Sunday, 31 May 2015
Monday, 25 May 2015
Just realised today is one month to the date since I left Britain's grey shores for . . . At the time even darker lands. . .but since that initial 3 difficult days life has been good, living in the warmth of Italy. . Good food, good wine and relaxed times. . .moving when I want to, travelling when I feel the need and staying still because I can.
Next weekend I travel to Mugello to fulfil a long held ambition to see the Italian motogp round. . I hope it lives up to expectation.
After that I head south . . To tackle more of this adventure. . Another holiday destination perhaps, but one I have never sampled so no pre-conceptions. Do I take in the popular tourist destinations? . . Probably not. . I never really have so no point starting now. .
I will pretty much race across Greece but that update is for a later entry. .
After six days by the sea I feel a need to move and tomorrow I will travel inland a little way . . I guess I'm more of a country boy than a seafarer at heart. .
So for now my next update will be at the bike grand prix . . . Come on England! Can Cal , Brad, Scott and Eugene do us proud ? . . I hope so
Sunday, 17 May 2015
PS.. Flickr album updated click the Flickr box on the right ->
Video (lots)( to follow on youtube when I get decent WiFi.
Friday, 15 May 2015
Tuesday, 12 May 2015
This particular blog entry is a bit of a compilation of (some alcohol induced) thoughts over the weekend while i have no internet connection to upload an update, so you'll forgive my slightly meandering line of thought.
Travelling is a funny thing.
Take everything that makes your life comfortable and give it up.. Leave everyone you care about and throw your lot in with strangers who don't even speak the same language
Take the simple fact of knowing where you will sleep tonight and make it an unknown.
You can plan ahead a little and carry some provisions and maybe book some accommodation in advance but in the end all of life's securities are up for discussion and suddenly the life you know and rely on are not necessarily the actual outcome.
That in its self is an exciting concept but one that needs a bit of thinking about. I guess in history, human life has not been at the comfort level that we take for granted in the modern world. Hunting for your evening meal must have had is unknowns and potentially hungry nights. In some ways rediscovering the basic needs for living is a part of this venture. I miss satellite TV, my truck on the drive with enough fuel to driven anywhere I want to. Beer in the fridge and the internet to discover yet more facts I didn't need to know or care about regarding someone's latest breakfast/night out or boredom level. So long Facebook I didn't need you before, I'm even more sure I don't now.
Extracting myself from the modern world had been something of a wrench. And yet I'm still able to get online to communicate with everyone via text, phone, mail, twitter or blog. In so many ways I am actually still connected. It's just not immediately available on demand all the time.
On holidays you still know that you will have a bed for the night and a meal at some point.. My holidays over the years have to some extent followed a similar way of living to what I am doing now but dealing with that for 2 weeks is part of the joy I get from living without too much of a plan. This journey feels different because it seems right now to have no end and dealing with that is a wider experience than have dealt with so far in my life.
I have wondered what historic explorers must have experienced without modern communications. Completely cutoff from their own world. While I am no Dr Livingstone deep in the African bush,, I am on my own voyage of discovery. My normal life of work, nights out, a beer in the pub, getting paid monthly and all the modern trappings has been changed.
One thing about Italy that has struck me on my travels around this glorious country is how much road building had taken place to allow easy movement by car/bike.. Bridges that span whole valleys between tunnels drilled through hills and mountains that must once have cut off whole communities. Some of the older tunnels I guess must date from the 50s or perhaps earlier and as such they are mostly oxygen free zones in places. Newer ones are much nicer to ride through. There doesn't seem to have been much thought for the natural environment with some of the concrete monstrosities that divert traffic around the smaller towns deep in the valleys and often dissect the buildings from one side in the shade to the other sunlit side. It's a strange contrast of modern needs conflicting with old ways of life.
Imola world superbike weekend has been a somewhat strange affair compared to my previous experience of motorcycle race meetings. Considering the current top four most successful riders in the series are British I have yet to actually meet any British motorcycle riders that have made the journey. My last time at an Italian round in Monza in 2002 was a sharp contrast with a lot of Brits around. Maybe it's the case that most British bikers have got old these days and have flown to comfortable hotels! Assuming they are here at all.
