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Offline Kerritz

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Re: A beginner's guide to riding in France
« Reply #60 on: June 05, 2013, 10:52:03 am »
Ek het werk, maar gaan staak tot die RR begin!

He he....dan gaan jy moet staak tot voor jou Augrabies trip!!  :deal:
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Re: A beginner's guide to riding in France
« Reply #61 on: June 05, 2013, 10:56:14 am »
Seker maar ne!   :imaposer:
Maar ek is op pad van more huis toe!!
 :ricky:

Hijack off, SKRYF asseblief!!
 

Offline bud500

Re: A beginner's guide to riding in France
« Reply #62 on: June 05, 2013, 11:17:30 am »
Lekker IDR.
Lyk of jy ń plan het met die report.
May the bridges I burn light the way...
 

Offline IDR

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Re: A beginner's guide to riding in France
« Reply #63 on: June 05, 2013, 11:25:22 am »
'n Plan?  Dude - ek het 'n notaboekie oral rondgedra om detail neer te skryf sodat ek dit in my RR kan insluit! :D

Ek het net nou nie die ding hier nie, en ek moet nog heelwat werk in die fotos en video insit, so julle sal nog bietjie moet vasbyt.
The three things you need to fix anything in the universe: duct tape, WD-40 and a hammer.  If it moves and it shouldn't, use the duct tape.  If it doesn't move and it should, use the WD-40.  Otherwise use the hammer.
 

Offline Bernoulli

Re: A beginner's guide to riding in France
« Reply #64 on: June 05, 2013, 11:26:04 am »
 :happy1:

Offline Rynet

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Re: A beginner's guide to riding in France
« Reply #65 on: June 05, 2013, 01:49:32 pm »
...
Here are some snaps to whet the appetite though...


Eiffel Tower lit up in the colours of our very own SA flag - see here (and no, I did not get the photo off the website ;D )

Awesome sight , the Eifel Tower in SA colours , thanks  :thumleft: :thumleft:

Glad your holiday was great , and now your real work starts, doing the RR.  We will be waiting ..... ;)
 

Offline IDR

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Re: A beginner's guide to riding in France
« Reply #66 on: June 05, 2013, 09:45:14 pm »
Day 1 - 3: London

The problem with travelling with your riding gear is that it takes up an incredible amount of space and weight.  When we checked in at OR Tambo, my luggage was half a kilogram over the 23 kg weight limit, to a large extent due to the boots inside.  What peeved me a little was that Vida's checked luggage was significantly lighter at 14 kg, but they don't let you use the combined weight.  A quick reshuffle of our luggage meant that I would be taking my helmet, jacket and backpack as carry on - not ideal - but we fortunately didn't have issues finding space for it in the overhead compartments.

The flight was the usual long-haul inconvenience: not enough leg-room, crappy food and not nearly enough booze to make it all bearable.

We landed on Friday (the 17th of May) at Heathrow to a fairly dreary looking London - which was to be expected really.  It was overcast and cold, but at least it wasn't raining - something we would be thankful for often on this trip.  Heathrow's terminal 5 is an impressive chunk of airport, being the largest free-standing structure in the UK, and designed to handle up to 35 MILLION passengers per year!  In comparison, OR Tambo in it's entirety has a 29 million passengers per year capacity.

Being smokers, first thing we did after a relatively pleasant passport control and luggage reclaim was to step outside for a smoke, where the weather really hit home for the first time.  Coming to Europe to escape the Pretoria winter was a KAK idea!!

We dragged ourselves and all our luggage onto a busy rush-hour tube towards London, where we would meet my sister at Earl's Court station.  We would be staying with her and her Irish boyfriend for 2 nights in "the shoebox" in Wandsworth.  Little did we know that, later on in Paris, we would be staying in a proper shoebox, which makes "the shoebox" look positively palatial!

We settled in and then got out to go walk London upside down in search of a UK SIM card, some lunch, and a few last minute items of shopping on Kensington high street.  Spending ZAR in London is EXPENSIVE!!!

We came home for a quick nap, had a shower and went out for dinner with Marcia, Ross (the bf) and Ross's mate, John, at Ben's Canteen, for a nice piece of chicken and some decent wine (at GBP 20 per bottle!!), then headed out to their local pub for a few night caps before bed ;D

The next day we started off going out to the Borough Market, which is a great food market in the center of London, with everything from fresh fish, meat and veg, to craft bread, beer and cider.  It was absolutely PACKED - but an awesome experience for us foodies.


