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Offline killboy

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A Tiger chases a Panzer through Europe.
« on: January 09, 2012, 06:54:23 pm »
Browsing the for sale section got me into browsing the forum again, and next thing you know I'm in the global reports section. A mate of mine and I did a trip middle of last year I never shared here, so here is page 1. If you guys are interested, I can continue, but I never finished writing it so maybe this will force me to.

Day 1: London to Metz.



Attempting to pack, and get any sleep on Thursday evening was near impossible. I’d picked up most of the gear I’d need for the trip (camping pillow, towel, etc) that we identified on the test trip (Hogroast weeked) during the week, but now sat with the issue of fitting everything into one tail bag and one tank bag. As usual, I couldn’t pack fully until everything could go in at once (things were charging, and I’d need still need my toiletry bag). So when the 4:15 alarm hit me on Friday (..Its Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday…… sorry for that), I started feeling pretty sorry for myself, hoping I’d survive on under 4 hours of sleep for 800 odd KM. It was a tight squeeze.

My packing:


Packing and racking the bike took longer than expected, and I had to meet JD at the Maidstone Services just before 6. London’s parting gift to me was a light shower. Great, start the trip wet. At the Maidstone Services, we tanked up, and did the last minute planning. This entire trip had a grand total of around 2 hours planning – gotta love last minute winging it. Day 1’s destination was Metz, through Belgium and Luxembourg to avoid French motorway tolls.

Couple ciggies later, GPS points set, we headed for Folkstone to catch the Tunnel. We missed our original booking (surprise) and were put on the next train. This was the first non-commercial Eurotunnel trip for me, and was pretty excited. Something strangely cool about sitting in a tin box with your bike, knowing you travelling under a massive expanse of ocean. Funny thing was, we never had to show our passports, and for us South Africans, we just used to getting grilled.

Waititng to board the Eurotunnel Train.


On board




Calais to Brussels was fairly uneventful and largely boring road, made only slightly interesting by fighting massive cross winds along the French sections – must look like we drunk with the lines we were randomly blown in. We had one small stop for a stretch, fuel and a few more ciggies.

Bypassing Brussels central we head towards Luxembourg, and had our first major stop in a town called Namur. A cute setting (although parking was a small issue like with most European cities), and after a quick lunch of Croque maussure we were heading off again. Not much really stuck out, although we didn’t stick around to find anything either.

Namur (I think?)






Next stop: Bastogne. Roads were getting slightly more interesting as we started getting off major routes. Bastogne is a town that if not for a tank and some WW2 history probably wouldn’t exist. Having a look at the tank, its one seriously massive piece of machinery, but more mind blowing was the hole in the rear. I’d hate to see the shell that punched through 3 inches of steel (could it be 88mm?). We spent about half an hour here, having a coffee, and relaxing by the tank and jeep. Its clear this is an American tourist destination too, and there were a few bikes around including some sexy Aprillias and other sports bikes.





Note the hole in the tank


When we left Bastogne, we were fed up with the highway riding, so I hit the GPS to give alternates, and a then a further alternate. We ended up on B roads that weaved back and forwards to Luxembourg, and what must be the scenic route in. Some fantastic corners and switch backs had our boredom cured, and we were finally doing what we set out to do: ride great roads.

The backroads into Lux




Only on reaching Luxembourg did I realise I had been there before on a previous Eurotrip (I blame alcohol for my poor memory at times). An absolutely beautiful city, topped off with probably some of the best looking women of the trip. All dressed and styled to perfection, seemingly friendly from the waves we got. It reached 5 o’ clock traffic when we were leaving, and as bad as traffic was, it was nearly a pleasure with the quality of scenery.

Luxembourg… definitely a city I could live in for a bit.




