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Old 07-28-2013, 03:50 PM   #46
Blader54
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Old 08-02-2013, 02:29 PM   #47
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Eh? Stirling to Cornwall

Some flashbacks of my old job - "plans are nothing, planning is everything" :)  Our plan was to visit Les to get spare bulb for my HID50, ride through parts of Wales before we come to Cornwall...



We had a good lunch at Whole Foods and I could enjoy another Soy Latte (tip: give it a try - besides that it is vegan, it also tastes better then with cow milk). It was time to get some milage done and we rode major roads towards Lake District, where we camped for two nights near Keswick. As we walked our dogs, we found by accident some signs hinting towards Castlerigg stone circle (no pics). We explored the place and I was stunned by the surroundings - beautiful and inspiring! I could easily imagining me sitting there, bonfire, drinking & eating and discussing the purpose of life






Wolfi doing "office" work - Lyra showing how bored she is

It was this time of the month where we typically stay in one place for several days and we found a decent motel in Rotherham. At the check-in we had some hick-ups about the charges for our dogs (they wanted 5GBP/dog/night even though at the time of the booking it said - no extra charges). Well we got the dogs for free (room price was 49GBP - imagine 15GBP only for the dogs extra). The motel was in an industrial area and since it was weekend, it was very quit here - good for us and easier to have walks with the dogs.



It was Saturday 27.7. and I decided it is time to do some laundry. And boy, did I get a deja-vu about this money stuff in GB when I was in the laundry place (see comments on one of the previous post).  I had my washing machine filled and soap already in, that I realized only then I do not have enough coins. So I went to the counter and wanted to change one GBP note to coins. Well, the note was from the Bank of Scotland and I was in England! The lady refused to take the note! Lucky me, I had somewhere a 5GBP note from England. F****** Unbelievable.






I love to see all those Robin Hood movies, and thus it was a must-do for me to visit Sherwood Forest. We had a short walk with the dogs before rain did catch us and we return to the bikes to continue our journey.



Just before Chesterfield, my charging control lamp went on. This was not good! I called Les to tell him we will be late and hoped he had some good ideas. Amazing, I had another deja-vu (Rudi, you will remember this). Broken charger and it was Monday, which meant that the "typical" bike repair shop is closed :(



I lifted the tank a little, whether I could see anything (no idea what one could see but I did it anyway), I saw nothing and put everything back together. After some thinking, googling and calling around, we decided to hit towards Nottingham. My big battery would certainly last for those 50km or so. The BMW dealer there did not have time to fix my bike as they were fully booked, but then at least I could buy or order spare parts. We booked a cheap hotel via internet, I put off all my lights and off we went.



So, we thought... I pushed the start button on my bike and it did not start - instead it was spitting petrol from one of the connection pieces. P******! This cannot be happening. Two faults at once. I took broken connecter pieces away and connected the fuel horse directly to the fuel filter (which is outside my tank). After that fix, we finally could get going (the sales persons of the shop must have thought I have diarrhoea since I went so often to the toilet to wash my fingers)



We arrived in our hotel in Nottingham and the guy at the reception was so friendly to lent me his battery charger to charge my battery. In the meantime, I had a quick look - easy things first, so I checked the poly-belt and BINGO. It fell off when I opened the cover. That was easy.

Maybe here is a good time to end the ongoing dispute in some of the GS/boxer forums whether the service of the poly belt is 40.000 or 60.000km. I strongly recommend to change it at 40.000km. It costs about 16EUR and saves you from trouble on the road and additional costs like cancellation fee of a booked hotel.






Broken parts




After many P******, I decided to remove the tank. 2.5h later and we were back on the road.






Emergency cap for the fuel line




Lyra is bored during the repair - nobody played with her...




Skippy is bored and explores the wildlife in the bushes behind my bike






Colourful looking police beamers

Yes, Guy - I should have listened to you and changed the belt at home as well as took the fuel-quick-coupling spare parts. We treated ourselves "nice" this evening and saw the movie "The world's end". Next morning I got a spare and changed it myself at the dealer's parking lot. On a positive note, it was warmer now, then when I would have changed the belt at home in my shed during winter and I had more space around me ;)






Poor Lyra got stung by a bee :

The next few days we rode mostly bigger roads to get to Cornwall.






