RTW on a H.A.T. In the slow lane.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by gperkins, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. yokesman

    yokesman Long timer

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    just readg in the HUBB, seems if you visited Iran lately entering the US may have some difficulties, fyi
    can be found under travelers advisories
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  2. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Yeah where on it yokesman, we've been naughty and visited the dark side, we know. That means Kat & I have to apply for a B1/B2 visa, instead of the usual visa waiver entry for either Aussie or Brit nationals. Even if we hadn't been to Iran we would still arrange a B1/B2 visa. On out UK passports it gives us 10 years unlimited entry to the USA, with some time limitations applied. Interestingly on our Australian passports it gives us 5 years with similar conditions, go figure. :dunno It's one of the numerous things we have to do when we return to Oz in the new year. A couple of months back I sent an email through to the USA consulate in Melbourne asking if we can apply for the B1/B2 visa in Australia on our UK passports. The response was "you can apply with any valid passport". We were pleased with that response. So that means when we hit the sunny shores of the US of A, we'll be "POMS". (prisoners of mother England) Sacré Bleau, :photog. Consider us as escapee's. Does that make us convicts then? Probably not, because we haven't been caught yet. :jack Just means that once we've lodged our application we have to come into the consulate in Melbourne and have an interview. Our research shows that people in similar situations are routinely issued their B1/B2 visa.
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  3. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    This last little while has felt like we are in a bit of a state of suspended animation. The weather is against us, only two days ago whilst traveling the CM210 through the Parque naturale de la Serrania de Cuenca we had constant rain, drizzle and occasional sleet, not fun at all. It's a stunning location and a fantastic road, only if the weather was better. This has taken us from the old town of Cuenca to the equally old but larger small city of Zaragoza on the Ebro river.

    Tomorrow we'll make a run to the Mediterranean coast where we should enjoy rays of sunshine and a heady 18 deg C or there abouts. :jkam

    Cuenca, centralish Spain.
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    Drinking beer and making music, main square, old town of Cuenca.
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    Loitering around Cuenca.
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    Sunny eh, warm no. Next day we would ride through 300 klms of rain, drizzle and sleet.
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    You'd feel confident living in the little one in the middle wouldn't you now?
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    Zaragoza, Spain.
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    Royal Enfields new Harley cruiser look-a-like maybe. I think I'll take Skippy thanks. Carousal, Zaragoza, Spain.
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    Rack of cured hams in a swish restaurant Zaragoza. 1 year old = 25 Euro, 2 year old = 45 Euro and 3 year old = 95 Euro per kilo. :nod
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    Sadly this could be just about anywhere in the world now days.
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  4. DunkingBird

    DunkingBird Been here awhile

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    That's a good plan ! Do you already know this unique coastal road ?

    upload_2018-11-7_12-12-35.png

    Some advertising, translated from German:

    Spectacular Cliff Cinema on a Wild Coast
    Where the Pyrenees plunge into the Mediterranean, not only the mountain roads over the high passes lure, here also one of the most beautiful coastal roads sticks to the cliffs - on both sides of the border. Already in the enchanting fishing village of Collioure, the coast lays down its monotonous flat face with endless sandy beaches, and the rugged Côte Vermeille begins. Those who see the slate terraces, on which the vines crowd, at Banyuls-sur-Mer, already suspect that the place became less famous as starting point of the coastal roller coaster, but because of its noble drop. We shouldn't enjoy it, because from now on our sense of balance will be put to a hard test anyway. Like a lindworm, the coastal road winds its way very close to the sea, offers spectacular driving fun and equally spectacular views. Far away to the sea and to the humpy coast with its small bays that lure to a beach holiday. Probably the best view is from Cap Cerbère, where of course a "Point de vue" was also created together with the corresponding stopping bay. A short turn on the gas and we are in Spain. Passing Portbou and Colera with its small but fine marina, the road curves around the cliffs, leads through El Port de Llançà, that already offers a lot more space for yachts, and then starts to the final spurt. It should be clear that the race will be rapidly winding, but the destination is exactly the right place to recover. El Port de la Selva - the postcard place nestles with its bright white houses in a wide bay, and those who don't only take a break at the beach but also stroll through the alleys of the oldtown will not regret it. Still time in your luggage? Then further into the picturesque Cadaques. It doesn't go any longer along the coast, but what does it matter?