The final stretch to Metz was more motorways, and made good time. My close call for the trip happened taking the highway exit, and I miss-understood the GPS briefly, and at the last minute changed the off ramp split I was taking, involving a quick off road excursion, which could have ended badly but thankfully didn’t. We hit up the camp site, pitched the tents, and then went in search of beers and food, resulting in Pizza, so we sat in the darkness of the camp site eating and drinking. Later that night, V was about to fall asleep, when the neighbouring girl screamed out in orgasm, to what was later theorised as some heavy fisting by a dodgy looking Frenchman. I real pity really, for in the light of the next day, she was actually a pretty girl, just shamefully fisted beyond girlfriend material. But this was the first of our campsite encounters we’d soon find out.

The Campsite






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Offline killboy

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Re: A Tiger chases a Panzer through Europe.
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2012, 04:32:34 pm »
From my mate's point of view.....

Quote from: jeffersondarcy
I don't want to steal KB's thunder but I figured I'd share a few of my own thoughts on the trip and hopefully won't cover too much of the same ground.

So as KB mentioned, this trip was done very much on the hoof. He wasn't kidding when he talked about a mere 2 hours of planning, in reality it was probably a bit less. Certainly the Hograost (that's the correct spelling) was a great test of how our equipment would hold up and allowed for some much needed additional purchases, especially on the camping front.

1 day to launch and my mind was all over the shop trying to tie up loose ends at work, getting my staff up to speed, fettling what I could on the bike (I'd made a last minute change to more road-biased rubber at the Hog), sorting out some additional gear and trying to meet one of my best friends from SA who was stopping in London after a sighting-mission in to-be new home of Canadia.

As it happened, I managed only 2 hours of sleep having nodded off at 2am (too wired and too hot to sleep) and up at 4am for the rendezvous with Killboy at Maidstone.

One major mistake was not sorting out the loading situation on the bike before the trip. The main reason was that the lift in my building was out and testing meant a major slog down and up the stairs - not easy as I live on the top floor. Nevertheless I worked something out and figured I could refine it on the train.

I got there without incident, aside from the splash of rain, a misting visor and a bike which felt like an utter pig.

One of my last minute web purchases was a new type of bungee called a Rokstrap, not cheap imported from the states as they are, but highly recommended if you're going to strap anything to a bike or car for that matter. No threat of wayward bungees snapping or hitting you in the face.



So onto the Chunnel train, the flexibility with these guys is great. We were waved through without even a glance at passports and boarded with no issue.

This thing in my mind is still an amazing piece of engineering. I really marvel at this sort of stuff.




Some fettling of the GPS followed in my groggy state (KB had managed a quick coffee at Maidstone but I was still jonesing badly for a caffeine fix). We'd basically got Day 1 in the bag and sorted but nothing beyond that aside from a vague want to hit some Alpine passes as we descended into the top bit of Italy.

KB fixed a GoPro to my bike. I think we were both asleep as whilst the location was great for capturing some action down on the right crashbar, it was on the right side thus completely out of reach and also under my throttle hand. Doh!


Driving off the train a mere 40 minutes later I managed to bash a side wall and set up a comical fish tail down 4 or 5 carriages. We decided to pull in at the very first services on the Calais side for a quick shakedown and coffee.

Things took a sour note at this point. My first sip of mud brought on an absolute bastard of a rainshower and we were pretty glum. KB hastily reached for some bin liners to cover his luggage. I was pleased that I'd picked up a big holdall meant for boat use and this would keep my tent and sleeping bag dry.


We held off a bit and then hit the road, trying to remember to ride on the right and were soon motoring on up the Belgian coast heading toward Dunkirk and battling immense sidewinds…
« Last Edit: January 10, 2012, 04:34:47 pm by killboy »
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Offline killboy

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Re: A Tiger chases a Panzer through Europe.
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2012, 04:35:58 pm »
Quote from: jeffersondarcy
As KB mentioned, riding around the top of Brussels from Calais is fairly featureless if you're mainly trying to gain ground and not stopping to visit all the WW1 and WW2 relics and battlegrounds. It passed by fairly quickly, the rain halted and we made good time, stopping only for fuel.

