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Old 05-23-2013, 05:05 AM   #1
mka OP
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spins, trips, rants, raves, fotos, messin around and all that kinda stuff....

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this thread is just to satisfy my brain.....so if you dont like it *****


im getting the apologies for the crapness of how this thread will turn out out of the way at the start and will fill in more as and when needed......

apologies apologies apologies


if i can get it (my confusions) out onto paper/screen then it frees my head up for other nonsense........so it has to be done

i will put in stuff about some of my trips or outings or tours and other opinionated stuff that floats across my vision every so often

please feel free to comment good or bad or both

it could be just a stream of consciousness and at least it is held in one thread which can be easily ignored

in the future time i would like to thank ADV for allowing me this form of therapy as most others havent worked for me and i am sure this one will..



and so to begin...


once upon a time / in the long long ago / fado fado

- sidebar

i am planning a trip to bonnie scotland beginning of this june - west of ireland north over glenshane pass, round north coast...dunluce etc...and down to larne....then over
the sea to skye (troon actually) and off up to the hi'lands like a choo choo train....!!! only a couple of days but the people i work with are driving me into the bloody
river (this trip is also a part of the ADV therapy)


i will get photos and all that jazz and post them here later........

- end of sidebar


BUT............



for now.....i have some pics of this trip done last may

all the way to Italy from Ireland, and it went something like this...


I wanted away and have a good friend living over in Northern Italy/Swiss border area. He has a small garage where I could park up a bike for a while..ok..mighty.

planning was done and I thought the perfect bike for a distance like this was my vstrom 1000....not fast not furious but easy to ride all day...

broke the good news to the family.........it didnt go as well as i thought but no bother as ferry ticket was in hand and bags were already packed !


away away ...


first stop on the road for Sligo, dull grey day but it was dry between the showers





this one shows a castle somewhere near Limerick or thereabouts...got a cup of good strong tea and away again




another stop, another cup of good tea....see porcelain cup and saucer sitting on pannier somewhere in the republic of Cork




eventually i got to ferry terminal late as usual as you can see from the photo



I arsed about here for what felt like a week until it began to fill up with people dying to get off this rocky spit of wetness

I spotted a big range rover with swiss plates.......this country is so small this could only be one person/family.

I had the flick down sunglass things built into helmet/lid that i never get to use other than to act as a second layer of protection from the driving rain..

jesus sorry getting sidetracked

with me sunglasses flicked down

up goes i to the swiss man in the big jeep (suv to you cousins over dere) and did my best 'are you lookin at me....monsieur *****!!' -

im sorry to say i scared the crap out of him and his wife.....!! eventually i got the lid off and calmed them down. the poor man was hyperventilating !

they are a gentle french/swiss retired couple and come to ireland 3 or 4 times a year, but funny enough, I haven't seen them in a long while...




this is the luvly luvly luvly port of Cobh (used to be called queenstown when the brits thought they ruled the world)


- if you would like to learn how to use the cork accent please check out 'sminky shorts' on utube and enjoy cartoons at the same time....brilliant..!




this picture shows the last place the titanic docked before heading off to the land of nod, being late for the ferry i didnt see the museum which is supposed to be
really good.




it comes back to me now.....i watched the champions league final on the boat while chugging on its was to france !
there was rubgy on also.....got wrecked in the bar..oh and other stuff is coming back to me now.........


more of Cobh !





better shag off now and do some work, get someting to eat, take a leak, strain the spuds.........


that was day one done after a great day, off to a bed fit for a small mouse of not very big proportions.....

slept deeply and dreamt of fishes and loaves and holey things


to be continued...
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Old 05-24-2013, 03:07 AM   #2
mka OP
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heres a f*ckin rant for ya

just got off phone with an overpaid self righteous bitch gettin on my ass about submitting f*ckin statistics for da revenue people here.
i just dont understand their system and now im in the shit - i asked her can i be jailed for this bullshit - not immediately she replies the smug hoor -
but, she says, we can prosecute and eventually it may come to that.......

this is about f*ckin statistics......!!! no wonder the world is gone bloody mad

and another hoor i work with is givin me so much grief bitchin n whinin and moanin


thank god to get out on the road for an hour to clear the head.....a tank of petrol, its better than drugs !

