Summer is finally in Victoria, Australia

On a clear warm spring day with a touch of summer in the air there is no better place to head the down the Great Ocean Road for a ride with a friend.

One of my favourite stops on the Great Ocean Road is Wye River, a beautiful beachside village.

The Wye General Store Cafe is a great spot for lunch and a cold beer on a hot day.

I should have gone for a swim in the Southern Ocean while there but the riding was just too good.

Mid week, little traffic, no wind and warm on this beautiful road. Perfect biking conditions.

So back home it was on the bicycle and down to Williamstown Beach, my local, for a dip.

The weather is still going to be volatile in Australia’s south east but summer is definitely in the air.

And on a warm evening Melbourne shows off her colours when you look across the bay from Williamstown.

The signs of Spring are around.

The Noon Flowers are in full bloom at the salt Marsh in the Jawbone Reserve.

Also the water birds are returning to the mangroves and mudflats to feed and breed. The wet conditions in inland Australia may mean that some birds may not come to the coast but stay in the inland wetland. But it was great to see some arrivals like;

Spoonbills;

Egrets;

White faced herons;

And the old friend that rarely leave, the Australian Pelican. This one was catching a fish. Hunting, priming, then strike. Two attempts for two fish.

There are also beautiful views in and from the reserve.

Another sign of spring is finally here was the nice turn up of Guzzis at the monthly coffee catchup on Saturday.

A collection of bikes at the coffee kiosk in Lygon Street an Italian Hub in Melbourne

While it’s still a battle for Spring to kick winter out the door, it will prevail. Such is the cycle of the seasons. Meanwhile way up north in Queensland. Julia Creek has experienced its hottest ever October day- 43.9c.

When travelling in Europe people ask me – What is the weather like in Australia? I answer – It depends where and when. The above is a good example of why!

Lovely rides north of London

It’s hard to believe that my nearly 6 month northern hemisphere adventure is coming to and end. I arrived in budding april days of spring and leaving in the October autumn. Flying south back to Melbourne in a few days.

I have been back in England for a couple of weeks and indulging in some local rides. In the UK there are places designated as Areas of Natural Beauty and these are where I head.

The Cotswolds is one such place with rolling hills and farmland and villages built from the local stone dotted through the land scape.

A little further north of the Cotswolds are the Shropshire Hills . Close to the Welsh border and the Severn River Valley it’s the entree rides around the hills of the Midlands and their network of canals.

East of London there are villages such as Thaxted with its beautiful old buildings.

And if you are lucky you may see a Master Tthatcher at work rethatching a roof.

Maldon on the east coast is home to the fleet of Thames Sailing Barges. Beautiful little ships that carried cargo along the east coast of England for over a century and a half.

The sailor in me marvels at the skill of the sailors of these Barges who sailed them loaded with cargo up and down streams and inlets with 5 metre tides flowing quickly. The true sailors skill.

The mighty breva is off getting serviced ready for storage as I prepare to head back to Australia. Master mechanic and friend Badrick has given me his Moto Guzzi 1200 sport to ride as he works on the Breva. That’s what guzzista do.

Vignettes in Tuscany

After crossing the Cols from France into Italy (http://piecemealadventurer.com/2022/09/06/three-col-passes-to-italy/) I headed south to the Mediterranean coast and then east to Tuscany as I had a little time before I wanted to be at Lake Como.

From Savona to Lavante the road winds from coastal Mediterranean and over the headlands and through the sprawling city of Genova.

How lucky was I when this lovely young Swiss couple couple asked my to join them for dinner in Trigosa.

Next day it was a long ride along the coast to Tuscany and the village of Altopascio.

Murals around the town mark that the village is a stop on the pilgrim trail with many walkers in the village.

A day in Florence gave me a taste of the beautiful city and a plan to return.

Over the mountains from Altopascio is the other iconic city of Bologna. Famous for inventing Bolognese sauce, lasagne and mortadella so a city famous for its food and for its porticos.

And towers

Bologna is on of the oldest cities in Europe and home to Europe’s first university. In many ways Bologna is still a university city.

But it’s history shows through with Roman artefacts all around like this statue in the corner of the entrance to the University Law School.

And of course Bologna is the home of Ducati. The other great Marque in the north of Italy.

From Tuscany it was a pleasant day ride over the mountains to Lake Como

And the story from Lake Como you have already read.

The 100th Anniversary of Moto Guzzi at Mandello de Lario

Dear friends and followers this post is an unabashed dedication to Moto Guzzi. My Brevas have carried me faultlessly for near on 200,000km in Australia and 100,000km in Europe over the last 10 years. Many of you have followed those adventures.

Coming to Mandello in many ways is the culmination of my European Adventure. An adventure that started in 2016 and has taken me from the west coast of Ireland to the Romanian coast of the Black Sea and from the Actic Circle in Norway to the edge of the Sahara in Morocco. And so many places in between.

It was a huge celebration in Mandello. The official estimate is that 60,000 people attended the party.

A celebration of the great marque Moto Guzzi and motorcycling in general. The party had been delayed a year due to the pandemic so everyone was ready to celebrate.

A must view part of a visit to Moto Guzzi is the refurbished museum.

There is even a mighty Breva in the museum.

But the main action was in the streets.

And of course Mandello put on the food and wine.

Absolutely amazing gelato cups

Local wine and Pizza with my mechanic mate Baldrick

And a spit roast oven big enough to roast a whole cow!

Saturday night the music played loud. As the locals and visitors alike tucked into the cow with polenta.

Five amazing years travelling Europe, meeting beautiful people who are now friends. Falling in love in Europe with Europe, guided by the goddess Europa.

Thank you Moto Guzzi the motorcycle marque on the Lake Como, the Lake of Dreams. Happy 100th Anniversary!