Cornwall - Cliffs of Morwenstow 




More cliffs of Morwenstow




Happy cows(?) at the Cliffs of Morwenstow

It was 2.8. and we hit our first major milestone - 3 months on the road (with all its consequences in regard to the Finnish social security system).



~ Wolfi


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Old 08-02-2013, 08:40 PM   #48
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I had to laugh at the English lady who would not exchange a Scottish pound note! I could have sworn that by the Act of Union in 1707 they were made equivalent....but those pesky Scots have been getting mighty independent-minded of late so perhaps I'm wrong. Actually I am more than a little bit astonished that there are still one pound Scots notes around. I would have thought by now they would have developed a one pound Scots coin...and then those nice English ladies would still refuse to exchange them when you found that the laundry machine would not take a Scots coin!

I will expose here my complete and absolute ignorance of the Finnish social service system, by asking what exactly is the significance of being on the road for three months?

Great RR !
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Old 08-03-2013, 08:44 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blader54 View Post
I will expose here my complete and absolute ignorance of the Finnish social service system, by asking what exactly is the significance of being on the road for three months?
Curious about that as well? Keep up the great reports!
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:09 PM   #50
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Pissed money

Today at Tesco in Cliffsend...
I used my last 20 pound note from the Clydesdale Bank to pay for our grocery shoppings and the cashier (no trainee) had to ask their boss whether they take scottish money and they both looked with great disbelief at the note.

OMG

well, we are "done" with UK and more coming up soon...
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Old 08-08-2013, 03:20 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by Blader54 View Post
I will expose here my complete and absolute ignorance of the Finnish social service system, by asking what exactly is the significance of being on the road for three months?
Basically, they start to reduce/recalculate benefits at that point (if getting any) and also there's some changes how the service system handles possible medical bills. If nothing else, it's paperwork. After a year out of country there's more to come.

Unfortunately I couldn't find a good source in english. The english version of the formal pages assume you are a foreigner moving in and describes how things work then...
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Old 08-09-2013, 01:26 AM   #52
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Social security

Quote:
Originally Posted by KLF View Post
Basically, they start to reduce/recalculate benefits at that point (if getting any) and also there's some changes how the service system handles possible medical bills. If nothing else, it's paperwork. After a year out of country there's more to come.

Unfortunately I couldn't find a good source in english. The english version of the formal pages assume you are a foreigner moving in and describes how things work then...
I lived for almost 20years in Finland and the good thing is that the social security system takes care of your health. So no need for health insurances (of course you can still have those, so that bills at private doctors are better repaid). And since it works, I never had to worry about.

Now, when you travel abroad for longer than three months, you will typically loose those benefits and associated travel-health insurances are also affected by that i.e. they do not cover you any longer. There are several cases when you can apply for exceptions, e.g. you travel as part of foreign service contract, or do sports etc. In our case, since we left Finland completely, we dropped out of the system totally and this also means that the travel health insurance is not any longer valid.

Unfortunately for us, the insurance lady forgot to mentioned this to us when we prepared for this trip.

This is not a catastrophe as we knew that the Finnish travel health insurance would have stopped anyway latest after one year.

The hurdles of a globetrotter's life
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:45 PM   #53
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Wink Cornwall (UK) - Saarland (Germany)

We left the St. Buryan's camping place to see the other "Land's End". After we saw, that we should pay for parking, we were so turned off... another tourist thing. We said to ourselves "Enough of this", turned around and hit the road.

We were looking for some accommodation around Exeter and after a 2h search we gave up and went to Crealy Meadows campsite for one night before we hit Southampton. Camping for one night is not our favourite. Well it was a deluxe campsite, which might be beautiful in 10-15 years once the trees have grown to a meaningful size ;)




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Another healthy and delicious lunch




We saw Stonehenge - "been there done that" ;)

The next two nights we spend in Southampton and we reserved a full day to visit the Beaulieu Motor Museum. Plenty of 007 and Top Gear stuff - it was great :)






Fascinating mechanical design




Royal Enfield Quadricycle 1900 Great Britain




This is the famous Ford Model T - at least in UK, they had colours, other then black :)




Aston Martin - slightly used by 007




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BMW R1200C - Bond escaping the bad guys in Tomorrow Never Dies




BAT 5/6hp and wicker sidecar 1913 Great Britain




OMG...




