions of the area for us. He had said he woudlnt be going down there as it is still raining and that the horse shit on the road from all the Amish horse and carts makes it very slippery, yeah thanks for the tip mate but that aint going to stop me, ive fallen into the shit before an always seem to be able to get out of it.

    Jackie says ok she will come and show us the way so we arranged to meet at 4:30 back at the Arabica cafe. We were both a little hungry so we stopped of for a quick bite to eat at Maccas yeah maccas, hey its only my second mac attack since ive been in the states in a few weeks so im not doing to bad considering they are everywhere.

    We get back into town and theres a fair going on and the road is blocked off so I pull up across the road at the barricade and talk to the cop who says yeah you can just park here and walk up its no problem. Walk up to the cafe to be met by Bill he was an older guy in his early 80's who we met last night and was riding a Goldwing, he had some great stories of rides and places to go and things we should see. jackie had sent him a txt message so he was going to join us as well which was nice he really is a nice man. Apparently if you are going to ride the backways around here to anywhere you get Bill to show you the way he knows everything about the local area..

    Jackie turned about after alittle while and we hit the road at around 5, the weather by this time had cleared alot so it was a really nice afternoon for a ride. We rode all the backways down to Middlefield the Amish community, which was really nice plenty of horse drawn buggys around everyone seemed very friendly. It was late and being Saturday afternoon everything was closed but that wasnt any drama we had great company in Jacky and Bill to share the ride with.

    The took us over to the next town Mesoptamia about 10 miles away where we stopped and got s bit of a run down on some of the history of the place, your talking a community that was first started in 1799 so way back.

    We headed off towards Geneva on the Lake which was about 25 miles away and was a nice ride. I had cracked a joke about we might be able to get there before it gets dark if I could get out of third gear so Bill got into a little bit more. It was ncie to ride slow but when im not getting out of 4th gear thats a little slow for me.

    We arrived in Geneva it was a busy little lake side town apparently really busy duriung the summer but shuts down over the winter. Bill was telling us this is quiet which if so it must get really busy as there were tonnes of people there. We jumped off the bikes and jackie and Eva had a lemonade, Eva's first real lemonade i had a taste but yeah whatever as if im going to like that shit i hate the orange juice in the mornings at breakfast.

    We went for a walk along the foreshore and sat down and had a chat for awhile then headed back to the bikes and rode back to the Arabica cafe about 45 minutes away. We got back at 9ish and hung out with the crew for an hour before saying our goodbyes to everyone at the cafe and heading back to pack and make sure everything was dry as tomorrow im pretty sure we are out of here, as much as id love to spend more time here with this crew of friends we have made that weather window up north is only going to last so long so we need to make tracks well try to anyway. As much as we want to get to Alaska its not the endof the world if we dont but still it gives a goal.

    We rode about 160k's today which was a nice leisurely day on the bike, great company, great scenary and all around the Great Lakes area of the United States. Big thanks to Jackie, Richard, Bill and everyone else that made us feel so welcome over the last few days.

    The flooded corridor of the hotel.

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  10. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

    Joined:
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    Here's a few pictures of todays ride.

    Ready Set

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    Go into Amish country down Middlefield way here in Ohio.

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    Yep this is Amish country.

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    Middle America passing Amish America

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    Taking time out with Jackie and Bill here in Middlefield Ohio.

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    From there we headed about 10 miles over to Mesopotamia a nice little village to see this horse that was built by a 17yo boy out of scrap wood many moons ago which later saw it discovered by some academic dude and the kid getting a scholarship to a local university.

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    Plenty of breaks to get the local history of the area which was great.

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    Jackie and Ev enjoying a break into this cool carving.

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  11. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    From there we rode to Geneva on the Lake here's just a few of the pictures from there.

    Corner store here in Geneva Ohio.

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    Jackie on her Harley here in Geneva Ohio.

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    Bill 81 years young on his Goldwing.

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  12. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    Arriving at the Lake apparently we have to get something to eat and drink at Eddies.

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    Bill and Jackie sharing a laugh here in Geneva.

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    We went for a walk along the foreshore of the lake Jackie was saying she didn't even know this fair area was here, it just goes to show even with all the riding sometimes you don't know everything around your own local area, it was great to have Bill with us to show us all these great sites.

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    Jackie was starting to feel a little cold so she borrowed Ev's jacket and it looked good on her too.

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    A small video of the ride through Geneva on the Lake. Jackie did say no pictures of her with ciggarettes in her mouth but this is a video lol



    It was getting late by the time we arrived back in Willoughby but what a great afternoons ride with fantastic company. The welcome we got off Jackie and all her friends was really special.

