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whats an internet connection? - pics to follow
ITALY - day 7, Monday 13th May 2012
Day off today, need to relax so what do we do? Take Georges for a run of course, even on days off we still manage to snag a ride. 287km, max speed 172 kmh (on a private road of course Officer Dibble), 4 1/2 hours riding.
I managed to break my two fossils this morning I bought in Maroc ffs, they were next to my good luck charm (which also came from there). I take it as an omen and put on the good luck charm around my neck, never been a fan of jewelry and so it feels slightly awkward but we get on with it anyways.
Not much doing around Rome on perusing the road map, so we head north on some A roads up to a massive lake, Lago Di Bracciano where we snag some lunch of tasty meatballs (opposite the Castle on the hill) and spectate the Canadian practicing his 1st dance (to Peter Gabriel tune) as a married man which hapens in 4 hours time. First taking advice from his best man Amigo from Primary School and then also lessons with his vibrant Mother when she turns up, who looks in great health and must be over 60. 'Relax and feel the moment' says she, we agree and on leaving propose he should enjoy it, relax and dont worry too much about the dancing. Seems a nice fellow and his (or Fiancees) Son of 12 or so looks suitably embarrased, though his dads dad dancing looks fine from here. Some chassis from Sri Lanka apparently, as my ears were wagging. I snag a shot of the lake and one of me infront of it for the album.
Onwards north we go to Lago Di Bolsena, its larger cousin although we don't stop as its getting on a little and I realise Georges will need some more engine oil and filter before too much longer as there is 3,000 miles on this oil already. Beside the lake, the small town of Marta sits, it seems we have just missed the local festival as there are numerous fellows on horseback and most everyone has bread, which are all identical in shape having been made into a circle (think of a halo in bread!).
We head back, finding a pot-holed road which is in the process of being dug up and re-tarmacced, near shook me teeth out.
Back at the hotel we oil Georges drive chain and fill up with fuel (again) ready for tomorrows trip. We have a rough plan for the 4 days as we need to catch the ferry to Greece. 4 easy days ride, so we can relax and find some good roads and snag some camping. I feel an increasing urge to wild camp as its free and also your not any kind of traveller if you dont wild camp at least once (the night sleeping alongside the tramp doesn't count say us).
Into town for food and to say Ciao to Rome, its been fun dear. We rumble through the streets at quite a lick, though a large scooter is impatiently hovering all over our rear, its a Yamaha 500 or 600 T max - king of Romes Streets (unless Georges is in town and feeling frisky). The street narrows and so we ease over and he pops through. A car parked on the right nearside, done or doing shopping starts reversing and bingo, knocks scooter-boy swifty on his arse and the Yamaha is over aswell with a crunch. He's quite lucky because a bus was coming the other way and it managed to brake in time or they'd both have got hit by that too. He's quite grumpy and so we leave them all to it and head off thanking our luck.
The night before a an elderly woman had been hit on a crossing (or had a stroke or otherwise) and we arrived at the same time as the ambulance. Another few days back, a silver car had pulled off without looking - right off the hard shoulder straight into our path, we were moving on (with headlights on as usual) and it was pretty bad driving say we. Georges nearly went through her boot lid, silly cow.
Food was ok in town, we get the remainder into a doggy bag and which goes to a homeless amigo across the street. We also donate a few sheckles to some homeless fellows. I cannot think these guys are making lots of bucks here and have a yacht in Monaco which we passed through. Pretty desperate fellows and so we can spare 5 euros ffs.
We head back to the bombsite that is our room. We have found a Kawasaki dealer 150km south, next to some good roads (so says green shading on said map) and so we'll try snag some oil and a filter there within 24 hours before moving on.
Good times Georges, cheers lad.
Georges update: The front indicator rubber is just about hanging on, with the help of some gaffer tape and some cane we salavaged from the beach campsite in Tuscany, it wont last much longer but then it doesn't have to.
Nick update: happier than ever.
Georges disowns owner after 'poetry incident'
ITALY - day 8, Tuesday 14th May 2012
We checked out of the hotel in Rome and were rolling for half eight. The traffic on the ring road around the city was lively, as much as I have seen in Italy (because like us pair) the Italians appear to warm up as the day goes on, another reason to like the country.
We head off along the motorway a 2 hour drive to Sora, which the internet confirmed has a Kawasaki dealer for Georges oil & filter.
