Though my wings have been clipped birds of a feather flock together

Though my wings have been clipped birds of a feather flock together

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It was 2015 that I spent a full winter in Melbourne,

Australia’s southernmost mainland capital

Renowned for its cold and changable winter weather

Cold and foggy mornings lasting till noon when the weak winter sun burns the mist away.

Four seasons in one day

Was surely written about Melbourne’s weather by Crowded House

The current lockdown restricts me to my environs and luckily the local waterways

The bicycle has most of the time replaced the Moto Guzzi

So on my ride I flock together with the local waterbirds

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The Spoonbill

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The Egret

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And the hungry Pelican

They aren’t locked down but choose to enjoy what winter offers

Across town there is the beautiful Yarra Bend Park

With its early 1900’s boat house

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On the banks of the Yarra River with paths to meander along

And the Cootamundara, a beautiful winter flowering tree in full bloom

The park is on the city doorstep with beautiful views of the city

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Which makes a beautiful backdrop for my Aprilia Pegaso – my fave bike around the city

At the end of a day heading across the town and home

The St Kilda Pier runs west into the Hobsons Bay and offers spectacular views of the sunset

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Though the lock down is is hard the rules allow the opportunity to get out to exercise

That means I can revisit and appreciate some of my favourite places in my home city.

Hopefully one day soon fellow travellers you can as well.

The Mighty Breva meets the Mighty Murray in North East Victoria

The Mighty Breva meets the Mighty Murray in North East Victoria

I had approached the Upper Murray from the long way around

Starting from Yarram in South Gippsland

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A small town famous for its street murals.

Its winter and the high roads over Mt Hotham and Falls Creek are closed so it was the low road

Bruthen to eskdale

A pearler of a ride from Bruthen north to the little Village of Eskdale 223 km of curves and into the Upper Murray Region.

Has to be the greatest unrecognised rides in the world.

It was damp cold and at a pass through the Alpine National Park it was 1c and my mind turned to thoughts of black ice on the road.

A cabin waited for me at the Eskdale Caravan Park

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Welcome refuge after a long wet ride

A good night sleep and onto my next destination

The Great River Road starts at the bridge that connects Victoria and NSW at Hume Weir and follows the winding course of the Murray upstream to Khancoban at the base of the Kosciusko National Park.

The Road is around 180km of scenic windy road along the Murray River.

The views of the Murray are special especially if you take a bit of time and pull off into some of the river side reserves and camp grounds.

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The weather was cold but clear and not too bad for riding if you have the right gear.

But the joy of winter camping is campfires

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As the Great River Road is developed as a tourist road the is are well layed out scenic  stops with interpretation on the river and pieces of sculpture

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The camp facilities along the road are great quality. Especially at  Walwa where you can camp with great facilities and a campfire right on the banks of the river.

The road finishes at Lake Khancoban in NSW

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The scars of the recent bushfires are there, both on the landscape and in the stories of the locals

But the land and the people are resilient and signs of renewal abound

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And of course there is something  very special about a winter sunset inland

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Fireworks, fruit, snowy passes, history and motorbikes in Northern Italy

Fireworks, fruit, snowy passes, history and motorbikes in Northern Italy

The Moto Guzzi open days on Lake Como go off with a bang

As the marques faithful followers flock to Mandello de Lario.

From Trieste it was a winding road over passes both broad and narrow.

Lakes dotting the path

To Como the Lake of Dreams

Its early September on inthe villages the fruit on the trees ready to pick

As by the weekend end the first snow had started to fall

Dusting the Alps with white and adding a chill to the air in the passes.

Then there is the history of the area such as Bergamo it’s old and new city, home of Pope John xxiii and comrades of Garibaldi.

And the little village of Glorenza that time almost has passed by.

And is on the door steps of the Swiss Alps.

The Danube Delta, Romania

The Danube Delta, Romania

It was a long haul across Europe.Many mountain passes and next to no motorways.Crossing borders and venturing into Eastern Europe for the first time.

The sun rise over the Danube Delta made it all worth while.

