Travel Through the United Kingdom on a Harley-Davidson

By Peter & Kay Forwood

The United Kingdom on a Harley (31/5/11 - 5/6/11)
Distance 860 km (585068 km to 585928 km)

This is part of the seventeenth section of our around the world trip.
Complete Trip Overview & Map

Coming from Ireland or read our previous visit to The United Kingdom

31/5/11 A mid afternoon arrival of the ferry and a short ride to Llanberis, just 50km's, the Victoria Hotel, right near the Snowdon steam train cog railway and the slate museum and mine. The town and hotel were surprisingly busy with holidaymakers, walkers mostly, out on a rare lovely Welsh day.

1/6/11 The weather held, not sunny but not raining either. After a magnificent breakfast we headed out for a loop of Snowdonia, past Snowdon Mountain, shrouded in morning fog, down the 470 and 487, looping coastwards along the 493 and 496. At times the road narrowed to single width, slowing traffic, crammed between stone fences. It passed through many small villages of stone, if fact stone building dominated construction from fences up to and including manors and castles. Dotted across the green pastures sheep grazed hillsides. The coast roads no less winding,
The formerly grand Victoria Hotel where we stayed in Wales windswept, bleak, but filling all the same with mid term school holiday makers. Most come to the mountains for the walks, and each carpark overfull, their occupants strolling one of the many public walkways, alongside streams or stretching it out over a mountain pass. We returned to our hotel mid afternoon and enjoyed a bottle of wine in the bar to round off a pleasant day.  

2/6/11 Another magnificent breakfast started the day along with sunshine which took us through Wales, back to England and on to Barnacle where we were returning to Stephen and Sheryl's place for two nights. Packed up the old parts we had removed from the motorcycle two weeks earlier and booking their shipment to Australia over the internet, a courier will collect them tomorrow, and even though we chose the cheapest option we could find, they will be in Australia
Narrow gauge steam train to Mt Snowdon in four days time. Obviously these days it is not worth the hassle of sending packages by ocean freight. Some of the parts are original, the exhausts, sentimental and perhaps museum appeal, whilst others are more practical spares, worn but not worn out. A late beer down at the local town hall after dinner with Paul and Stephen rounded off the day. 

3/6/11 We had also come back here to install the two tyres we had brought from Australia. After we removed the wheels a local car tyre place removed and replaced the old tyres, usually a straight forward job on a normal car tyre machine but somehow there were difficulties this morning. Greased the wheel bearings at the same time, new lip seals, lubricated the brake calipers, tightened bolts and did adjustments but the big relief of the morning was to find the oil transfer from the primary to the engine compartment problem had been solved. Apparently it was simply the washer missing from under the compensating sprocket nut which allowed the nut to bottom out before it had fully tightened up the compensating sprockets which remained loose enough to allow oil to flow
Welsh stone buildings are everywhere here down the shaft and into the engine compartment. At least that is all we can work out as this was the only change and now the problem, thankfully, has been resolved. It was when we were in Coventry last time that I realised that 1984 has arrived, albeit a bit late. Outside the hotel where we had previously stayed, at the rear entrance, where the maids and guests stand for a smoke, there is a camera, below which is a notice stating that video and audio were being recorded. Audio, yes, audio, meaning anything anyone said could be forever kept, and facial recognition is either here or coming, paranoid, perhaps not yet, but I will certainly be more cautious about what I say in "private". Recently there have been reports of CCTV cameras in student change rooms and that laptops provided by a school had been programed to activate the laptop's camera, sending images back to the school for student monitoring, quite an invasion of privacy. What next? 

4/6/11 We have now almost given up on a visit to Russia this trip. After correspondence with a couple of visa agencies in Europe it appears that
none of them can obtain a Russian visa for us outside of our own country. The visa has to be applied for in Australia. Quite a disappointment as it was to be the main thrust for this trip and now leaves us at a loose end with excess time. We have been to Russia twice before and were perhaps a little relaxed with our planning, assuming the visa situation would be the same as on the last two occasions, where, afterThe ship shape building is our hotel in Folkestone obtaining an invitation we could obtain a visa at any Russian embassy, but alas the regulations had changed. This need to obtain a visa in your home country is starting to creep into some countries visa requirements and, like the need to have an onward airline ticket, will likely slowly strangle spontaneous overland travel. Said goodbye to Stephen and Sheryl, visited Merv and Ruth for morning tea, and rode down the highway to Folkestone on the coast near Dover for tomorrows ferry crossing. Folkestone has lost its former glory but people still come here for a day at the beach or a cheap holiday weekend and today, in lovely weather, the coastal walkway was crowded on the last weekend of the mid spring holidays.

5/6/11 Dover to Calais ferry this morning and we leave the UK for likely the last time.  

You can now move onto France and Belgium
or go to our next visit to the United Kingdom




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