rant now officially over -

calm


back to story of going to Italy

next morning, with a maggoty head on me and after missing the breakfast on the ferry, i head down to get ready to go. the boat ties up



a whole hour goes by, every other conceivable vehicle ever created gets off the ferry before us dicks with our bikes in one small corner....!!

im rarin to go but cant get out

i figure to do 1100 km today, get clear across france as near to swiss border as possible and it is already 9 am and im standing in a metal box blowin a head gasket.

eeeveentually - we're off....up tha ramp and away like frig

all headin the one way and as miles go up each separates down a different road, it is cloudy or misty or whatever the french word is.

the head clears slowly a bit like the mist and soon im on these huge freeways heading for paris

of course no manners and the fuel runs out very fast, stop for snack, no shaggin tea here, just cafe ! monsieur ! cool !

first stop, havent a baldy where this is and dont much care either



mother of jaysu but it is turning out to be a massively boring ride, just big wide flat roads all the bloody way across the country, i was falling asleep and it
wasnt even lunchtime. lunchtime, time for a stop and third refill..

stopped here, got coffee no sorry cafe from a massive freakin machine, a huge thing covering a wall, not very french really and i got a croc monsieur
i think thats what it was called, it had everything in it -
ham, cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, tuna, corn and on and on - it tasted like total puke !

i thought Autogrill would be good because in Italy you get good stuff to eat and it is fast but this was worse than home, way worse.



so away again with a now very achy tired head

eventually of course , the bleedin rain started and the thunder, and the lightening - a total freakin storm

i was wetter than...well i was very wet

i remember being stopped forever at a toll booth and it was pissing down and about 3 inches of water on the ground, lightening brightening up the dark cloudy sky
and a kid was in a car near me looking over and laughing and pointing, well little kid, ive got a message for you - i know where you live you little bollox !

got into another rest stop, stopped, dropped my arms took of gloves and about 2 gallons of water ran down my sleeves, great bloody time, more french people
laughin ! bollox.



this is turning out to have only pics of rest stops, i know you like them so heres one more, but thats it - you'll get no more after this.





it was getting late, i reckoned i would go as far as Belfort (i think thats the name of the town), it was near the border and i had clocked up the 1100 km by then.

so i stayed in the best part of town (as you do !)





sorry - intermission -

the cattle need feeding !



to be continued
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Old 05-25-2013, 07:14 AM   #3
mka OP
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back again, no grass this year so mostly nuts !

to continue,

this was a forlorn kind of area to be in and all services could be bought at most street corners so i made for a hotel nearby as i really needed to dry out by now..




spotted a best western hotel with secure parking, opposite train station........perfect !

train station, as seen from one of those street corners mentioned before.



i know it is a bit daft putting a pic of a train station on here, but there you go. it's part of my life's experience and all that.

so i go into reception, through the secure area !!

and started to negotiate a good price for a room with a view !!

very quickly i had made a great bargain of the exact going rate (take it or leave it monsieur !) for an incredible room with an amazing view !

see the amazing view below...




well spotted you bright things...it's a view of the train station....!!!

i stripped off leathers (in my room), they weighed twice what they should have....like the idiot i am, i kept thinking the rain would stop, the
air would dry me off..so i didnt put on the waterproofs that were sitting folded in my bloody panniers.........big lesson in life, get off the damn bike and put them on if
it starts to rain....such a simple simple rule but i couldn't even get that one right.

i hung leathers, boots, gloves and my mormon underwear in the bathroom and it started to drip drip drip.........ten minutes later floor was a mess, towels, wiping etc etc

i used the hair dryer for every purpose but the right one but feck all use it was....

i got pissed off and went down the street for some great french cuisine....!!

mega choice of slice of pizza or kebab..........the cordon bleu society is alive and well for sure !

settled on a slice or two of plain pizza and tin of fanta....!!! it was a joy to behold, and lo, all the hunger was satiated, and man once again could burp with a
feeling of total satisfaction coming from his loins (well, not total satisfaction, but nearly).

the rain that had come forth in such a deluge continued into the night making it difficult for me to converse with the pretty ladies who hung out by the street corners.

that, and the fact that i have no french, made it an early night for me.