    Cheers, Peter

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  5. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Nah, completely unaware of that road DunkingBird, but we'll be making our way to the coast pretty much the shortest way. Which will land us somewhat south of there between Barcelona and Valencia. It's something of a tourist ghetto along this coast. But we have an appointment and friends to meet up with, so should be good week or more down that way. There'll be a fair amount of this :beer and a good dose of that :dukegirl going on I should think. Thanks all the same.
  6. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Time to go chunky up front. Continental TKC80 on, Metzler Tourance Next off, after 21,436 klms. (13329 miles). Good tyre, no vices as far as I can tell.
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  7. markinthailand

    markinthailand Been here awhile

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    Planning on more goat tracks? :-)
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  8. yokesman

    yokesman Long timer

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    More-rocko?
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  9. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Ahh maybe markinthailand and "she that must be obeyed" is not impressed. :dirtdog
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  10. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    I like that yokesman, the pronunciation police would say Morocco, but i prefer your version, More-rocko :lol3. With some luck we'll venture a little further south. West Sahara at least or further depending upon circumstances.
    Currently we are getting flooded out, so anywhere where there is more sun and less rain is OK by us.
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  11. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    As alluded to previously we have been enjoying the company of both new and old friends here on the Mediterranean coast of Spain near Valencia. We've been totally absorbed in good conversation, laughs, drinks and eats with fellow travellers and others. Now if we could just get a hint of the summer just gone. The weather has gone from sublime to ridiculous. Flooding all around and there is a MotoGP to attend. :dirtdog

    Fellow overlander's Cath & Les from Canada, Ken & Carol from Aus and Kat and I. I first met Ken and Carol in Italy back in 99. We of course met up earlier this year in Amiens for the Villiers Brettonaux commemorations.
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    I think this shot explicitly explains why we travel. A great night with a great bunch of people. Special thanks to our hosts Pilly & Jose.
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    Ken & Carol and their 81 Beemer that has now done 930,000 klms. :bow
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  12. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    We've all heard of paella, but there is a variation from the Catalan region called fideua that is pasta based not rice. Ahh, life here in Spain is good, no doubt about it. Jose and Pila are pretty damn hot on the paella/fideua. Jose was to join us last year on the China crossing, but he couldn't get his Pakistan visa. We'd stayed in touch since and jumped at the chance to come and visit when the time was right. This summer just gone, Jose rode from Valencia to Vladivostok and back. Yep just a quick jaunt up the road. :ricky

    Fideua.
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    Race time! For as long as I can remember I've wanted to do a Spanish MotoGP and now we've finally made it. Yesterdays practice they could have gone around in a dinghy. Today was much better, though not great. Lets see what race day brings tomorrow.
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    I'm guessing somewhere in the grandstand there are some other Aussies supporting Jack Miller. Go Jack!
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    Jack, read the flippin sign, keep it UP^
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    Jack with a busted Ducati.
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    Bloody hell Jack, thats twice now. Let me guess, your mechanics are not happy?
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    All good, this one will polish out.
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  13. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    So thats MotoGP 2018 done and dusted. Not that there was any dust here in Valencia, sadly the weather man was correct and the heavens opened up. Both the Moto3 & Moto2 races were completed with many riders binning it. Then as the premiere MotoGP class came out the heavens really opened up causing the race directors to red flag the event less than 1/2 way in. Ken, Carol, Katrina & I thought better of it and made our way to the buses and out of there, rather than wait for a possible restart and the completion of the race. The list of riders that fell foul of the conditions were many and it really was a matter of survival out there on the track.

    Our rain coats from the 2 Euro shop would prove invaluable.
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    Start of the Moto3 race.
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    Celebrations at the conclusion of the Moto3. Damn these little 250's were loud. Louder than either the 600 Moto2's or the 1000 MotoGP bikes.
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    Moto2 Disappear into the mist and rain.
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    There was a hell of a lot of this going on all weekend.
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    MotoGP start.
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    About 2 seconds later. :lurk
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    Being a recently built dedicated motorcycle race track it's one of the better ones we have been to thats for sure. Viewing was great with grandstands all around the track. It does seem to be a lot of hard acceleration, quickly followed by equally hard braking. Unfortunately we were to run out of luck with the weather thats all. I still reckon Phillip island back home is damn hard to beat. Of course it too can suffer lousy weather.

    Morocco and warmer weather beckons. We should be there in about a week I should think. :jkam
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  14. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Time to put on our tourist hats and visit Bateria de Castillitos just outside of Cartagena. Here you'll find a pair huge 381mm guns, made by Vickers of England and installed on the cliff tops to protect Cartagena back in the 20's. Damn these guns are huge, 17 metres long and can lob a projectile weighing nearly a metric tonne 35 kilometres off to the horizon. They did their job, because no enemy warship came within reach knowing that they might be vaporised in an instant.