The GSA carries a massive 33 litres of fuel which meant my range was effectively double what the Tiger could manage. This particular Tiger was pretty box fresh too with only around a thousand miles on it. Nevertheless my ass gave up well before our bikes did and frequent stops kept us fresh and allowed a chance to chat, smoke and shoot the shit in general.

We soldiered on till we got to Brussels when my GPS farted and I inadvertently led us off the motorway but a few quick sweeps and we were back on the case but headlong into the roadworks on the massive ringroad and our first bit of filtering. The Belgians were reasonably aware and let us filter without too much hassle for 2 or 3 miles.

2pm or thereabouts and stomachs began to rumble. Namur was the destination.

Namur is the capital of Wallonia, the French-speaking southern part of Belgium.
Namur is located 60 km south-east of Belgium's capital city, Brussels.
Namur is a substantial city and might be too large to discover on foot. The layout of the city is complex and navigation is not easy. Cycling does not appear to be very popular with the locals, perhaps due to the number of cobbled streets. On the other hand, many one-way streets are "except bicycles", so cyclists enjoy special privileges.


After circling and bumbling around a bit to find a picturesque riverside eatery, we gave up and made back for the town centre. Despite the pretty river, it seemed there wasn't any waterfront area per se.

The high street was cobbled and pedestrianised. KB agonised over the parking for a while but we eventually parked up and dutifully paid for it. We had to find a place with line of the sight to the bikes as it was school holidays, we were in front of the main cinema and there were some dodgy looking scrotes around.

I'd started to accumulate wildlife on the front of the big GS.


Our restaurant appeared to have only one rule - waitresses were to be petite blonde ladies with somewhat out of proportion derrieres. I think the technical term is 'ghetto booty'. We asked for Croque Monsieur, KB decided to go all exotic and requested his to be Hawaian style. You guessed it, it was the same thing but with a ring of pineapple under the cheese. Still, tasty and much needed nutrition, we were sweating buckets.
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Offline killboy

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Re: A Tiger chases a Panzer through Europe.
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2012, 04:37:46 pm »
Quote from: jeffersondarcy
Luncheon done with and getting the fuck out of town, the plan was to plunge down in to the Ardennes off the main motorway and hopefully our first taste of twisties. Sadly, the road was more of a fast sweeper but still surrounded by gorgeous forest and farmland, it felt great to be off the highway and flexing the bikes a little.

This road brought the first minor incident of the day. I mentioned previously that it was fast and people seemed to take full advantage. I was leading us into Bastogne on a straight bit cruising at around 85 or 90 when I checked my mirrors, did a  lifesaver and pulled out to obliterate a dawdling motorhome or something. I felt, rather than saw a C5 estate right up my chuff, KB estimated he was doing around 240kph. The fucker stayed glued to my exhaust as I pulled in and then slowly drifted off in his diesel heap. Cock!

The road swept up and down beautifully through lush greenery as we peeled into Bastogne for a coffee.

Liberated by the Allies in late 1944, Bastogne was attacked by German forces shortly after. Hitler was, again, looking for control of the Ardennes. The goal was to advance to Antwerp, to cut off supply and separate British from American troops. On December 16, taking advantage of the cold and the fog, the German artillery started the so-called Battle of the Bulge by attacking the sparsely deployed American troops around Bastogne. A few days later, Brigadier General McAuliffe and the 101st Airborne Division along with elements of the 10th Armored Division (United States) and the 82nd airborne arrived to counter-attack but, after heavy fighting, became encircled within the city. On December 22, German emissaries asked for the American surrender, to which the General answered quite briefly, “Nuts!” The next day, the weather cleared up, allowing air retaliation and the parachuting of much needed food, medicine, and weaponry. On December 26, troops under the command of General Patton broke the deadlock. The official end of the Battle of Bastogne only occurred three weeks later, when all fighting finally stopped. Not one member of the 101st Airborne Division agreed that the division needed to be rescued.

