October 17, 2004 GMT
PHOTOS: Italy 2

Happy Travellers.

A body buried in Pompeii!!

Greek Acropolis ruins are very numerous in Sicily.

How they made the stone pillars for the temples in Sicily.

Pat and Miss Adventure II in front of a ruined amphitheatre, very numerous throughout Italy.

Posted by Patrick Peck at 09:28 PM GMT
October 16, 2004 GMT

Patrick was born in Edmonton, Canada and moved to Australia from Canada in 1987 in search of a walmer climate. He rediscovered motorcycling in Australia as he sold his last m/c in Canada after travelling 350km at -30C in heavy snow.

Patrick and Belinda met in Cairns, Australia, a tropical town next to the Great Barrier Reef while working together in the Real Estate Industry and were married in 2000 and travelled locally with their 1990 Super Tenere they called their freedom machine.

Belinda was born in the Southern Australian city called Adelaide. As a teenager she rode scooters and small enduro bikes, but now leaves the driving to Patrick.

Pats first long distance trip was from Canada to Mexico and return over a 2 month period with a 650 Triumph. In Australia he joined a m/c group that toured the Outback annually on 3 week long trips ranging from 8,000 - 10,000km each. This experience gave him the knowledge he needed to prepare himself and his Super tenere for Patrick and Belindas first big trip.

In 2002, 14 months in Latin America would take them from Mexico down to Terre De Fuego, Argentina , covering 38,000km.

It took Pat nearly a year to talk Belinda into agreeing to this long trip in such a strange land. With the help of a motorcycle travel website: www.horizonsunlimited.com , Belinda could read diaries from similar couples travelling in South America and thus reduce her fear of the unknown.

At the end of this trip, Belinda said that this was the best year of her life and that motorcycle travel was the only way to go. They both enjoy the freedom, the comraderie of other m/c travellers and the approachability the local people felt toward us as they too use m/c as a main source of transport.

Winding our way through mountain roads, through small villages or along the beach we had the feeling of having a "magic carpet" under us and with the wind blowing in our faces, we knew we were on a freedom-adventure trip.

Many times we were invited by the locals to eat and stay in their homes. A number of motorcycle shops refused payment for services done to our Super tenere.

We work as a team in the real estate industry in Cairns, North Queensland, Australia ( LJ Hooker Edge Hill - PH: 0418873760 ) and annually we swap our jobs with Belindas brother, Paul Davis and his wife Jacqueline, thereby travelling every second year for a year at a time.

Having picked up a little Spanish in South America we thought our next trip must include Spain and as many of the Meditteranean countries as we could fit in.

Our second trip (2004) the Super Tenere was shipped from Australia to England by ship and from there we went through France, Spain, Morocco, Portugal, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia and back to Spain to store the m/c for 14 months until the next trip early 2006.

Our next trip 2006 covered all countries considered safe in North Africa and across to Croatia again to visit many Eastern European countries, such as Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Turkey and we stored the bike in Greece.

2008 saw us travelling from Greece, Turkey, Georgia, up to Romania for Dominiks christening, then back through Turkey again to Iran and then to Dubai to store the bike for another year.

2010 we picked up the bike in Dubai, drove to Oman, shipped the bike to Zanzibar and drove south through Africa to Johannesberg, where we stored her for 6 months (winter). We flew to Europe to pick up Miss Adventure III in Romania and drive around Europe til October 2010, then fly back to Africa for 6 months of driving with our children following on a KLR650.

Many people ask us if what we are doing is dangerous and we always tell them that we have never had a bad experience with no robberies, confrontations or break downs. Choosing a dependable motorcycle and making only a few touring modifications and performing preventative maintenance, we have not had as much as a flat tyre. We are now doing our fourth year long trip around the world, with many more to come.

If you need to contact us while we are travelling, sms on our phone is the best way on +61 419309309 sms ONLY as its too expensive for you and us for you to call.

Advice for other people: "dont think about it too long, just do it!!"

Posted by Patrick Peck at 09:03 PM GMT
October 15, 2004 GMT

Belinda and the canals of Venice.

Amazing village in Cinque Terre, Italy.

Sandra, Brian, Belinda and Patick with our machines in B&B in Cinque Terre.

The usual pose in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Our new custom made seat made in Toulouse, France for 200.

Posted by Patrick Peck at 08:58 PM GMT
ITALY-Sept 2004

Italy is visually and culturally spectacular and the people are very gregarious, friendly and good fun. They drive like maniacs- they love riding right up behind you, overtake whenever and stick their noses out into the traffic so you either have to stop and let them out or hit them!!! Crazy, but they all do it and it seems to work!! It is definately the most expensive country that we have found in Meditteranean Europe.....mamamia!!! I cant believe we actually stayed for 6 weeks....mind you we are very slim now!! The food....pizza and spaghetti everywhere...we dont want to see either of them again for awhile. Overall, we had a fantastic time, met many wonderful people and saw some spectacular sights, so its a must see.