Maybe years of restrictive legislation and nanny over protective parenting has prevented a new generation from enjoying the freedom and thrill of two wheeled transport that is the accepted norm in the rest of Europe. Sad.
As I sit here on a balmy Saturday evening with a (plastic) glass of red wine, the rumble of motorcycle engines and the smell of BBQ smoke hanging in the air along with an expectation of a great days racing ahead tomorrow life seems pretty cool. There's a couple of things missing that would make it complete, but for right now I don't need much else to make me happy. I struggle with normal day to day life at times. Always have. Working to earn living. Living in a world where money means happiness to most people. It's true that money make life easier and let's be honest without money I wouldn't have been able to make this adventure happen, but living is what makes me happy. By living I mean experiencing new things, enjoying the things I like and not worrying about what in the end are trivial modern concerns. At 51 years old I've had my share of heart breaks (literally as well as figuratively) and disappointments but I've also had amazing times and looking ahead I don't want to get bogged down with normal life. I've only got a limited amount of time and spending it being happy seems to make perfect sense.
Having re read these peculiar ramblings I'm in two minds whether to publish it, but having written it and in the end this blog has been, is and will continue to be an honest description of what I experience on the journey. The highs, the lows and the meditative in between bits, I think I should once I get reconnected to the world wide web.. How did we ever manage without it... Somehow we survived for millennia.
One foot note to add to this entry.. After the racing I visited the senna memorial which is located at the spot where he died. While I am no big F1 fan it was a sombre moment and the personal tributes placed there show how much impact that one person had on so many people. I don't think the visit to imola would have been complete without visiting that spot.
Thursday, 7 May 2015
described better than I can manage on away.com
This quiet 85-mile (138 km) backroad through the Apennine Mountains is positively bucolic. Linking Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna, it leads northwest from Pistoia, just east of Florence, to Ferrara via Bologna. It crosses thick chestnut forests, the ancient spa resort of Porretta Terme, and small, sleepy towns."
I had planned to get to Pisa for a gratuitous tower shot! but the weather looked a little inclement near the coast and after getting lost on the autoroute around Pisa I decided to cut and run. There will be another opportunity I'm sure.
A tasty quatro formaggio pizza for lunch in the Piazza dell Anfiteatro and bottle of merlot when I got back to the campsite topped off a great day.
Thursday is about sorting out the everything and re-packing again - I will find the ideal balanced way of doing things. Living in and out of a few bags and pannier that I carry gets a bit difficult without some sense of organisation, which I am rubbish at ... always have been, I guess its time I learnt.
I've looked up the camping availability for Imola and that seems to be ok. I will leave as soon as I am ready on Friday morning and should be there for early afternoon.
until next week, Internet access might be a bit unavailable so will update again as soon as I can.
in the meantime I uploaded a video from the day out to Lucca .. Its got a bit of rough editing in there, but you get the picture.. I need to figure out the microphone situation.. lots of wind noise when I try to get on bike footage and its a bit quiet if I'm a couple of steps away from the camera.. anyway you get a feeling of what's happening in each mini episode I hope.
More pictures on Flickr too..
next update - Imola WSB ...
Monday, 4 May 2015
Oh Yeah! - Captains log - supplemental - I have uploaded a few pictures to the Flickr album.. Link is on the right near the youtube link. - just in case your interested :o)
And if you see an advertisement on the front of the youtube vids - be a little patient and see it through (its only a couple of minutes) but hey I get paid for them ! lol - thanks
Saturday, 2 May 2015
After 3 days lake side in Garda it was time to move on as the rain made a valiant attempt to catch up with me. Not the best campsite in the area I'm sure but it gave me time to catch my breath after racing the weather since leaving the uk.
A fairly uninteresting ride across the flatlands of northern Italy's Po plain through Modena and slightly lost around the periphery of Bologna see's me in more entertaining countryside with typically Italian landscape wonderful scenery and the constant call of a distant cuckoo to accompany my pasta tea..
I have lots of video of the ride over the Alps and into Italy to upload when I get a decent WiFi connection. , but until then I'll keep on filming for when the opportunity arises.
Next target is the world superbike round at Imola, which is about an hours ride away so I think this is a place to sit back for a while and enjoy the peace and tranquility of Italy's rolling hills.
Chasing dreams just got chilled..