There and Back Again - Southern England and Ireland on 2 V-Stroms.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Don T, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. Edmond Dantès

    Edmond Dantès The Kanto Pain

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    Now I can fully appreciate the breathtaking scenery, but the infidelity...?

    Hold on, (excuse my slow uptake)... Got it. Your girlfriend falling for the F800GS and not telling the jilted Suzy!:wink:
    #41
  2. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    :thumb
    #42
  3. SpaceManSpiff

    SpaceManSpiff Man of Mystery

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    Good stuff, Don!

    Is there more? :lurk
    #43
  4. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    Thanks Spiff.

    Next episode is due later today.
    #44
  5. ClearwaterBMW

    ClearwaterBMW The Examiner Supporter

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    what a wonderful ride report. thanks for sharing with us
    arguably the most beautiful place on earth
    #45
  6. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    It was still early morning when we were back on the bikes and ready to explore Exmoor.
    Exmoor National Park covers 267 square miles and is a mix of moorland, woodland, valleys and farmland - all crisscrossed by narrow single lane roads - often with extreme gradients – the perfect place to ride the V-Strom’s!

    There were several specific places/areas scattered throughout Exmoor that Katrine wanted to see before we continued our journey. She gave me the locations and then it was up to me to make a route on the GPS connecting them before we left the Culbone.

    Ridning through Exmoor:
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    One of the places she wanted to see was Tarr Steps at the River Barle.
    As we approached the place halfway through the route, there were signs by the roadside indicating that the road ahead was not suitable for vehicles.
    On our map the road crossed the river, but when I zoomed in on the GPS the road ended at the river and continued on the other side – this looked interesting.

    When we finally reached the river after having passed several warning signs we were greeted by this:
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    We quickly agreed to give it a go and cross the river. Besides a small fort earlier in the day, this was the first time Katrine was going to attempt a water crossing on a motorcycle and she was very excited (to say the least).
    I'’ve done several water crossings when riding off road on my Yamaha WR 250R, but it’s a different matter when doing it on a bike twice the weight and on street tires.
    But as the water was shallow and the only challenge was that the bottom of the river consisted of slippery fist-sized stones I felt comfortable and crossed the river first.

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    I made it across easily so Katrine was a bit more relaxed (but still very cautious) when it was her turn.



    After this enjoyable little challenge we continued along the great roads of Exmoor.

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    When we finally had seen what we wanted in Exmoor, we headed southwest to Cornwall, where Katrine wanted to visit St. Michael’s Mount.
    As all the B&B’s in walking distance to the castle was full (or too expensive for our taste) we checked in at a campsite just outside of Marazion.

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    After putting up the tent we walked down to have a closer look at the castle. There is a cobbled road leading from the beach to the castle, but it is only accessible at low tide and when we arrived the tide was coming in flooding the road – the difference between low and high tide is around 20 feet :eek7

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    It was now late in the afternoon so we had to catch a boat as we wanted to see the inside of the castle before it closed for visitors for the day.

    We spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the castle and the surrounding area that was now an island.

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    On the boat back to the mainland the captain told us, that the tide would make it possible to walk the now submerged road around 10 pm. After coming ashore we walked back to the campsite to get a dip in the pool and a shower before going out for dinner.

    Before dinner we walked down to the shore to get a look at how the tide was doing.

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    We had a really nice dinner (and beer) at a pub in the center of Marazion just next to the town’s church where the choir was practicing while we were eating – nice :velvt
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    It was almost 10 pm when we headed back down to the beach with full stomachs and in a good mood. The road to the Mount was now coming into view and we decided to use it for an evening stroll.

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    Later in the evening when we hit the sack, we had no problems falling asleep after a long, eventful and extraordinarily nice day.
    #46
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  7. Lacedaemon

    Lacedaemon Been here awhile

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    Great report! Really enjoying following along!
    #47
  8. Irish John

    Irish John Been here awhile

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    Lawrence, KS but I'd rather be in Ireland
    Nicely done report. Love to see stories by fellow Vstrom-ers.
    #48
  9. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    Thanks Clearwater.

    I have traveled many beautiful places around the world (including the US) and the UK is one of the places that have impressed me the most.
    #49
  10. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    Thanks guys - I'm glad that you feel intertained.
    #50
  11. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    Well rested after a good night’s sleep we woke up in the morning to yet another beautiful day in England.
    Contrary to the previous day, where there had been several things we wanted to see on route, the only plan for this day was to head east towards Folkestone.


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    Late in the afternoon after a good days riding we arrived in Hastings where we checked in at an old hotel converted into a Chinese restaurant with an adjacent pub on the ground floor and B&B rooms upstairs.