besides, my arse was a bit numb from riding all that way from the ferry.

and so to bed, but first another round of trying to dry my clothes......i was up every hour or two using dryer/towels etc cos i knew it would be the worst feeling in the
world to put this crap on again, get on a bike and ride through switzerland and up over the cold alps (i know that you know what i mean)........which is what i was planning next day !

i dreamt of watery things, wet things, warm things and other things...!!


next morning.



bonjour to the new day....feck all sleep really..........i am naturally a happy person as you can see from this monologue, the grumpiness is just fantasy really


And lo, the sun arose over the french city, but no one saw it, hidden once again behind grey grey greyness.


up ya good thing.

soggy leathers on, soggy boots on, soggy feckin gloves on....worst feeling known to man.....

soggy arse planted upon seat...no no no ......still tired from yesterday and all the pretty girls were gone home too.

off, off and away we go, up the road to the border.

loads of big trucks, queued up for miles, i slipped on by everyone.....a great pleasure, right to top of the line !!


welcome to switzerland............!!!


some welcome

first thing is i get pulled over by cops or whatever they are called, roaring something at me in a foreign language (well, foreign to me anyways !)

about money and tickets - WTF, send in the bloody clowns, this is not the touristy, yodelling, choclatey freakin welcome i had in mind !!!!

of course it was all about money, isn't it always. i had been robbed by tolls all day yesterday and these feckers wanted more.......!

can't argue with buffoons in uniform in a language you can't speak while sitting in a shroud of wetness.....i just couldn't do it, so i paid the man.

we spend our lives just paying the man, always some man, just paying him, always. then you go home and you have to pay her (don't get me started on that)

so it costs me 50 something euros for a stupoid sticker which will entitle me to ride slooowlly across this tax haven for the (man) shameless.

it lasts for a year, i need it for a day......tough shit jonny foreigner ha ha ha !

and the change i got was some huge bloody silver coins big enough to skim across one of their big flat blue lakes...great. not.


away, away...they cant take my soul, well not yet anyway.


they drive slooowwly in this part of the world........so i hammered it past them to a fading song of beeps, toots and raised fists.......50 euro, i'll get my money's worth !


the weather like my mood is starting to brighten (both were in the shitter to be fair)

i enter zurich, their motto should be - easy to enter, totally impossible to leave !

can't get a handle on this city at all........pull in, eat a toblerone, drink a hot chocolate and move up the road.

stopped again as nature was calling.

cafe/coffee/jo and a bun/croissant/donut, but no smile, no have a nice day, just a blank look of 'ive more money than you, piss off'

switzerland could only get better...........and it did, it really did.

as i ate the sweet thing (not that sweet thing) i noticed it had jam/jelly right through it, see pic below....this was ingenious i thought (we're not very inventive where i
come from)


i actually spent many hours later that day trying to figure out how they got the jam/jelly in while high up in the mountains going a bit demented !!

(in my country we still can't figure how they get the figs into the fig rolls (type of cookie/biscuit/biscotti sweet thing)

and it was very tasty




by now it was hotting up, after much time passing i finally got out of zurich by using the correct road (doh !)

it was getting up to 30 degrees, steam was rising from the leathers and it felt very squirrely inside them.

so i pulled into next service station, filled up, 1 euro to take a leak in a very fancy restroom/diner place with nice view, see below

no, the pic isn't of the fancy restroom, it's outside the fancy restroom. it was only 5 euro just to sit in the diner here but i wasn't feeling too charitable by now.







sorry, gotta go


usual story, cattle need feeding again...
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Old 05-27-2013, 07:35 AM   #4
mka OP
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apologies for lack of pics and too much ranting.

this is further pic from rest stop, amazing colours of the water and mountains.





it was very hot by now, my jacket was actually hot to the touch on the outside and wet to the touch on the inside, strange but true.....!!!

more mountains and stinky jacket.




I think I was heading towards a place called Chur, but truthfully I didn't care as at least I was moving and that helped cool things down.

It was as I had imagined, big skies, big mountains and big everything.





I kept her lit and eventually started going uphill, gently, gently, but definintely uphill.