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  13. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    We left Willoughby and were going to head west to Chicago but decided at the last minute to head down south to Louisville in Kentucky to try and see my nephews son Hunter who lives there. It's about the same distance and put's us directly west of Denver and Colorado and the bottom of the Rockies where we would love to see as we head north.
    We left just beofre 11 and got on ther motorway and thats where we stayed for most of the day.

    About an hour or so out of Louisville I pulled of the highway and hit the back roads which were really nice. We stopped at a local service station and another biker on a Ducati pulled in and gave us a tip on what road to take, I was on the wrong one again. The ride through the hills was beautiful horse farms and beautifully landscaped gardens everywhere you looked made for a nice afternoon.

    Eventually got to Louisville, by that time it was getting late and we had nothing booked and there was a decent storm brewing about to come down any second so I just looked up at the skyline saw the sign for the Marriott pulled in and down the rain came, timed it just right just again. Ok been living it up a but lately we will definalty have to get into the camping mode soon which will be no dramas but while we are riding so much and hitting cities we might as well be in the centre of town in easy access of all the tourist sites.

    We rode through Cincinnati on our way south, Eva had the camera out taking some photos, hey what's this, your supposed to be taking pictures of the scenery honey, and don't give me oh it was a nice car crap, you cant turn your back for a second with these girls can you ahahah.

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    My first buffalo even if he was made out of Concrete

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    Just a picture of just some of the ride after we left the highway it really is nice around here.

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    The roads are just great to ride and hardly any traffic which was a bonus.

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    Stopped at one of the veterans cemeteries on the outskirts of Louisville

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    This guy earnt his place with something special 3 Bronze stars and a Purple Heart pretty much as decorated as you get I would imagine. I did Googled his name but couldn't find anything but if it was at the Battle of the Bulge some pretty fierce fighting took place there.

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    The Marriott apartments here in Louisville not to bad if I play my cards right I might even get lucky tonight.

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  14. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    Ok just spent two more days in Louisville tryign to track down Daniels son but all the phone numbers he has for his x are disconnected and the email I have is coming back so that sucks.

    Daniel and Amy are aparently going through a divorce and its not going well so I hear which is a shame but man something i know all to well. Daniel gave me the address but im not to keen to go and just lob, maybe I will tomorrow before I left I txt him back saying ill send Ev up to the door at least if they gun her down it will be one less x we have to worry about in the future.

    I was looking for a an x maybe I should of started my search here.

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    It is such a shame I wont get to see Hunter, but thats life. We have had a great time running around Louisville its not a real busy city from what I can gather most of the action seems to happen out in the suburbs surrounding the centre but its nice all the same and some great sites to see. Ill just upload a few pictures and you will see what kinds of things we've been taking in the last few days.

    The Louisville Slugger Museum

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    Pee wee Reese who was a local who went on to a great career, but was immortalized in bronze for his support of his team mate and first African American baseball player Jackie Robinson, I haven't seen the movie but it's called 42.


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    Ok from there we headed a bit out of town to another famous landmark for a walk around, Churchill Downs home of the Kentucky Derby.

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  15. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    Time for dinner at the old Spaghetti Factory here in downtown Louisville.

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    This was one of the main drags in town as you can see its not to busy here in the centre.

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    I had a make over while I was here in Louisville don't say your not impressed or even turned on a little, I'm just a cheap ho now ahahahah oh shhhhh

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    They had a severe thunderstorm warning and that it might create tornados with hail stones 2 to 3cm on the news tonight, boo friggin hoo no such luck ill defiantly be going chasing one of them before my time is up. I've just been watching the news out east of here they had 230 lightening strikes in 30 minutes that's pretty good stuff not the time to be out playing golf I can imagine.

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  16. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    Got up and left Louisville decided not to try and lob on the door step, I left a message with her doctor sister messaged, emailed and all no repsonse so its pretty obvious im not going to hear back. It brought back bad memories of when my family had in the past tried to go visit Logan at Christmas time only to have a door firmly closed in their face, what is it with some people when it comes to the other side of the family in breakups there certainly is just no middle ground with that shit.

    Anyway enough of that stuff the next stop as we left Louisville was an apt place to stop, the George Patton Museum I bet he hadnt fought such dirty wars.



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    It really wasn't that much of a museum, not one Id say go out of your way to see but it had a few good things in it, he certainly was one of the head honchos involved in the second world war.