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    The place was located just north of Alexandra Park were we went for a walk before dinner. It was a large and really nice municipal park with different areas accommodating different kind of people - lawns for games and sports, tennis courts, neat flower gardens for relaxation, a small forest and even lakes where you could go fishing.


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    Back at the “hotel” we had dinner at the Chinese restaurant where the food was excellent and plenty – the result was that we both felt like foie gras geese when we left the table.


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    When we finally got to bed that night, I was looking forward to the next day that for various reasons would be a special day for me…
    #51
  12. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    The next morning I was awakened by a kiss and a “Happy birthday” by Katrine.
    It was my 40th birthday and for the first time on this trip, it was entirely up to me how we were going to spend the day.

    This was our last day in the UK, so we started with a full English breakfast before getting back on the bikes.
    From Hasting it was a short ride to Folkestone and the train back to mainland Europe.

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    When we got off the train in Calais it took a bit of getting use to riding in the right side of the road again after 2 weeks in the “wrong” side.
    The weather was bountiful (as expected on my birthday :D) and we had a good time as we rode east through France and later Belgium until we hit the Ardennes late in the afternoon.


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    A few days earlier I had contacted Hetty at Baton Rouge to hear if they had room for Katrine and me if we dropped by on our way home.
    We stumbled across Baton Rouge by chance a few years ago and have stayed there several times since – and in that time we have developed a friendship with Ben and Hetty who owns and run the place.


    Baton Rouge is a Motorcycle inn (bikers only) located in the Ardennes in Belgium just north of Luxembourg. Besides traditional rooms the place has 2 Dormitories accommodating respectively 8 and 16 people.
    I have always loved the genuine “biker” atmosphere at Baton Rouge and it’s unlike any other place I’ve visited.


    As we arrived at Baton Rouge after a great days riding I was greeted with a birthday song and Hetty had prepared a special birthday dinner for me and the other guests.

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    Hetty's Buell looked really small parked between the V-Stroms:
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    One of the guests was Ben’s big brother who we had heard a lot about over the years, so it was nice to finally meet him.

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    Besides dinner Hetty had also made me a birthday cake.

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    The rest of the evening was spent in the garden in good company around the bonfire :freaky

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    It was late before I found my bed that night after an excellent 40<sup>th</sup> birthday :clap
    #52
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  13. panzerrocket

    panzerrocket Been here awhile

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    Nice report, Don :lurk
    Keep it coming.
    #53
  14. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    Getting up the next morning was harder than usual and it took a hearty breakfast and plenty of coffee before we felt ready to say goodbye and get on the bikes.

    This was the last day of the journey and as it often happens when a trip draws to a close we were eager to get home, so when we exited the Ardennes we hit the motorway and gave the bikes some throttle.

    With a cruising speed around 100 mph it didn't take long before we had covered the 500 miles between Baton Rouge and the ferry back to Denmark.

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    From the ferry it was only a short ride to our house where we were greeted by a garden that had thrived in the 3 weeks we had been away.

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    Besides the incident with the short circuit on my bike just outside of Dublin, the V-Strom's had performed brilliantly on the entire trip and proved just how capable and versatile touring bikes they are.
    The most prominent difference between the performance of the old and the new version of the Strom was fuel consumption - my bike (the new model) constantly used 15-20% less fuel than Katrine's.

    Here is a map showing the route we did - the colors indicate the day stages:

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    THE END!

    #54
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  15. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

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    What a fine report! I just read it end to end and enjoyed it immensely. It has a very nice mix of writing and photos and the writing is excellent. Like the earlier commenter, it is nice to see a report where the bikes are V-Stoms (or anything other than BMW or KTM :D). When I saw that little stone footpath across the river I thought you might try to ride it but the water crossing looked like a lot more fun. Thanks again for letting us "ride" with you! And happy 40th, even if a bit belated. :clap
    #55
  16. ipetter

    ipetter Adventurer

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    Brilliant report. I've enjoyed every minute of reading this!
    #56
  17. CharlestonADV

    CharlestonADV I do my own stunts. Supporter

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    Really enjoyed this ride report. Thanks for posting.:thumb
    #57
  18. Irish John

    Irish John Been here awhile

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    Lawrence, KS but I'd rather be in Ireland
    Cheers!! Lovely report.
    #58
  19. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    Thanks.

    The RR is done but I recorded several hours with my GoPro while riding in Ireland, and when I get around to edit it I'll post the result here in the thread.
    #59
  20. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    Thanks for the feedback Blader :norton
    I doesn't take a Beemer or a Katoom to explore the world - most trips done on those bikes could just as well be done on a V-Strom (or similar bike) - sometimes less is more...

    We never considered using the stone footpath (Tarr Steps) to cross the river - it is a monument as much as a footpath and clearly reserved for pedestrians - and water crossings are always cool :D
    #60