The snow capped mountains were nearing and rising ever higher and closer in front of me. I was happy and apprehensive as I am not mechanical in any way
and didn't want to be breaking down somewhere up there.....

The weather closed in a bit I was thinking but really I was just going so high I was going into the clouds.

It started to look a bit like the sound of music, well sort of..!




By now - I was very tired - after shitty sleep the night before and melting in Zurich. I didn't pass or go through Chur and I didn't even notice.

It was just a slow steady climb.

Then I could see the road was getting icy, slippy, icy again. the corners were getting tighter, road getting smaller, steeper, much colder and mistier !!

And i was getting very tired but as all paddies do I just kept going, no stopping to put on some warmer layers, no turning back to get some coffee or shelter.

It started to snow.....jaysus this isn't funny anymore.......it was as cold as the proverbial witches tit and then I was in the snow level.

It was coming at me sideways and road was so slippy, great fun but as paddies do, onwards thick paddy.




by now I wasn't thinking straight at all, it took all my concentration to navigate the tight turns and the icy snowy stuff on the road but it felt great anyway.

it felt a long way from the nice rest stop way below. i met no cars, trucks and no bikes in all this time.

i suspect sane people were watching the forecast !



As I rounded one corner it was clear up ahead and I saw 2 men standing beside their bicycles and one bent down over a gas thing and pot, looked like they
were making tea or coffee, one was an asian man the other caucasian and both were in their cycling gear. God they must be frozen I thought and how did
they get up this far on those roads.

Nevermind that I said to myself, I wondered could they spare a sip of coffee, so I came up to them slowly, they saw me and smiled. I stopped carefully and took off
my helmet and when I looked round they were not there !! gone !! what the F**k !!

By now I knew I must be tired. I had pulled in beside them, they had even smiled at me for god's sake.


So, not a sip of coffee, I was getting jittery !! mighty fun indeed.....this was now an adventure !!!

Nothing else but keep going and eventually I went over and started down the other side, I still don't know which pass or road it was but next time I
would be more prepared for sure and better dressed.

I whizzed down the other side, I think I was in Silvaplana Saint Moritz area but not so sure. Either way I was soon headed for Chiavenna in the great country
of Italia !!

It poured down all the way into Chiavenna but my mind was resolutely fixed on one thing (well, mostly on the one thing) - food !! drink !!! food !!

I knew a place just south of Chiavenna called the Moreschi Bakery - it is one of the best coffee houses I have ever been in.

And by the time I got there I would have eaten anything, I didn't feel the cold by now as I was down to my core, no feeling in legs or arms.

I know you guys have been to this level ! it goes with the territory.

Pulled in. didn't see any cyclists making coffee !!!

spremuta arancia - pure fresh squeezed orange juice, done while you wait.............!!!!!

cappuccino, due crema brioche..........!!!! fantastico !!!

definite must for anyone within 50 km of Chiavenna - Moreschi Bakery, it's big, it's bright and it's perfect......lunch, dinner or snacks....and staff are very cute !



almost human again, two more coffees and i was getting there but i was a soggy mess again.........did i say i had learnt that i should put on rain wear if it
started to rain..........thick as an ass and now i was wet as an ass.


So back in the saddle again and riding out on the range....feeling much much better even in the downpour.

next stop - lago di como.....!!!!
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Old 05-28-2013, 03:54 AM   #5
mka OP
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buongiorno....


soooo

i made my way easily south to the lake, even in the crappy weather it is beautiful.




this was to be the bikes new home for a while and i introduced her around to some of the nice places, great roads and hills.

so far on this trip she was perfectly well behaved, not a word from her, first time starts everytime !!

so i took another snap for the album..

this one is down by the ferry area in Varenna...so nice and tranquil......i just sat in the rain and soaked it up (the atmosphere, not the rain !)


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this one shows Bellagio in the background and the clouds moving about down Mr Clooney's part of the lake.





what more could you ask for ?


food, of course and some vino, to be sure !!!


no time to arse about....


i headed on but had to stop at a famous stream/river which only flows at certain time of year...!! it is called Fiumelatte (milk river ?) and is quite a torrent when
it gets going.....it seems it is from the melting ice high up and goes underground much of the way down to surface just south of Varenna.