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  17. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    From there we went up the road a ways and stopped to make a withdrawel so I can continue on my merry way around the world spending at the rate I am. Mmmm a little bit of security here at Fort Knox maybe if I just ask nicely they do have 3% of all the gold ever mined stored here shouldnt be to much to ask just to grab a little.

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  18. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    We hit the road again towards St Louis disappointed that they had knocked me back on my request for a few gold bars could they see how desperate I was slimming down looking like I hadn't eaten in months.

    Speaking of not eating for months I hadnt slept well last night I was about to crash and checked my emails only to find one from mum about my bank account being overdrawn oh ok better check that out and you guess it some scumbag had worked out how to withdraw 300 bucks out in Ethiopia ahahah gawd what a windfall for someone down there now there is someone that probably hadn't eaten for months, its like 2 years wages for someone down there at the princely sum of 28 USD a month they earn, I'm sure they are running round pissed as a nute having a ball celebrating there good fortune. The good news is that if they are Ethiopian their life expectancy is pretty low so they aren't going to be into ripping people off to much past their 40's and if they are real lucky past 50.

    Needless to say I thought I better jump online and sort it out before I crashed out last night only to get the site was down ok no probs ill give them a ring.

    Jump on Skype and im greeted with we have the best customer service in the world ok thats great, 30 odd minutes later I finally get on to talk to someone, yeah best in the world. Get her to lock the account down then she said ill lock your internet account ok its late by now I say ok change my password, she does that then says I have to be put you through to another office to change your other password, ok no problems 20 odd minutes late ive had a gutfull of waiting, that's it stuff it if I cant log into the account no one should be able to and since they had withdrawn the account under what was actually in there if they are stupid enough to let anyone take any more money good luck to them they can have it.

    I'm pretty careful wirth how much money I have accesable just in case this sort of thing happens which at times has been a bit of a pain but its better than losing to much.

    Enjoy Ethiopia ya thieving scumbag I'm stopping here for some lunch.

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    We cruised down the highway and at one point pulled off for some petrol and lunch and met a nice guy Doug who we had a good chat to. He was telling us to go north into Dakota and up that way but I really would like to go to Dodge City and as boring as the riding might be across Kansas being able to tell some one "Get the hell out of Dodge" just has to much appeal for me.

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    I had almost had enough for the day already so when I saw a hotel across the road I said to Ev lets call it a day, so we got back on the bike started on over to the hotel and you guessed it took a wrong turn and was back on the highway oh well im not turning around now. We ended up riding for a few hundred more miles till I was on reserve again and arriving in St Louis. We checked into an Econolodge or whatever it is called reasonably cheap we are going to have to camp soon we are carrying that taj mahal tent we might as well use it.

    The only down side to me riding 500 odd k's in a day is by the time im getting off the bike im ready to lie down not set up a tent, I know thats lazy but its all just to easy walk in turn the air conditioning on and lie down put the tv on and relax.
  19. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    Today we had a really nice day crusing around St Louis taking in a few of the sites, heres just a few pictures of the days adventure.

    St Louis the gateway to the west.

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    You learn something new every day, Napoleon sold this area which had been claimed by the French for 15 million dollars to the American's. Probably funded a lot of the Napoleonic wars I guess. Not a bad deal for the Yanks.

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    Shit oh the tragedies of life, I've lost a flip flop.

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    Got to go for a riverboat cruise on the Mississippi while we are in town.

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    The cruise itself isn't all that exciting the river front on the short cruise is pretty much made up of factories and shitty old buildings but oh well it was certainly a nice way to kill an hour or two on a beautiful afternoon.

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    Ok time to go up the Arch lets have a look and see what St Louis is like from up there.

    This is the court house in he centre of the picture where, ok I don't know his name sued for his freedom from slavery and pretty much started the Civil War.

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    Now back to the current and the important things in life, the Cardinals and the Phillys playing tonight across the road.

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  20. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,882
    Location:
    Byron Bay Australia and Earth
    Its funny Eva was surprised by the bubblers to get a drink of water out of, I thought id take a photo of her getting her first drink from one of them and there was no other reason I did.



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    Of course there wasn't, what do you take me for some sort of hethan, pullese I'm just your kind considerate caring type of guy sharing some of the more beautiful things of the world, I could of posted another picture of some old building on the river's edge, yeah right. I know what I like to look at, FINE ARCHITECHURE.



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    Tomorrow we are off to Kansas city we have put a bit of time together on our route so we know which way we are heading for the next few weeks now so that sort of gives us some sort of goal other than just west then north which we have been riding with up until now. We've had some great suggestions on routes none more so than from Gene in BC who we met in Germany at Stefan's. I'm really looking forward to it should be an amazing part of the adventure.