A few piccies:













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Offline killboy

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Re: A Tiger chases a Panzer through Europe.
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2012, 04:39:28 pm »
Quote from: jeffersondarcy
Staying off the motorway, we carried on to Luxembourg and got a taste of utterly superb twisties. Despite the lack of sleep, the heat and the day beginning to close in I was now feeling one with the bike and loving the ride. This particular bit was sensational. Gradients galore, alternating picturesque meadows and hills, good surfaces and the best bit - all the holiday traffic was heading in the opposite direction.

An hour or two later we pulled up to the outskirts of Luxembourg proper. Immediately we began to clock the superb female species of this town. There they were, just ambling about in the afternoon sun, riding their bikes or driving around.

We had a fairly long stop here, checking out the town (did I mention the women?), the views and shooting the canine excrement in general (we did that a lot).

We got onto the topic of hygiene and KB mentioned his utter hate for foot funk. Good thing my feet don't smell I thought.

Hitting the road again presented a problem. The Tiger needed gas and we were in the midst of Friday gridlock. It took at least half an hour just to leave town with a bit of mirror bashing as I struggled to thread my 10ft wide bike through the meleé. On the upside, some girls on the bus were very taken with the GS so that provided a bit of distraction. I didn't cop on at the time but they were saluting in deference to the NATO green paintwork.

We broke through the town walls after an eternity, breathed a massive sigh of relief before being presented with MORE GRIDLOCK.

Three lanes of motorway locked solid and two tired bikers desperately in need of beer and sleep.

Surprisingly, and to add to the immense Luxem-kudos, apart from cheap fuel, hot chicks, cheap tobacco and hot chicks, they also have the most considerate, sensible and brilliant drivers around. Our bikes parted the traffic like Moses parts the sea. This was probably the longest stint of filtering I'd done in my life - 10 miles maybe - but we sliced through like a hot knife through the proverbial.

My knee armour was starting to cause circulation issues. Standing up on the pegs periodically helped relief the pressure.

As the evening drew in, we finally saw the signs for our destination.





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Offline killboy

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Re: A Tiger chases a Panzer through Europe.
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2012, 04:42:08 pm »
Quote from: jeffersondarcy
Metz, well what can I say about Metz.

I think Travel Wiki sums it up best:

Due to its German heritage, and military tradition, Metz is quite an unliked town in France…

You may also find that locals speak English one week, but seem to forget it by the next….

In the centre, some people are likely to ask you to give them 1 or 2 euros, a cigarette or even a mobile phone call. These people are not beggars or poor, they're just lazy and feel like they can get what they want just by asking people. Don't be intimidated and feel free to say no. As well, some of them might tell you a dramatic story or offer you cards for "charity." Don't support this and tell them no.


WTF??


Anyway, KB had the campsite plugged into his GPS so I followed him off the motorway. We negotiated a few flyovers and were about to sweep right to an offramp. In fact the Killboy was on the offramp as I looked to negotiate a gap and follow him. Suddenly and with no warning, he stands his bike up and points it straight!

In my attempt to follow suit I look on absolutely gobsmacked as KB ramps 10 inches up over a kerb, kicks up a massive rooster and then rejoins the road in full-on stuntman mode with a cloud of dust and what must have been a very shocked Clio driving lady who 3 seconds earlier had just passed the hapless black Triumph.

Laugh? I nearly shat…

We MAY have hugged or high-fived on arrival at Camping du Metz or whatever it was called. It felt great. Not sure of the time, maybe 9pm, sun still high but more amber, my body crying out for relief. We found a pitch next to a gentle river and headed straight for the shop to stock up on overpriced beer. It was deemed necessary to do this prior to pitching the tents.
 