The great man Leonardo da Vinci tried to find its source but could not....or so it is said. and how could i argue with that !




and another of this milky river...




went to get back on her ladyship but saw this so another photo, crappy but it kind of shows what a cool place this is at anytime..




food for god's sake, get going..

slipped down to Mandello del Lario to Albergo Grigna.....highly recommended, friendly, good food and all that.

reason i went in there the first time was, i saw some workmen heading in there at lunch time one day and these guys would know a good spot for sure.

i ordered black pasta ravioli with salmone or at least i think that was what it was......!!! very good, with some bread and wine and big dessert to follow..




I don't remember where I spent that night, but it will come back to me eventually.


next morning it was sunny, i went into Varenna to look around the piazza..



very nice.........and the victoria hotel has a great pizzeria it's in the background of the photo above.

tiny church (there are churches everywhere) only about 14 feet wide i think



another church..this one has really old drawings of the devil himself on the walls inside...........a bit creepy but it made you think !

I think it is called San Griorgio church, not sure though.




Right So.....I have a whole day to kill now....so i headed round the lake going north and back down the other side just for a spin...

stopped here near a marina north of Menaggio somewheres



the worst part (and its not a major thing at all) is not being able to speak the language......I have enough to get fedded and bedded but no more than that.

(the Italian people are obviously so very kind, loving, family people and tolerate us masses of tourists all year long, but it would be nice to shoot the breeze a bit
with them. I think you learn a lot about people in watching the way they deal with their kids, it speaks volumes..!)

(And in Italy they treat kids so well, it is amazing.)

the green and the blue...




spotted a big house on edge of the lake - it was used in a Bond movie - casino royale - i think...at the end Mr Bond shoots some guy outside this house ?!





sorry, the picture below is a better one....cool looking house though.....i thnik it is split up as many luxury apartments now.





Earlier I had met up with my very good friend and as is his way, he came across the lake in his red speedboat.....very cool...!!!

He picked me up and we motored to a great lakeside resaturant - Varenna Caffe.

this was just one of the dishes on offer, and man did we eat some good stuff there !




this is the view from where you eat !





So to continue back round the top of the lake, it was very bright and time was marching on.

Stopped to take pics of lake and villages, see below.



I had to fly back home soon so was getting a bit of a downer by now.




some stuff i cant recollect (my memory sucks when i need it to !) but I had figured to go up to one of the passes the next morning just for the halibut !
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so blank blank blank and soon it was morning again !
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Old 05-28-2013, 04:27 AM   #6
Rutabaga
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You ride rough, eat pretty good, go to some great places, and you take damn nice pictures. Thanks.
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Old 06-10-2013, 12:11 PM   #7
glenn2926
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This is a cracking ride report. Looks like you are getting decent weather up there. Keep the pictures and stories coming.

Cheers Glenn.
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Old 06-10-2013, 12:53 PM   #8
Shooby
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Perhaps Isle of Man TT Champ in disguise/ pen-name?

Is it just this particular Yank or is this like reading the transcripts from a Guy Martin interview?