A small boat tour of the Delta just breathtaking

Moving across the lakes and through the chanels. Wild life abound

And in the morning sun water lillies emerge

Small traditional fish traps reflecting a sustainable approach to fishing.

On the ferry crossing the Danube to its Delta
Ciao bella Italia, Auf Wiedersehen sonnige Schweiz

Ciao bella Italia, Auf Wiedersehen sonnige Schweiz

Swiss/Italian border, Umbrial Pass

There was much nostalga riding from Switzerland to Italy

The Fluelapass was the first Alpine pass I rode back in 2016

At the time I couldn’t imagine how I could come back again

And now Im on the 4th tour.

Truly addicted to the Alps

The Fluelapass links to the Ofen Pass and that to the Umbrial Pass which crosseS into Italy and leads to the beautiful city of Bormio.

The top of the Stelvio is a Circus of bicycles, motorbikes, cars, sausage Stalls hotels and shops .

From Bormio the valley opens up

With lovely camping grounds, with walkers, cyclists and bikers in summer. Skiers in winter.

Perfect for camping in the pretty village of Cepina.

As winter descends in Melbourne its time for a European Adventure

As winter descends in Melbourne its time for a European Adventure

Thinking about Eastern Europe

Its going to be a long haul

London to Danube Delta

Where the mighty Danube River empties into the Black Sea

A route across many high mountain passes

Some new, some revisited in France, Switzerland and Italy

Others ranges new to me – The Dolomites in Italy, The Carpathians in Romania and many more to find

Inspired by a fellow blogger from Bosnia

To ride the roads of Eatern Europe – The Transfagarsan Highway in Romania and mountain backroads.

Re acquainting with friends that I have made in previous adventures

New friends to find and explore with

The heart beat hastens in the final weeks before I leave

To take the Mighty Moto Guzzi Breva on its next European Adventure

The Mighty Breva in Ireland in 2018
Wine

Wine

A river of wine I saw

As I looked through the cellar door

Where’s my cup?

Where’s a straw?

Or should I lick it from the cellar floor!

Tahbilk winery in the Goulburn Valley region of Victoria is like stepping back in time.

One of Australia’s oldest wine producers.

A nice ride through the hills to get there.

Alone or in company.

You know your back in Australia

You know your back in Australia

An Aussie beach northern NSW

The emblamtic difference between Europe and Australia is the long white sandy beach

With little or no trace of humans

It really can only happen in Australia

And on a warm spring day the whales can be seen off shore breaching and blowing

Smashing their huge trident tails into the water as swim south to Antarctica for summer.

Sunset mid west NSW

The space is overwhelming

Riding nearly 1000 km in a day, on small back roads with little traffic.

The big purple sunset across the open paddocks

But the cherry blossom at Young in the southern highlands a reminder that there is so much of Europe transported here.

Divine intervention

Divine intervention

By Brest in Brittany I realised nearly 10,000 km of mainly mountain riding had taken its toll on the front tyre

The left hand side had totally worn out.

But it was holiday time in France.

The Moto Guzzi dealer was shut for holidays.

The big parts store had a tyre but the mechanic was on holidays.

I was searching my phone to find another store

Then divine intervention

This young lady comes out of the store and says “follow me”

Who was I to argue as she climbed onto he Kwaka 1000.

She let me around the back streets of Brest to the Kawasaki dealer

The only shop that was open over the holiday period.

It was kisses all around. A bit of quick French I didn’t understand

Then I was told to take the bike into the workshop and choose the tyre I wanted.

Had to have the pirelli angel to match the divine intervention

Ahhh Switzerland

Ahhh Switzerland

What is it about Switzerland that takes my breath away

The amazing vistas across the lakes

Amazing mountain passes like the old San Gotthard pass with its cobblestone surface

And party atmosphere at the top

Or village of Gletch where the Furka, Grimsel and Nufenen passes all converge

Maybe it’s the white Glacier topped mountains

Or is is the amazing biker culture that see riders of all types out enjoying the Alps

The goulash soup at the resturaunt at the top of Nufenen pass comes close

But maybe it’s the subtle heartfelt welcome that is so Swiss that makes one say ahhh