A "typical" Top Gear vehicle




Jeremy Clarkson rode the Vespa 1000miles across Vietnam in eight days

We rode from Southampton to Altenkessel within a few days, riding mostly highways and increasing our country count by one as we rode through Luxembourg




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Evening walk at the beach in Margate (last night in UK)




Our fruit lover waiting for a piece of apple

We were totally exhausted and felt that we really need a "vacation". Road life can be tough. We knew that we will stay for almost two weeks at Rudi who lives nearby Wolfi's old home. So it felt like going home and it was really something to look forward to.

~ Wolfi
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Old 08-26-2013, 02:38 AM   #54
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Cool2 UK in Hindsight

We thought to summarize our visit to the UK since we spent there 8 weeks and rode about 5500km.




Our track in UK




Our track in Scotland

Going to UK and coming back to Europe

First of all - the traveling to and from UK. We checked ferries and the train. In the end we went with DFDS from Calais to Dover. It is an 1.5h journey, the fastest ferry connection we could get (Dunkerque-Dover is about 2h). The sidecar costed with the three dogs 109GBP, the solobike 29GBP. We could not do the booking online since the program did not allow the combination of sidecar and travelling with pets. Instead we used the phone and later internet chat. The train would have been much more expensive as the sidecar is charged like a car and at that time they charged 30GBP/dog! The journey was swift and smooth. The only bad thing was that in the car deck there were horrible noises and the car alarms went on regularly (what we could hear during boarding and embarkation). Our girls got a thorough check at the check-in e.g., chip numbers, vaccinations. The arrival in UK was very easy and a few minutes later we were good to go.

On the way out of UK we decided to go again with DFDS. It was the cheapest as dogs traveled for free when going out of the UK and the sidecar cost "only" 34GBP. Nobody checked the dogs when we checked-in - we got our sticker "pets in vehicle" and that was it. There was also no customs check on the French border for us.

Biking in UK

Left-side traffic was not a problem anymore for us since we've been motorbiking already in AUS and NZ. England was totally boring from riding point of view. Roundabout after roundabout after village after village and some more roundabouts besides fields full of sheep... So it's either very slow average speed or highway/motorway. In both cases you don't get to enjoy too much scenery because the small streets have up to 4m high bush-fences on both sides of the street (often felt like riding in a tube/channel) and highways are typically anyway boring.

Small streets in Scotland were much more enjoyable. We rode along coastlines, at the edges of lochs and through the highlands. The streets are curvy, only a few roundabouts and single track traffic is good for increasing your adrenalin levels. The sad part was that typically the street was fenced at both sides with barb wires to keep the sheep and cattle on their fields. This made it difficult to find a nice green and spacy spot for a break. The standard rest place on the road is right besides the road (like an emergency lane) with no green and no space around. Even opening your car door appears dangerous when other trucks pass by with 50mph. We found only a few of our kind of resting places yet still not as good compared to middle European or Finnish culture. We speculated whether the typical UK driver has a rest only in a pub? :)

We were shocked to see how badly the surroundings of important street signs were taken care of! Too often hidden by bushes and branches, and Wolfi had quite some trouble to navigate. Haven't experienced such in any other country so far.

Dogs in UK

Ilta though UK would be very friendly towards dogs (and other pets) because of  all the RSPCS etc. -programs shown in Finland. Unfortunately she got a bit disappointed... First of all there is huge amount of "No Dog Poop"-signs everywhere (with fines up to 1000GBP!), but then the streets, parks, forests and beaches are full of human waste! (with no fine?) So the dogs really aren't the biggest problem, but for some reason people are just heavily focused on them... this was somehow bit sad :( Naturally we cleaned after our dogs and ourselves, because it's the responsible thing to do!!!