The shop is run by a Father & Son, none of us understand each other but it soon transpires that they have no workshop, which is something of a novelty. We buy an original filter for a bargain 10 eur and set off with directions for the local mechanic, though quite why we need a mechanic to drop the oil out is anyones guess, we just need somewhere to lodge the waste oil. The Father has called ahead and sure enough a chap at the end of the road waves us in, we roll in get greeted both happy as Georges needs it and I guess they dont get many chaps falling in off the street as we do.
As the drivechain needs replacing we have been adding plenty of lube (ooh er), too much because it is splattered all over the swingarm, the wheel and I notice when the bike is on the ramp some has leaked onto the rear tyre, right on the edge where we need grip the most as we are on full lean there. Must remember to go a little easier on left handers lad and use less lube too. We can replace the chain in MKD in 1,500 or so, so it should be good for that mileage.
The garage is ran by Titiano an ex-racer and Dangrilo his spanner-man. We talk about bikes and racers and my trip and that, even with the language difficulty we all get along swell. Georges has the best oil going, which was not cheap but they dont charge any labour at all, give me coffee, let me use the john and Titano takes me for a when the work is done (which includes more insulating tape for our (his) drooping indicator. I draw the cash and settle up, snagging a photo and promising to email one from the IOMTT of John McGuiness in a few weeks time. Georges also gets a sticker form the garage and confirming he does indeed have race parts fitted. Chat to a fellow punter who turns out to be a classic Ducati racer, with trophies in the TDR cabinet to prove it, good lad, a 2-wheel brother indeed (though my trophies to-date are bruises, some good photos and of course Georges).
We are feeling high after the and countless coffee & John breaks, every time I need to pee I buy a coffee as I feel obliged and only fair, every time I take a coffee I need a pee, its an in-escapable circle.
We find some good roads, one going through a valley with green mountains either side, good views and the road is sweet too, I dont push too hard and good job too as there are some hairpin bends that arrive from nowhere and where some of the opposite carriageway has been closed off having subsided 9 inches into the ground. With a little way to go, we round a bend to find a cyclist scurrying in the near side forested verge, a car is doing a 3 point turn and the chap gestures to me half waving half saying to stop. I guess the car has got too close and ran him off the road, though he looks ok and the car stops so I guess all is well and we push on. Another bend, 3 dogs loiter across the roadway, they look menacing and start to make an attack, then realising Georges 900 motor will waste them and my 10 boots will give them a headache, they back off. Poor bloody cyclist must have had to turn around and then outgun them and was getting that stick for defence and/or attack. We follow the road, and wander south and east, 300 km in all.
Nearly camping halfway up a mountain (we need water & food, but seemingly none for miles) as it is so pretty here being next to a National park - Parco Nazionale D'Abruzzo. We plough on and find a nice small quiet campsite in the town of Pescasseroli, 15 eur later we have camp and provisions and we dine on sardines, some cheese, very tasty ham and bread washed down with some local vino rosso at two and a half euros a crack. The wine is good, helped by some spicy notes which otherwise might be rather dull without. It does the trick and we wander off to town a mile away for more plonk. Some more wine later and we head back to digs, merry and happy and comfortable in that we can at least find our way home tonight. I do have my GPS by chance and so we are good. I remembered to turn it off this time as when wandering in Rome the batteries got all used up as we were wandering the city for some time, well yes, I had an idea where I parked Georges (saved in the GPS, so I didnt pay too much attention) and after a short search I gratefully found the bugger. I can loose my hotel but not Georges.
Very cold night (no sleep, but some barking dogs, chain gang style one starts and they all get going) as we must be pretty high up here (?) and the stars were fantastic last night, too cold to gaze long and the campfire had long perished. We had burned all the wood we could find, just enjoying the heat and the fire dancing and licking, greedily consuming the wood. I dont think our poem is any good, but we felt like it and so this we just rambled on.
the fire cracks
it spits, alive
hissing wood and flames that lick
glowing embers, thrive
charcoal wood, or wood since gone
the dirty ash
spent force and done
floating, blowing all spent trash
a glowing mass, falling in
the heat within
reluctant force not yet released
silence falls and light susbsists
and yet once more
the flames lick
releasing energy, the heat once more
Good times, more of the same tomorrow please, less of the vino you greedy tart
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