Really enjoying your Pics, ponderings and mental meanderings
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Old 06-11-2013, 07:19 AM   #9
mka OP
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arais aris - back again !
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thank you kindly SHOOBY and GLEN2926 for your very kind comments, much appreciated !!
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going along up by the loch i ran into a traffic jam....it took 35 seconds to clear but i passed the time with relative ease anyway !
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got caught with my pants down, so to speak, when traffic moved off and i was holding it in my hands.........the camera, that is !
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i moved off and up and away through tarbet and on north. i wanted to hit fort william - god only knows why, looked good on the map...
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stopped in for some food / coffee in the famous green welly place....
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big deal, that was....not sure why the big noise is about this place........i must have missed the ambience and serenity and vibe completely.....but i guess
i am a very thick F**K at the best of times....!!!
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onwards to check out glencoe...........this place would stir the blood of a four hundred year dead scottish corpse.....now you are talking...real blood, balls and
wild terror here......this place would have everything in spades, of this i was sure...
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but before leaving the ould welly place i spotted this london taxi.....his meter must be running like f**k....!!
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onwards to warrior country...!!
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be gods....she must be cold up there...
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on my way out over the hills and through the glens i came across this rare species, found only above 3,000 feet, he makes a noise resembling a cat being strangled !
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joking aside, it was cool to hear a good bagpiper doing his thing in the great outdoors....!!... hat's off to ye jock...!!
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my firm belief is - if you've got it, flaunt it......!!!
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i think he was from the clan mc donald or burger king, not sure though.
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by now i was near glen etive.....and the scenery was vast and stark and mighty......i could still hear the pipes and they were only gettin louder, i must
be gettin near glencoe...
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this is near gelncoe i think and it was cool but it felt as if i was travelling over lost dreams and hardships and pain from long long ago...i had to stop plenty..
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i had time to reflect some stuff here as up here all there is is you yourself, alone.....and of course i couldnt stay here forever but it would tempt you to..
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it was a wee bit of a pilgrimage for me being here and it did not disappoint in any way....
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up on the ould horse and away now to better thoughts and dreams and not living in previous lives or torments...
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i know what you're thinkin...he's a bit mad that f**k, but you don't know what i'm thinkin, sometimes i don't even know what i'm thinkin....
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wife tells me....i'm not thinkin at all...!!!
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me mood was a bit sombre to be honest but i scooted on up to fort william behind so many f**kin shite drivers, caravans and f**kin mobile home things...!!
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they clog the bleedin arteries of society these f**kin things and as for the stupid asshole pricks in their f**kin toyotas, hondas and such - you are all ARSEHOLES !
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get off the bloody road you morons....!!!!***!!!
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rant slowly receding now...it came on quite sudden like this time...no warning...apologies...!!
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so fort william i approached mildly uptight to say the least....right..i am hungry now.....pull in....place by the loch/sea/water/whatever...

looks ok....crannog.....irish for house built on wooden sticks over the water for security from marauding fairies and such....

so i head in...lots of tourists here, russians....americans....french.....german (i think).....must be good.....menu.....pricey too....definitely must be good....!!


..................IT WAS UTTER CRAP..................PURE DOGDODOO..................PATHETIC................ .YOU ARE A CROWD OF CHANCERS...........!!!!


in other words, not very good at all.....

i ordered salmon and spinach pasta....sounds delightful doesn't it.....hmmmmmmmm...!!

take a good look at it...do you see any spinach, do you ? i f**kin don't, and i was there in front of it for real....!!



and what can you see......yes...f**kin onions.......it was full of f**kin onions...i hate f**kin onions....i really hate them........no bleedin spinach and plate full of
bloody onions.....!!



as you can see i posted the picture twice to be sure to be sure that it was awful...!!! and i am not that fussy really...

i pushed it aside and the cute waitress came over and took it away without a word or look, i wasn't the first it seems....

for dessert i had brownie and ice cream.....the brownie was on its fourth reheat in the microwave, it was almost a fossil and the ice cream, well it was brutal too..

i thought i may as well order some really crappy coffee to wash the whole experience down....and it did......!!!