Finding dog friendly accommodations can be very difficult and we don't recommend to do it after a long ride and extremely tired! You will just loose your nerves! So first of all many places don't take dog customers at all and if they do the costs might be very high and ridiculous like 20 GBP/dog/night! Unbelievable! We understand that one has to pay the final cleaning, but what is this nightly payment about?! At least we haven't got daily service when being in one place for several days, because of the dogs in the room! These things aren't specific to UK, but the prices were the highest we've seen so far.

Luckily there has been some very nice people whose hearts have melted when they saw our cute little poodles and gave us accommodation even though dogs were not allowed. Well our girls are behaving very nicely, don't bark for nothing, don't chew furniture and don't stink nor shed any hair! (advertisement for future :))

Camping wild in Scotland

Compared to Scandinavia camping wild in Scotland is totally overrated and almost impossible! The streets are almost completely fenced because of the cattle and sheep and therefore it's very hard for a biker to get aside from the street to somewhere bit more peaceful and nicer place. There's also no "sideways" leading away from the main street, like tractor paths or then those are also fenced and behind a locked gate. For example in Scandinavia and Baltic countries you find those little paths rather easily. These are of course no problems if you travel with bicycle or by foot. Few times we did find rather nice looking fields or river sides without any fences, but then they were full of sheep or their droppings and that isn't too appealing to us...

Vegan in Britain

To be vegan in Britain is rather simple. Bigger cities have plenty of vegan/vegetarian restaurants and shops. The biggest store chains have pretty nice "Free From"-sections, which have also plenty of vegan foods and goodies.

Just the problem for us was that we eat rather healthy vegan food! Mostly raw and other vice sugar/fat/gluten-free. This sort of healthy vegan restaurants we didn't find too many and anyway because of the dogs it's not too easy for us to go out to eat...

For Ilta the biggest disgust was how almost all the veggies and fruits are packed in plastic, especially the organic ones!!! So to find loose organic veggies and fruits was almost impossible. Very sad and non-ecological! In Finland and in middle Europe it's very easy to find seasonal markets to get fresh and loose veggies, but unfortunately this sort of thing we only found in the few Whole Foods markets in Britain. Either that sort of culture is very small in Britain or the markets are very well hidden from normal tourists..?

Nature/scenery in UK

The main reason why we went to Britain and especially to Scotland was because of the "famous" landscapes. We had heard plenty of praising words from other bikers and seen beautiful pictures in films and TV-programs. Unfortunately we have to admit that we got heavily disappointed! Yes, Scotland has some very spectacular mountains, lochs, seasides and "must-do"-tourist attractions. The things is just, that as an ethical vegan many of the scenes lost their spectacularness very quickly, because we know why they look the way they do... For example the mountains look so cool and barren because humans have cut down the forests to make space for horrible amount of sheep! So in the end we just saw plenty of raped nature and it made us very sad :( Not to mention what eventually happens to those millions of sheep!

Of course one always compares things to what one has had or experienced earlier and we've already been biking in Lappland, Alps, Australia and New Zealand. Compared to those places Scotland wasn't anything special. Ilta thinks even Lappland is ten times better place to go biking, because of all the great sand streets and truly wild unfenced nature!

England didn't have much nice views for us at all. Plenty of cut down forests, fields, towns, high bush fences and very strange national parks... We drove through many national parks and still don't understand with what criteria they got the name? All the parks looked exactly the same as the rest of the country side: cut down forests and plenty of farms with huge amount of sheep and cattle. We just didn't understand this! Maybe someone can explain us what is the big difference between normal countryside and national park in Britain..?

The cliffs of Cornwall are cool and the waves against them great, just like seen
for example in one of Ilta's favorite TV-shows "Wycliffe" :) Only they don't show too much what is behind your back when you look out to the sea... that is of course fields after fields with sheep and cattle! What a disappointment :(

These opinions and experiences are of course from the motorbikers' point of view. As a hiker or mountain biker you might get to experience much more really wild nature and cool scenery...

