Back Home in Melbourne, Australia

Back in Melbourne and the adventure riding gear all in the wash soaking out months of sweat and grime it was time to adopt a change of style from Adventure biker to Urban biker and head into Melbourne’s palace of food Victoria Market.

Its strange the things I was looking forward to doing when getting back home. I bet shopping and cooking wasn’t what came to the top of mind!

After 6 months of cooking on a single burner camp stove and eating in cafes there is a certain joy to being back in a fully equipped kitchen and cook some of my favourite meals.

Mmm stuffed peppers with sauteed potatoes and fish curry !

But the itch in my feet never really goes away and I had missed the Australian bush a lot while traveling in the Northern Hemisphere.

There have been lots of rain and floods on the east coast of Australia. So on the first fine day I headed to the Otway ranges for a day trip…

to take a walk in the temperate rain forest and…

to check the flow in a couple of the waterfalls.

 

After many 6 months of riding a motorbike the old legs needed some TLC so it was back on the bicycle to get the old hip and leg joints moving.

Spring is in the air and despite the rain the weather is mild. And already people are venturing out onto the local beach.

Agh the joy of traveling from Autumn to Spring with another summer around the corner.

Nice to be back home in Melbourne, Australia!!

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.

A day in Cinque Terra (Five Villages)

Vernazza

The early autumn weather on the Italian Mediterranean has some of the intense heat taken out of it. Perfect for a day for exploring the Cinque Terra.

The easiest way to explore the five villages of the Cinque Terra is by train and foot.

There had been a storm in the Mediterranean overnight with gave a cool breeze.

And some uncommonly wild waves for the Mediterranean. Both at Vernaza and Riomaggiora

There is a series of walking paths the connect the five coastal villages of the Cinque Terra.

I chose to take the coastal walk from Vernazza to Corniglia and enjoy the coastal views

And the views were worth it.

I visited three villages.

Vernazza

Corniglia

And Riomaggiora which I think was the most beautiful

This was really the last part of this adventure as now a tired piecemeal adventurer and a tired mighty Breva wind our way back to England.

An overnight in Boccadasse a little piece of the old Mediterranean in Genoa.

Before catching the ferry to Barcelona

And the sun sets as the ferry says goodbye to Italy for this trip.

Gorge du Verdon a walker and rider’s dream

The Gorge du Verdon in Provence offers spectacular riding and views from the top of the Gorge and walks up the cliff face and through the Gorge.

Unfortunately due to the long drought in Europe the water levels I n the Verdon River were low but the views still spectacular. And the cold water inviting for a soak on a hot day.

Castellane was my base for exploring the Gorge.

The imposing rock at the edge of the town provides a first glimpse down the Gorge.

Point Sublime is about 17km along the Gorge Road from Castellane and is a starting point for a number of Gorge walks and for canyoning.

The short ride to the Point gave a taste of the riding joys to come but first day was hiking.

It’s about a 300 metre decent down into the gorge a 1 km walk.

At the bottom of the gorge the first stop has to be a dip in the river.

The walk along the Gorge floor follows a tracks, sometimes beside the river, sometimes cut into the cliff and sometimes a tunnel through the cliff.

The next day was for exploring the road around the top of the Gorge and ended up doing some storm dodging and chasing but what views!!!

Some have said the Gorge du Verdon is amongst the most beautiful places in Europe. I won’t argue.

It certainly makes a wonderful backdrop for the Mighty Breva.

Dear friends a lot happened between La Rochelle and Castellane. I’m in Tuscany now and a lot has happened since Castellane. Sometimes adventuring gets in the way of blogging. Luckily this is a discontinuous narrative and I can fill in the gaps later.

Goodbye Portugal and Hello Spain

The Atlantic Coast of Portugal can be a bit crowded so a route east of Porto along the Duoro River into the Mountains then north to the spa city of Chaves was the best option

It was a great choice; clear windy roads and wonderful scenery.

It was a short ride to Chaves less than 150km but storms ahead dictated the length of the ride.

And the storm came casting an grey pall over the old centre of Chaves.

While Chaves is a Spa town the waters are used primarily for therapeutic use rather than leisure so lolling in a hot spa wasn’t an option. But drinking warm mineralised spa water straight from the spring was.

Cups are filled straight from the Spring.

The rain cleared over night and it was a clear run over the mountains into Spain

So it was goodbye Portugal

And hello Spain,

Confirmation I was in Spain came at Astorga and its Gaudi designed building.

The route headed around Leon and into the Picos de Europa.

I had travelled to the Picos in 2018 and it was a great opportunity to revisit.

The road to Riano to Potes is just beautiful.

From Potes in the town plaza there is a magnificent view of the central Massif of the Picos de Europa

Just 23km on from Potes is Fuene De in the heart of the Picos and one of the most beautiful camp grounds I have stayed at in all my travels

From Fuente De there is a Cable Car that ascents 753 Metres to a high plateau at about 1600 metres. There are number of walks in the mountains. One is an 11km return walk the ascends 770 metres to a refuge.

It’s a hard walk but the views spectacular.

Being up with the eagles.

Fuente De is a short ride back to the ferry port city of Santander. It was such very different circumstances arriving in Santander than it was in 2020.