March 09, 2010 GMT
Week 1-2

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This is at our last stop before heading off, at Bob’s brother David’s place in Surrey.

2nd March – set off to Dover-Calais ferry. Beautiful blue skies, which was a surprise, although we had to scrape the frost off the bikes before we set off. Got to Antwerp for the first night.
3rd March – visited the war grave in Leopoldsburg in Belgium of Bob’s namesake who was killed in the Second World War.
4th March – putting in some miles in France, to get South. It’s getting tedious scraping frost off the seats on a morning! Lots of floods as well – they appear to have had a typhoon at the weekend.

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Generic view of vines and mountains in the middle of France.

7th March – a well-earned day’s recuperation. South of France isn’t quite as warm as we thought it would be.
8th March – just into Italy. It’s allegedly warmer here. The current score for dropping the bike stands at Bob 5 Sheila 0. And Bob managed to drop one bike into the other each time which is why his score is double really.
9th March – can you believe it. Snow stopped play at 13:30. We tried to ignore it for 2 hours, but Sheila was struggling, so we booked into a hotel for the rest of the day. And we're still there now. And from the weather forecast, we'll be here for another couple of days.


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View from our hotel window in northern Italy, with large snow flakes.

Posted by Bob Oldfield at 08:38 PM GMT
March 17, 2010 GMT
Week 2-3

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Harbour at Vada, northern Italy.

11th March – Made an executive decision to travel down Italy’s leg to avoid the snowstorms etc in northern Italy and Balkans. Found small pension right on the harbour at Vada. Bob took the accompanying photo, which his Dad would be ever so proud of.
12th March – Motorway miles to head south. Lovely mountains on left and Med sea on right.

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Generic view of Italian mountains – this could have been taken anywhere down the west coast.

13th March – passed by Vesuvius. Didn’t erupt. No photo opportunity there then.
15th March – over the very cold mountains to Brindisi Ferry. Overnight journey on a piece of Greek ferry sofa. Boat stopped at Igoumenitsa at 03:00 then carried on to Patra for 11:00.
16th March – campsite in Athens. Decided to do touristy things tomorrow and have a beer or two for the rest of the day. It is the Coliseum isn’t it?!

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Warm at last, in Athens.

Posted by Sheila Oldfield at 01:27 PM GMT
March 28, 2010 GMT
Week 3-4

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Phrases you thought you’d never hear. Here’s Bob cooking tea! The best rice I’ve ever tasted.

17th March – found Yamaha dealer in Athens. Ordered replacement lens for broken indicator, and a set of cush-drives.
18th March – tacky tourist bit around Parthenon and a load of ruins. Very interesting, and a bit of a cultural interlude.
19th March – Yamaha parts arrived. Our heartfelt thanks go to Alexis and Christos at the dealers, who came to our rescue, making incredible efforts to provide us with solutions to our problems.

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Our friend Alexis (check out Viktoria Bikers on Facebook)

20th March – decided to head towards Halkidiki area of Greece. Few campsites have opened yet – the ones that have let us stay, have mostly been closed still. It’s a great feeling knowing we don’t have to turn back to go home. We could get used to this.
23rd March – a day of difficult decisions. Whether to turn right or left down the completely deserted beach!

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A bitch on the beach

25th March – moved to Kavala on coast. Found place to get us some tyres. Annoying that there’s so much tread left on them, but we know we’re unlikely to be able to get tyres later on in the journey. Decided to stay here a little while, to lose some time, before the run up to Bulgaria, Romania etc.

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Tyre changing at its best - grit and sand in everything

Posted by Sheila Oldfield at 03:11 PM GMT
 
 

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