Overall

if you love city life, greasy food, fields and sheep, as well as to travel from pub to pub - UK will be most likely for you. If you are a truly ethical vegan, you might want to adjust your expectations...

~ Ilta & Wolfi
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Old 08-26-2013, 03:41 AM   #55
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Thumb Great report and pics!

Go ahaed, I will follow!



Weiterhin viel Glück auf eurer Reise und immer guten Grip unter den Rädern!
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Old 08-26-2013, 04:16 AM   #56
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African Advenure

Looks like your African Adventure starts now. Let us know when you come to Southern Africa and we can make good recommendations for you.

We are in the Pretoria BMW Bike club and would like to meet with you when you are here.

Fantastic courage and ride. Enjoy because it is special no matter any hardships.
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:06 AM   #57
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At first I really liked this report and I subscribed but your story has just become totally negative. Nothing is good enough for you. Everything is too expensive (compared to Scandinavia? Hard to imagine!) and you are very negative toward anything that is different from where you live or how you choose to live. Your report has just become a series of complaints about how the world fails to meet your own special expectations. Your writing is very good as a report on your reactions and observations to/about the new places you visit but you are so rigid about it all that I no longer find it of interest.

Best of luck to you, and especially the dogs.

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Old 08-27-2013, 05:53 AM   #58
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thanx

@ShinyRider - enjoy the reading

@hvralpha - thanx for the invitation. Looking forward to meet you. Even though it will take some time before we hit SA, we would be happy to get some hints on e.g. dog-friendly low-budget accommodations (or maybe some search engine on how to find those)

@Blader54 - sorry to hear you lost interest. UK was really not for us and the only way to find this out was to visit and experience it. BTW, your earlier hints and comments were very welcome.
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Old 08-27-2013, 11:28 AM   #59
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Wink Colours of Scotland

I love colours and wild nature, so here are pictures of some of the views I really enjoyed in Scotland. These always make me smile :)

I don't know the names of all the plants, so feel free to comment!



Orange Hawkweed at Kinloch Rannoch






Sea life at the coast of Malaig. Those red "flowers" were totally hypnotising!




Foxglove and a bee at Fort William. One of my favorite flowers, especially because of the beautiful bees they attract :)






Spooky "fairytale" forest at Isle of Skye.




Hanging water drops are always something magical to me :)




Some sort of lichens at Isle of Skye.




Yellow beauties at Dunnet Head.




Cottongrass field at Dunnet Head.




So soft and delicate.




Common Self-heal (?) at Dunnet Head.




Little white beauties and soft mosses at Dunnet Head.




Heathers at Cow Hill, Fort William.






Silvery cones at one cut down forest area.




Amazing Rhododendron bushes, trees and forests in many places! These I've been adoring my whole life :) Miss my own little ones back in Finland. Unfortunately I was always too amazed by these and forgot to take proper pictures...




Kelps at Isle of Skye.






These kelps looked amazing and totally hypnotising in the waves!


~ Ilta
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Old 08-27-2013, 04:56 PM   #60
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have to agree....this has just turned into a whine, started good, but i wont be reading any more....your lack of understanding of other cultures is appalling and dissmisive, i was genuinely interested in your point of view and your standpoint....but your'e just coming across as narrow minded and intolerant just looking for things to bitch about......its not really the ADV style on the whole



as a pro European, and not very nationalistic person, i dont usually jump to our defence, but theres 60 million people on this tiny island, we have to get along well, (hence our sense of humour) and wer'e pretty tolerant of all nationalities on the whole.

dog sh*t is a huge problem here, everywhere you go, you get so fed up of it, unlike sheep sh*t, dog sh*t is foul and can cause nasty infections, and although i'm an animal lover, i dont like going into a hotel room after dogs have been there (as do lots of people) the rules are there for a purpose which is generally accepted as making sense.

if you want to rail against the establishment....at least don't use the dogs for ammo.....lets hear a bit more depth than that

don't understand the bit about Scottish money.....not all places in Switzerland (for example) will take the Euro.....Scotland is a country in its own right (within the UK) and has the right to have its own currency.....one of the reasons it is sometimes not accepted in England is because there were a lot of forged notes recently

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