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    Command and control rooms were either underground or at least semi buried underground.
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  15. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    In Granada in southern Spain lies the Alhambra palace a fortified palace on a hillside over looking the city. All reports suggest it's an incredible place to experience and walk around. The splendour of the gardens and the architecture. We can't confirm that for we only viewed it from a distance. I'm not too sure what this says, but we have seen so many iconic destinations we no longer feel compelled to visit these sites or at least many of these sites. Have we travelled too long, I simply don't know? This particular trip is now into it's 3rd year and I'm sure it will go much longer. But prior to this Katrina and I have spent a further 7 years, either living or traveling outside of Australia. Just walking around the old town of Granada and seeing the overly inflated prices for simple foods, buskers on the corners, tour groups faithfully traipsing after a flag waving tour leader, giving descriptions and narratives that have been repeated a thousand times before. Countless people living the bohemian lifestyle, dreadlocks, flowing 60's/70's clothes, banging on drums, blowing on flutes and attempting to sell bracelets and beads to subsist on. We've both had enough of this and we need something different. Perhaps this is a sanctimonious and smug view, I don't know. I do know this though it's time to move on. If we are not careful I know we'll find similar in Morocco. At least it will be a little warmer. We've got upwards of 2 months down there. We could easily make it to Dakar, but I'm not going to crank out the kilometres just to tick a box. Somewhere there'll be some small villages to kick back and relax in. Park the bike and just let the world pass by. There will still be a few of the usual destinations, thats inevitable. Lets see what eventuates.

    Alhambra palace from a distance.
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    This is the low season, it would be manic mid summer and this is just a little square away from the busy old town.
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  16. yokesman

    yokesman Long timer

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    sounds like a plan, much like I want to start out with. But, First, the daily , morning ride.?
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  17. BarryB

    BarryB Been here awhile

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    I have not traveled as extensively as you guys have, but I have gotten around a bit and I can tell you that the Alhambra is truely amazing! If you ever get back, it’s worth a visit.
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  18. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Morning ride is a good start yokesman, mind I would think it's starting to get a little cold over your way, morning or afternoon.
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  19. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    It's appreciated BarryB, but it's just something that both Katrina and I have felt for quite some time now. Some may say we could be a little jaded, I don't really see it that way. Having toured some of the grandest mansions, palaces, castles & cathedrals in the world, visiting yet another seems simply like putting a tick in the box. If I were to recommend just one museum it's hard to go past the Hermitage in St Petersburg, Country Estate, Chatsworth House in England, natural wildlife sanctuary if you can call it that, it's hard to beat the Monterey aquarium. Places of worship the Blue mosque in Istanbul. When in Madrid a few weeks ago we spent only one hour in the Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain. We could have easily spent all day there, but I only wanted to see Picasso's Guernika. Having already seen countless Renoir's et-al, seeing a few more just doesn't cut it any more. Perhaps it could reasonably be deduced that we are in fact a little jaded.

    We find seeking out the little church in Bruges, Belgium where Michelangelo's https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madonna_of_Bruges is housed, which we did in 2002 and similar experiences often more fulfilling than traipsing for hours around grandiose surrounds. Of course my own prejudices come into play, being an avowed atheist. I push back as it were when i see these colossal constructions both projecting and demonstrating seats of power, regardless if they be religious or monarchial, but are usually one and the same. When in Bruges it was the genius of Michelangelo we wanted to experience. It just happened to be housed in a church and of a religious theme.

    I've read on numerous blogs how some travellers reach a point where they've had enough and are ready to pack it in. Thats not us at all. It's just that today felt a little like conveyor belt tourism, something that we typically do a 180 deg turn from when we see it.
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  20. markinthailand

    markinthailand Been here awhile

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    Not having traveled quite as much as you two, but having traveled in Africa, Latin American, and Asia since I was young, a lot of this resonates. I'd much rather find a small place and soak in the local life than just check the boxes. Some of the famous places are famous for a reason, and worth going to. Some are just famous because they are famous. And once everyone is going there it is sometimes just too much. This coming from an expat of 22+ years! Our own adopted city is 700 years old, and we still enjoy exploring the markets and finding the older local places. But younger digital nomads and others living the life are constantly bopping between the newest hip restaurant, music festival, or "must see/must do" experience. And along the way they have amazing Instagram stories, but miss the local culture and day to day life for all of that...
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