Marcia and Vida with the Shard in the background,  And no, I don't know why.


Colourful and vibrant


Awesome variety of fresh fish


Crabs...


Olives...


Exotic fruit...


Shrooms...


Great fresh veg, with fresh artichokes - something you don't see here often.  Look like Proteas


Truffels - ASTRONOMICAL prices.  These were about the size of a liquorice allsorts


South African products are HUGE in the UK - apparently they just can't get to like koeksisters though


Salamis with interesting flavours like tomato and thyme


The little baby cheeses ... and BIG ones


Stopped for a smoke and a hot, spicy cider

For lunch we headed out to meet some friends of mine in Kingston, at the Boater's Inn, right on the Thames.  Best fish and chips and mushy peas I ever had :)


We were starving, only remembered to take a photo halfway through

Vida left to spend some quality time with friends of hers, where Marcia and Ross took me out for dinner at Jamie's Italian in Soho, before going to watch a stand-up show by Nina Conti.  I saw a video similar to this one the day we flew out, so I had seen about half the show - but it was good nonetheless.  Couple of drinks out on the town later and I was snugly in bed, it was a great start to the holiday!!
« Last Edit: June 05, 2013, 09:50:48 pm by IDR »
The three things you need to fix anything in the universe: duct tape, WD-40 and a hammer.  If it moves and it shouldn't, use the duct tape.  If it doesn't move and it should, use the WD-40.  Otherwise use the hammer.
 

Offline Jondu

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Re: A beginner's guide to riding in France
« Reply #67 on: June 05, 2013, 09:46:35 pm »
 :peepwall:
 

Offline IDR

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Re: A beginner's guide to riding in France
« Reply #68 on: June 05, 2013, 09:49:23 pm »
I have to just add, that a lot of these photos are from Vida's camera - so 99 % of the credit to her.
The three things you need to fix anything in the universe: duct tape, WD-40 and a hammer.  If it moves and it shouldn't, use the duct tape.  If it doesn't move and it should, use the WD-40.  Otherwise use the hammer.
 

Offline Martyn

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Re: A beginner's guide to riding in France
« Reply #69 on: June 06, 2013, 07:57:57 am »
Out of curiosity, what was the price of the fish & chips? Last time I was in the UK in 1996 we paid about 5 quid and it was about 1 quid 20 in 1985!!!
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Offline Rynet

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Re: A beginner's guide to riding in France
« Reply #70 on: June 06, 2013, 08:51:04 am »
Lekker write up and fodies  :thumleft:, esp the market fodies  :thumleft:
 

Offline bud500

Re: A beginner's guide to riding in France
« Reply #71 on: June 06, 2013, 09:22:42 am »
Nice pics.
Net gisteraand daai shroom stand gesien op ń show van Gordon Ramsey.
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Offline Kerritz

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Re: A beginner's guide to riding in France
« Reply #72 on: June 07, 2013, 01:13:23 pm »
Kom jy......gooi nog!  :thumleft:
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Offline Goose

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Re: A beginner's guide to riding in France
« Reply #73 on: June 07, 2013, 01:26:52 pm »
Gooi hom boet...............   :thumleft:

We're busy planning our ride from Kent to France & Spain and hopefully the Alps to Italy.......... so very keen to see the rest of the Report!  Did you get to Dieppe at all...?
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Offline IDR

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Re: A beginner's guide to riding in France
« Reply #74 on: June 07, 2013, 02:40:09 pm »
Gooi hom boet...............   :thumleft:

We're busy planning our ride from Kent to France & Spain and hopefully the Alps to Italy.......... so very keen to see the rest of the Report!  Did you get to Dieppe at all...?

Nope - the day we were meant to go to Dieppe, Etritat and Le Havre we went back to the D-day beaches.  Just SO MUCH to see there.

But I will post the next instalment tonight.  It involves a bike! ;D
The three things you need to fix anything in the universe: duct tape, WD-40 and a hammer.  If it moves and it shouldn't, use the duct tape.  If it doesn't move and it should, use the WD-40.  Otherwise use the hammer.
 

Offline WP

Re: A beginner's guide to riding in France
« Reply #75 on: June 07, 2013, 02:46:04 pm »
 :ricky:
 

Offline IDR

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Re: A beginner's guide to riding in France
« Reply #76 on: June 07, 2013, 10:37:56 pm »
Day 3 - 5: London, Crawley, and picking up the bike!