for your own sake do not go in to this place.........
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Old 06-11-2013, 08:35 AM   #10
mka OP
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Location: Ireland
Oddometer: 207
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sorry about that and the slight intermission,,
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i went and took my prozac and sanity tablets and a big glass of water and fell much better now. calmness was creeping in and around my brain... a fog really...
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well full after such a generous lunch i decided to head out the road towards skye............!!!
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long story short... waste of time...the basterd caravans and a possee of crap ould drivers had the whole road covered, no way out here...!!
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i regrouped (is this possible) and headed out the north road towards fort dungus, angus, dufus or something like that...but again the bloody mobile homers and
motorhomes had that pass covered too.....!!!
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the only way out was to go back south in a blaze of dust....cutting up the ould farts as best i could and shooting from the hip with curses only the devil himself
would approve of.
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and so and lo it came to pass i would be heading toward the town of oban...!! at least thats what i figured from google maps etc.
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my guts were rumbling like a freight train on three wheels......the crap i had eaten was coming back to haunt me, all the way up my throat and into the helmet...!!
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well, not quite but i felt as if it could.
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and so round another bend up a sweeping piece of good scottish tarmac and this came into view....
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happiness restored
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bit of a closer look at the castle...
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i know you are sick looking at this castle but it is not long now before my camera quits altogether after slowly screwing itself up...
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bit of bike porn as filler...
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this is last pic before camera quits totally on me and i then have to resort to phone camera thing...!
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after standing around on the side of the road shouting at my camera and then trying the kiss of life on it and failing, i had to determine whether to bury it here
in the beautiful scottish wilderness or take it home and f**k it into the bin........i decided on the latter eventually..!
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having made a momentous decision i decided to celebrate and go get some of this stuff..
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as time went on inside this quiet wee place a sense of order was being restored in my brain...kinks were being straightened and foggy areas were starting to clear...
this was a beneficial time for me and my brain....we were getting to know each other again........not sure how long it would last as we dont usually get on for long...
but now is now and it was ok for both of us.
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back up on the horse again....easy girl...and off into oban.....i only wanted to get into oban in order to get out the other side towards garelochhead (!?)
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great scottish architecture even here in a simple row of houses...
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phone pics...remember.....so please excuse quality/steadiness of shot/blurriness...!!!
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slight aside here...i remember coming to oban by car from south of england a few years ago...meeting up with a crew of sailors from home and heading out to
discover the islands round here...first stop was tobermory or more accurately the mishnish bar......(tobermory now infamous as ballymory !...whats the f**kin story in
ballymory ?).....anyway full day drinking and i decide to go back to the boat and stupidly walked off the pier........and down....into a rubber dinghy......nae bother...
....decide to row out to the sailboat.....rowing away for about five minutes........then i realised the dinghy was still tied to the bloody pier........and it only got worse
and worse after that..........names like glenlivet....macallan.....laophraoig.....and other malts and mixes and porter........it was a long night and there was something
about removing a big bag of mussels from the back of a truck......not sure about this but the brain seems to remember something...
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sorry back to here and now


the road from oban to garelochhead...........BLOODY BRILLIANT............even for me...........mega.....!!!
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the best yet...this was what the whole bloody thing was about............just perfect.........one corner.....little bit of gravel and tail went....just enough to
hurt my back....like a jerk.......and grip again......and away...........mega.........!!!.........no pics...i was having too much fun here...!!
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too soon i was in garelochhead........long name for small place.......but nice....
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in the distance is the start of the crinan canal (i had another night of it here in the long ago...but the brain is giving nothing away on any details for me).
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gotta go now, sorry, but i leave you with a pic of a tiger in the grass...........!!
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Old 06-13-2013, 09:37 AM   #11
mka OP
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Location: Ireland
Oddometer: 207
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welcome back....failte arais
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screwed up my back and so now doped up on meloxicam and other nice things....so a bit wobbly.......!!
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before going on (and on and on)....i enclose a pic of the fabulous restaurant (not..!) in forty will.i.a.m.
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i headed to the first lock (not loch) on the crinan canal....it might actually be the second lock (not loch)...anyway....here it is and a big busty swedish thing
is pulling into it at a fair lick of speed.......many times i have dreamt of big busty swedish things but in reality it was just a big boat from guess where...!!
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yeah i know it's just more lock and water but i did take the picture just for you...
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right, now time to piss on up to inverararararaaray.........
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great run too but not in the same league as before..
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with smoke spewing from my tyres.....engine hissing and a bitchin........my head light from another weeee dram...i landed next to the local jail.....!!
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good range of whiskies in this wee place too..
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note how steady the camera phone thing was held.....you can read writin and all in this one......
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it was gettin a bit overcast now...in my mind it was ever so....enough says i to myself.........find a place to lay the weary heed....

