August 30, 2002 GMT
The run up...

One week before our planned departure date and the sense of anticipation is growing. All that's left to do is pick up some US$, courses of antibiotics and get our Iranian visas back from the Magic Carpet Co.

Oh, and for Adrian to put his bike back together and to re-build the 15ft wide hole in the side of his house. We are concerned that he has confused his planned conservatory with Crystal Palace.

The 'going away' party at Adrian's country seat went extremely well and certain individuals were sporting mysterious bruises the next day. A sure sign of a good night. Liam over-dosed on his own punch and disappeared rather earlier than expected and this unfortunately meant that his renowned version of YMCA in Cyrillic failed to materialise. The food and barbecue were excellent but Adrian's attempt to burn a hole to Australia with an absolute inferno of a bonfire was unsuccessful. Got a good start to my tan though...

And a huge thanks to Sue for putting on a wonderful farewell do on Friday night. Slightly unfortunate that the letters of the 'Bon Voyage' message stuck to the walls were mysteriously re-arranged into 'Go old git'. But I appreciated the sentiment nonetheless. Thanks to everyone who turned up and especially those who thoughtfully refrained from commenting on my ever so tasteful 'pimp' shirt.

Posted by Sean Kelly at 10:23 AM GMT
September 09, 2002 GMT
Wetter than fish

Just a quick entry on our first day as innocents abroad. Drove through torrential downpours to arrive without drama to a slap up meal at the groenedijk motorcycle loft hotel, outside Ostend. Greeted by Sonya, but proprietor Ivan was, perhaps wisely, off tonight.

All is well after a couple of beers, but looking forward to a good nights kip.

Hope to post some pics soon, when we have read the instructions.

Stop press! Ivan arrived later and proceeded to relieve everyone in the bar of 5 euros each playing the game of Groenedijk Pool. A game so perverse he must surely have invented it!

Posted by Sean Kelly at 10:30 PM GMT
September 12, 2002 GMT

Arrived Thursday morning in Budapest. Beautiful weather for a change as the ride down through Germany and Austria has been dull and grey. We have just stuck to the Autobahns so not much scenery and not much to report.

My bike is still losing a little oil from the airbox breather and onto my boot whilst Adrian has had to re-adjust his tappets. One of Adrian's rocker cover nuts has escaped - at this rate there won't be much left to ship home, maybe we'll need a parcel, not a container.

Otherwise the BMWs have run well over the 1300 or so miles we have covered so far. Progress has been a little slow, but we are still on schedule to reach Istanbul by Monday. Getting up and off early is not so easy - as expected.

Also, I think my clothes are starting to get a bit 'ripe' so a laundry stop is anticpated if not essential. People in this internet cafe are giving us funny looks.

We will drive to the Romanian border this afternoon and find a hotel before riding on to Bucharest tomorrow. Everything here seems very cheap - so we are both very much at home.

Posted by Sean Kelly at 11:27 AM GMT

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