I woke up at my sister's place - sad to be leaving again.  We had some breakfast, gatte gewas, and I got a lift out to Wimbledon to meet up with Vida again, at Anιl and Sarah's place.

We walked around Wimbledon for a bit, picked up a curry and some beers, and headed home for a late lunch and a nap, which turned into a 12 hour sleep through to the next morning :o

From here, Vida and I would split up again.  We were going to spend the evening and the next day at Roz and Jim, and the cutest lightie on the planet, Finn - who stay in Crawley, just outside Gatwick - about 50-odd km from London itself.  Vida would take our luggage through to Crawley on public transport, whilst I would get on the tube to London Euston, get on a train to Nuneaton, get on a bus to Hinckley, and walk the 500-odd meters from the bus stop to Triumph's F1 factory to pick up our transport for the remainder of the trip, and ride it down to meet up with Vida again at Crawley.

Here I have to just take a break from the story to make mention of how useful a smartphone is while traveling in a foreign country.  Google Maps showed me exactly what the best way would be to get there, best time to go, the expected time it would take for each leg, etc.  Throughout our whole trip, finding underground directions in Paris, how to get from one point to another, avoiding toll roads, etc - all can be done in seconds on your smartphone - in a language you can understand.  It was INVALUABLE!

Here, for example, the public transport directions to get from where I was to the Triumph factory:


Google Maps: AWESOME!

I had to buy an advance ticket for the train to Nuneaton the night before - if I had arrived at the station and bought the ticket, it could have cost me as much as GBP 55 - but I only paid GBP 12 in the end, booking in on the web.  They are REALLY rigged - very convenient.  I had a bit of time to kill, and, being on the Northern Line, got off the train at Angel station to ride the longest escalator in the London Underground, third longest in Western Europe, at 60m.  It takes you a full minute and a half to ride down.


If only I had a skateboard...

I got some Burger King at Euston station (meh), and headed out to the train on platform 5 for a 1 hour and 20 minute ride out to Nuneaton - which runs through some very pretty British countryside.


Patches of yellow fields everywhere

These are Rapeseed plantations, and would be an enduring feature throughout our trip - demand from China for Rapeseed oil has pushed the price up significantly, and a lot of farmers are cashing in.


Stolen from the interweb


Not my photo either...

Got off at Nuneaton, and instead of following Google Maps and getting on a bus, made the mistake of asking at the ticket office how to get to Hinckley, where I was sold a GBP 5 ticket for a 5 minute slow train ride from the next platform over - and then still had to catch a bus out to the factory :(

About a cigarette's walk further, and the Triumph factory was in front of me.

Funny story: when I arrived at the security checkpoint, I was asked who I will be seeing.  I couldn't remember, so had to haul out my file with all the paperwork and, in so doing, pulled out a You magazine which I had brought for Maggie on request (and completely forgot to give it to her) at the same time.  The Indian fella at the security was IMMEDIATELY excited about the Guptas on the cover - which broke the ice nicely, he was VERY helpful afterwards ;D

Anyway, formalities dispatched, I was standing in the parking lot, key in hand:


Isn't she a beauty?!

The bike had just short of 2000 miles on, practically still brand new!

I fitted the GPS - bought a very nifty handlebar mount for the Oregon here in SA, which attaches with two cable ties:


Easy on, easy off

Hit the road out to Crawley - mainly avoiding the M1 motorway, as you want to get a bit of a feeling of riding through the country-side.  The advntage in the UK (or at least the area I was riding in) of there being no toll roads.  It was still a bit of a slog, but I had some music playing in the helmet and the cruise control set to JUST below the speed limit - life was pretty good ;D

2 and a half hours later, including a stint on the M25, I was at the Harringtons' place in Crawley.  We were fed, Jim kept double-parking me with the Stella's, Vida had some very fancy ciders, and we had a fantastic evening kuiering with two great people that we don't get to see nearly enough.


Strawberry-lime - lip-lek lekker!

The next day we split up again - the girls spent the day out at Brighton, while Jim (quite the history boff as well) would take me out to the Imperial War museum.

We got there and it was closed  :xxbah:


Jimmy is a BIG Irishman!!!


Right out front are these 15-inch naval guns (Wiki link here - see the image on the right for more on these specific guns)


Also a piece of the Berlin Wall

Definitely something to consider if you're ever in London - I definitely will next time I'm there, looking at the Wiki article!  They open again in July.