i mad a few phonecalls to places but nothing doing i think.........i says to myself what about ballocxs again...it was grand there....nobody lynched me or
hassled me there.....!!!....fair enough...i'd go back there before the gloamin came down and over me.......
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fishy boats at rest in inverarararaararay...
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just when you thought you'd be getting a diary type litany of profanities all in daily order i throw this one in for you....while spinning around gettin this far
i did spy a few grown men acting the tool with longish stick things up on a grassy hill with sandy bits.....these same macho men wore some gear that
must have been the height of fashion once upon a time...rather splendid in their plus fours/fives and sixes they spoke with plummy accents as if from an old
disney story about maidens and such......
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each to their own i suppose....i admit i did play golf once somewhere near LA and we went around on a golf cart that had a full fridge of drink....it
started poorly...bad swings etc....but as the drink flowed my game opened up and the guys i was with were amazed at both how well i played and how
much i drink needed to stop dehydrating....it was the one and only time i ever played......god bless the kind old man who brought me...he gave me his set
of sticks and insisted i would surely be good sometime...!!
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by the time i got back to the bike...this poor fella was being arrested and brought inside for questioning...
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on up the road and soon i was in tarbet...i was eating on the run as everytime i opened the visor i got a mouthful of tasty midges.......could do with more
salt...but very nourishing all the same..........the place was coming down with them
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so here i was back at loch lomond
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back at base balloxchs house hotel...got a good deal again this night but a smaller bed....i ordered food and got fed...enough said..!!
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turbot and sweet potato..........??????????.........brutal......... ...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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next morning..........up and away..........
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mi dispiace.....gotta go.......need more drugs......ciao
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Old 06-15-2013, 05:41 AM   #12
andymach23
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Location: Belfast
Oddometer: 51
Really enjoyed all of that. Cheers.

I've recently got back into bikes after an 18 year gap. Got an old GS500. I did the North Coast run on the Friday of the NW200, the decent day when there was no racing. That was my first proper run on the bike. The road between Ballycastle and Portrush was like a race track. A bit hectic for a noob but the scenery made up for it.

Maybe I'll get a chance to hit Scotland for a few days some time. Looks fantastic.
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Old 06-17-2013, 01:18 AM   #13
mka OP
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hey there ANDYMACH23.....
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hope you are doing well......
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the road you speak of is one of great significance for sure......it is amazing...i am presuming you live near enough to it to get using it often enough too !!
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generally the roads up those parts are very good.......along the border some roads have become very potted...pitted and holey...no maintenance for years
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they are a bit better south of the border at present (for years it was the other way round !)
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sometimes down here though they dig up the whole road to put in phone wires, sewer pipes, gas, electric, fibre optic or just to be doing something....!!...it'd drive u mad...!
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this was a good twister in lovely leitrim..nicely finished...camber set up good on most corners....and look what they did to it.........for 20 f**kin miles...!!
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the photo shows the only straight bit but look at the surface....!!
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at least they left the phone box alone......not many of these around now........not easy to remove either....but...eventually i'll figure a way...!!
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keep her lit man - as they say here - keep her lit....!!!
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on a totally separate point (.) entirely.....!!
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just got a phone call
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from the punctuation police, they have been ringing me about overuse of the '.' - well, f**k you too.................!!!!!! ha..ha...ha...ha..ha..ha.....
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Old 07-05-2013, 08:23 AM   #14
randysway
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Oddometer: 5
absolutely magnificent trip. I'm very jealous of your ability of travel around like that... I wish we had ferries in the US.
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:51 AM   #15
mka OP
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Hello RANDYSWAY..........hope u are doing good.........yeah....ferries are handy......but i live in a tiny town in a tiny country on the very western part of a small
continent.......like a wart on the arse of a hippopotamus...........!!!...he knows we are there...he feels the itch we give him.....but he can't see us...........!!!
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in truth it takes a long time to get to mainland europe...i be very jealous of those who live there cos they can just ride to russia, or china, or africa, or india.......!!!
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such freedom.....!!!
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just to recap my day of going up and down passes in the dolomites last september.....first left Steinegg on to Nova Levante on to Karerpass and sea then passo sella / gardena / valparola / falzarego / giau and then into the town of Arabba to hotel Evaldo (of the nuddy turkish baths fame !)
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it reads a bit like a bag a pass but it wasn't - the roads just opened up all the time and all was done in easy smooth fashion.
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so up next day after feck all sleep...bike stored in a secure garage..mighty......got fed...watered....showered........and off up the road.......
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oh yeah i just remembered...i went running the previous day in and around Arabba....just to have a look really....lot of hills...nothing but hills.....cold in the shade...lots of shade too.......summer was definitely over here.
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so where to now says I ....and the bike decided to head for Canazei...nice town in the hills..having gone back through passo di pordoi....
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look sorry about this------smugmug thing not working for me right now so no photos----------will try later
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mi dispiace
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