Beered up and beds made, we found this tranquil scene. Our wonderful machines which had delivered us, great scenery,  a place to lay our heads and a dodgy-as-f*** Frenchman sporting a black beret for a neighbour. Great…


Dinner was sourced down the road at a local pizza joint as opposed to the Domino's directly across the road. It was pretty ok.


I pulled my heavy Daytona boots off and the waft of mature Stilton drifted over the river. I apologised profusely to Killboy. My Rukka gloves weren't doing too well either. Note to self, save the Goretex kit for winter riding.

After nattering most of the night away and with all the beer gone, we saunter over to the tents to settle in for some much needed shut-eye...
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Offline White Rhino

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Re: A Tiger chases a Panzer through Europe.
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2012, 04:42:34 pm »
Cool stuff keep it rolling :thumleft:
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Re: A Tiger chases a Panzer through Europe.
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2012, 04:43:29 pm »
subscribed 8)
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Re: A Tiger chases a Panzer through Europe.
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2012, 04:58:16 pm »
Very nice  :thumleft:. Subscribed
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Re: A Tiger chases a Panzer through Europe.
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2012, 05:02:09 pm »
Cool
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Offline killboy

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Re: A Tiger chases a Panzer through Europe.
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2012, 05:05:06 pm »
Quote from: jeffersondarcy
It's around 8am. I count 5 dead mosquitos stuck to the netting which makes up my inner tent before stumbling out into the sun. Killboy stumbles out momentarily and we light up half of a whore's breakfast.

KB: How'd you sleep mate?
JD: Pretty good actually… eventually…
KB: Eventually? Why, what happened?
JD: You didn't hear anything?
Well, I nodded off knowing that our Frenchman in the beret was up to some hanky panky. But the noises were a bit bit weird. More kinda scrobbling and snuffling than normal 'lovemaking' noises, know what I mean?
KB: LOL
JD: I think he might actually have been fisting her. He is French after all…
KB: ROFL
JD: I slept a bit but then woke up with a start when his bird went off with a mahoosive orgasm. My tent shook a bit.


I hit the shower block for my SSS. Annoyingly the shower requires you to hit the button every 30 seconds or so to keep the water going but it is very invigorating.
I get back to our pitch and I notice last night's star mademoiselle is having a morning cigarette whilst brushing through her wet hair. She is quite tasty but looking very sheepish as I look over and grin.

KB: She's actually pretty tasty.
JD: Nice eyes…
KB: Pretty big butt though, definitely room for a fist in there
JD: You're very killing me man :D
KB: You know what? He was wearing a beret right? She was probably fisting him!
JD:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:


And so begins one of the greatest biking days of my life...
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Offline killboy

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Re: A Tiger chases a Panzer through Europe.
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2012, 03:02:53 pm »
Day 2: Metz to Aosta, through Switzerland.



I could definitely feel the day before. But today was the day we were looking forward to. We wanted to do passes and such, and Switzerland never fails to disappoint. Waving and winking goodbye to our sheepish fisted neighbor we hit the road again. Lausanne Switzerland, Via Nancy and Besançon (that ç still confuses me).  Somewhere on route, we stopped at a delightful little spot where, although the kitched was “closed”, the owner whipped up some sandwiches and had a few coffees, and had the attention of some chubby ladies, the local cows.





Riding out





Upon reaching the Swiss Boarder, we were waved straight through - awesome, no digging for passports and the like. We stayed off the highway, as we were planning on avoiding buying the highway vignette for Switzerland, which resulted on some epic roads and riding, although some a little wet, we somehow ended up on the highway so we needed to get the pass the next moment we could. Mountains everywhere, riding into Lausanne is just an experience. A city built into the side of a mountain along a massive lake. We stopped at a gas station to tank up and get the vignette, and view the scenery. Stunning…. Although I apologize for no photos.