We decided to head out to the HMS Belfast on recommendation from the doorman.  Got there, saw the price of entry (GBP 12 per person or something ridiculous like that) and decided to call it a day and rather went for some pints at a pub round the corner ;D
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Offline IDR

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Re: A beginner's guide to riding in France
« Reply #77 on: June 07, 2013, 10:44:49 pm »
Day 5, part two: Crawly to Portsmouth and the ferry

We would be leaving the Harrington's this evening to catch our overnight ferry from Portsmouth to St Malo in Brittany, France - so the actual ride only starts here!

First of all, we needed to pack the bike...

We were to use the Triumph panniers that came with the bike, as well as a 50 lt ATG roll-bag - a product of our very own michnus.  Richard Parker also has these panniers, and they are really quite spacious and mount very nicely to the bike.  Vida made these awesome denim bags with draw-strings to seperate the luggage, that fit nicely into the panniers.  The panniers are completely waterproof, so no need to consider that with these bags.


Nifty!

We had two each, which also comes in really handy when you need to start seperating laundry from clean clothes.


Mounting the panniers

The ATG roll-bag is also a very impressive piece of kit.  Huge, gaping opening for easy packing, roll-top and IP66 certification - it is PROPERLY waterproof, we tested it!  Also comes with four tie-down straps that attach easily to the Triumph's strap loops, and clip onto the bag easily.

We said our goodbyes, and hit the road:
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/2UE00Aaza4E" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/2UE00Aaza4E</a>

There are no motorways between Crawley and Portsmouth - just the way we like it.  Riding in England is still relatively familiar, because they use the correct side of the road ;D  All those roundabouts get a bit much, but drivers are courteous and extremely passive - they'll sommer stop for a crossing pedestrian ::)  Speed limits are set in miles per hour, so that takes some getting used to, and their limits are slightly lower than ours.  70 mph on the highway = 112 kph.


Loaded bike at Portsmouth ferry port

We boarded the ferry, parked the bike that a friendly Frenchman came to tie down... They use pretty serious tie-downs over vinyl cushions, with a couple of cushions shoved in between the bike and the railing behind it for protection against scuffing and chaffing.


Waiting to check the tying down of the bike


The bike then gets sandwiched in between other bikes and cars (this was the next morning before disembarking)

We checked into our cabin - on an overnight ferry this was well worth the extra expense, as the proletariat sit in reclining chairs without privacy or storage.

The cabin is small but functional and has the closest representation of a "water closet" that I've ever seen:


Those beds are narrow!  And notice the requisite white gold that we packed ;D


The "en-suite"

We slipped into something a little more comfortable, and went out on the aft deck for a smoke and a drink, where we were treated to a beautiful sunset...


Sun peeking out!!

The ferries are well equipped with an ATM, restaurants and a bar, so we had some dinner and a final couple of night-caps to prepare for bed, watching England pass by on the starboard side.



Tomorrow, we dock in St Malo!!!!
« Last Edit: June 07, 2013, 10:55:40 pm by IDR »
The three things you need to fix anything in the universe: duct tape, WD-40 and a hammer.  If it moves and it shouldn't, use the duct tape.  If it doesn't move and it should, use the WD-40.  Otherwise use the hammer.
 

Offline Goose

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Re: A beginner's guide to riding in France
« Reply #78 on: June 08, 2013, 09:32:35 am »
Lekker man!

St Malo's a stunningly beautiful place....... my wife's brother-in-law stays on Jersey and St Malo is the destination of choice when visiting France/Europe (or as I call it "The Mainland - which pisses the Brits of to now end.... it's the CONTINENT they say...  ::))


like your style of storytelling mate........ oh and the rates of 12 Pounds at HMS Belfast........ well you should have jumped at it as the exchage rate for you would still have been around R14/Pound....... sitting at close to R16 now  :'(  Pity you missed the IWM - but it would take you a few days to see it all - well worth the visit next time you come over!
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Offline Kerritz

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Re: A beginner's guide to riding in France
« Reply #79 on: June 10, 2013, 11:53:20 am »
Bevange ou maat.....bevange!!   :3some:
Vorige skoeters: XT660E, TL1000R, 2006 R1200GSA, 2010 R1200GSA 30 Years Anniversary, CRF450R, CRF450X, DRZ400SM, 950 Adventure, 990 SuperDuke (ISM) 2012 R1200GS Triple Black, F800GS, Wolskoeter!

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