After Slovenia, we went to Padova to visit Beppe Trj, the webmaster for Super Tenere Club in Italy. Website is www.clubtenereitalia.com What a guy, he wrote to all his members telling them about us and asking people if they can help to contact us. What a great service and "Welcome to Italy" that was.

We rode the bike to Venice for the day. We got a day pass and hopped on and off the "vaporetti" (ferry) up and down the canals and walked around with our mouths open all day. Venice is extraordinary; exhausting day, but fantastic. We had lunch in Venice (big mistake). For one pizza and one coke the bill came to 20 (A$37-
7 was for the coke!!) We heard Venice was expensive and put that mega rip off down to experience and didnt spend another cent there.

Beppe Bonardi, the HU member for Marradi invited us to an Africa Twin Club meeting in his town as he wanted to use our Super Tenere as a BBQ!!! Marradi is an old stone town nestled in a mountain valley, where Beppe treated us to a fantastic lunch with many local dishes. We wish we had more time to spend there, but we raced off to meet our old friends Brian and Sandra Smith from Canada in Cinque Terre National Park.

The Cinque Terre National Park consists of 5 villages clinging to the seaside cliffs above the Meditteranean Sea. We had a wonderful few days walking the trails between the villages and everywhere you looked was a postcard shot- a definite must for any visit to Italy.

We couldnt resist visiting the Leaning tower of Pisa on our way into the Tuscan area of Central Italy. We flittered from village to village visiting towns like Siena, San Gimignano and Assisi. All hilltop fortressed stone towns, we never tire of riding the Super Tenere down their narrow cobblestone streets.

Francesco Campo, a member of the Super tenere Club invited us to stay at his home in Pescara for a few days. What a great host and guide Francesco was. One day was spent riding the Tuscan mountain roads between Pescara and Rome....bellisimo!! We are sure a long term friendship has come from this meeting.

Taking a short cut????through the centre of Rome with no city map at 5pm on Friday was definately not a good idea!!! The caos and traffic jams left us no desire to sight see Rome with the motorbike, so off we headed towards the dead Roman city of Pompeii and its killer volcano Vesuvius.

Pompeii was once a resort town for wealthy Romans, now buried under a layer of pumice stone during the eruption in AD79. It was an amazing insight into the lives of ancient Romans. Streets lined with shops and luxurious homes with the occassional body on display!! Magnificent paintings are still on the walls of many buildings depicting life in those old days. Pompeii was much larger than we thought, having a population near 100,000 people at its peak.

Due south, the Amalfi coast, a 50Km drive along the coastline with natural beauty of the sheer cliffs with clinging villages- dramatic and spectacular. Off season we could enjoy the curvy roads and breathtaking scenery without the traffic jams of August.

Down to the toe of Italy where the cities and people appear much poorer than further north. The drivers there are either doddling along or are rally drivers and in each case a danger to anyone on the road.

Crossing to Sicily by ferry we stopped in the small seaside village of Naxos, where, at night we could see the red hot lava flowing down Mount Etna volcano. (The largest and most active volcano in Europe) It seems a contradiction to have a snow capped peak and red hot flowing lava.

The next town we stopped in was Selinute, which overlooked the many ruined Greek Acropoli next to the sea. It was a marvel how they hoisted such huge rock blocks so high and to imagine the intensity of the earthquake that brought most of them down.

Erice was another hilltopped walled city over looking miles of rugged coastline, most of which we could see from our B and B bedroom window!!

On the ferry to Sardinia we met Tobias Kammerer from Germany. He travelled with us on his Triumph road bike for nearly a week. He loved the fact that he was using up a lot of side tread from his tires because of the curvy roads. The views were breathtaking and some stretches we decided to ride twice!!

Corsica roads and views were even more dramatic with many rough narrow roads being etched into the sides of the cliffs overlooking the sea. One evening we stayed in a ski resort with the lifts starting next to the front door.

A big thank you to GFTed from Super Tenere Club for his detailed notes and great ride roads in Italy and the islands. Website: http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/xtz750/

We now have only a month left in Europe and will go back to Southern Spain to find somewhere to store the bike for 17 months for our next trip. Then off to Nova Scotia and Edmonton, Canada for Christmas with Pats family; then New Zealand with Pats children and then back to Cairns, Australia in March.

Posted by Patrick Peck at 10:14 AM GMT

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