January 19, 2008 GMT
France and finished...
The weather was absolutely awful through Southern France. I'm wearing waterproofs nearly all the time, and it feels very much like I am nearly finished. This is semi-familiar territory, and for the first time in over a month I can (almost !) understand the locals. Combine that with the English weather and the feeling of unpredictable travelling is rapidly diminishing....
Did a little bit of routine tourism around Orleans on the one sunny day and lose all interest in updating blogs in internet cafes. Torrential rain again approaching Calais and my exhaust finally snaps clean off. Makes a hell of a noise through the Dartford Tunnel later on :)
I replaced the exhausts when I got home and sold the Pan again on ebay. I lost about £150 on the bike, although I had put on a new back tyre, front wheel bearings and the exhausts. Basically though, a very cheap trip - reliable, comfortable and not the sort of thing that attracts too much undesirable attention.
Back to reality now, and wondering whether I will ever get that chance again !
Posted by Kevin Payne at 11:55 AM
September 09, 2005 GMT
First hotel turned out to be a nightmare and I had my first real dispute with anyone - got given a room where the shower soaked the whole room and the manager spoke no English and was very unhelpful - but managed to get in to another just as another incredibly heavy storm let loose. Soaked. Eating in dark restaurant with wet feet - lightning showing the view across the sea every few minutes.
Next morning was fine - pretty ride up the coast to Pescara.
After this, I need to put some miles on so I move up the coast by motorway - Ancona and then in to Turin. Some very busy roads. Get very wet as I leave Turin heading for the French border - luckily a lot of the route seems to be through tunnels. Dark but dry.....
Posted by Kevin Payne at 03:14 PM
The capital city of the trulli - odd white cone shaped Italian houses.
Nice place, also close to Castellana cave complex. Guided tour in Italian was of course very helpful....
Posted by Kevin Payne at 03:11 PM
Ferry to Italy
Left Corfu about 1am on a ferry bound for Brindisi. No cabins available and people sleeping all over the floor - a real pleasure. Arrived in Italy about 7.30am and set off for Taranto \ Mercate. Mercate was a real find - very pretty.
Got caught in an incredibly heavy storm so just grabbed the nearest hotel. I left the bike in the street with the bow wave from the sidestand reaching the fairing lowers. When the rain died down I rode it through a foot of water in to the hotel car park....wet again....
Posted by Kevin Payne at 03:09 PM
September 02, 2005 GMT
Moved further up the coast and got a ferry to Corfu. First two nights in Corfu town, which is quite an attractive place. Must have had my 100th Greek salad by now - trying to eat myself healthy...
Third night at the Dolphin snack bar in Paleokastritsa - 25 Euro makes it the cheapest yet, and its in a beautiful spot on a tiny beach. Food and beer on the premises - great choice. Took the camera out on a pedalo - swimming and water cycling goes towards the fitness regime today. Toured around a little the next day.
Lots of very steep 1st gear hairpins, and the road surface is worn shiny with use - the locals can slide their back wheels at will on both power and brakes. Nice on a supermoto but not something I want to test on mine - emergency stops on a sports bike could be worrying here. Even the Pan locks the front occasionally on hard braking - bit scary but if you leave extra braking distance some cretin in a car will be tempted in to a stupid overtake just so he can fill the hole....
Now booked on a ferry to Brindisi tonight. It doesn't leave until just after midnight, so killing time in the internet cafe again. Wearing my Alpinestars MX boots ( London despatch rider street cred, 15 years old - and look it ) and a vest top - getting a few odd looks, but if I change them I have nowhere to leave them while I wander....
Posted by Kevin Payne at 12:14 PM