Following the highway, we rode right around the lake, and onto Martigny, and then onto the famous St Bernardo pass over the mountains into Italy. Once we started nearing the St Bernardo pass, the roads just got better and better. The Tiger started to shine…. The first time I managed to enjoy most of the rev range for a while. Its nimble, quick to throw around, and the engine passing 6000 just picks up and goes. Deep leans into corners, I’m no sport bike racer, but I began to feel like one. I think the GS was a bit of monster to control, and required more effort, but I made some of the 2nd and 3rd gear corners count, dropping back, then catching up to traffic with vengeance.

Stopping for a much needed ciggy to calm down a little.








After leaving this, the pass starts to include some “tunnel” riding, more built into the mountain. We stop again, just to take it all in





And then come across this structure, and stop again.






What you cant see, and I’ll have to wait for V to get his photos, is the snow up on the top. It became cold, a welcome break for the hard work we were putting in on the bike. We hit the top, into the fog, and a very “silent hill” setting past a deserted boarder and down the other side into italy. Besides for 2 tourists we passed, it felt like we were the only people left, in an eerie setting. V enjoyed the downhills I think a little more, while I enjoyed the tighter uphill coming up a little more.

As we were getting to Aosta, it started raining slightly. We were exhausted and with the rain, the appeal of camping was starting to dwindle. We tried two or three hotels on the way down, and one was full, the other too expensive, and in hindsight, the third we should have taken, but decided to go into the town. Aosta is a pretty little Italian town/city, but in the light drizzle rode around for nearly 2 hours in search of an affordable decent hotel where we felt the bikes would stay if we left them there for the night, and not grow legs. We ended up right in the center, at a little 2 star place called Hotel La Belle Epoque. A fantastic rate of 60 euro for the night, we took it, and the owner let us park the bikes right in front in the alley, something I was surprised with. While it was 2 star in many ways, the service was 5, and we hit a couple beers in the bar with the owner long after they closed, speaking broken English/Italian to each other. Later, a short walk around the town, a beer at the local “hot spot”, we just were too tired to have any fun, and retired to our stenchy riding clothe smelling room, and passed out. A little breakfast later, we were packing and racking again, and setting off.



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Offline killboy

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Re: A Tiger chases a Panzer through Europe.
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2012, 03:04:54 pm »
Oh yes, and if it aint obvious, we both Safas living in London.
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Offline GIDEON

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Re: A Tiger chases a Panzer through Europe.
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2012, 08:30:58 am »
REALLY NICE  :thumleft:


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Re: A Tiger chases a Panzer through Europe.
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2012, 03:15:48 pm »
Nice RR, keep it coming :thumleft:.
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Offline killboy

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Re: A Tiger chases a Panzer through Europe.
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2012, 03:21:36 pm »
Day 3: Aosta to Santa Margherita Ligure



Day 3 was a day we needed to cover ground quick as a mate of mine and his missus were in Santa Margherita and we needed to get there quick. This meant high speed highway boredom….. mostly. Leaving Aosta and along the highway towards Milan, we spot a monastery or castle of sorts on a rock outcrop towering over the highway. Absolutely magnificent scene, and something to behold, sadly we didn’t stop to get a photo, but anyone who’s ridden past there will know it, not something you’ll easily forget.

The closer we were getting to the coast, the hotter it was getting, and on the flat farmland areas the bugs we were hitting were getting bigger and bigger. Definitely visor down stuff. Mutant killer bugs.

Things were becoming more interesting as we approached Genova. Highways suspended over hills and then through tunnels. I couldn’t count how many tunnels we were going through, and I fucking love tunnels! Every now and then allowed the Tiger to growl to 9000rpm, and coming off throttle the trademark Tiger burble backfire: Heaven. The last few tunnels were more steel and glass enclosures, I guess to stop noise and light pollution.

Nothing exactly prepared us for what we were about to see. Coming through the last tunnel into Genova, you begin a journey along a “skyway, between the city and the harbour. Even though I’ve driven through there in a car befoe, its absolutely amazing to see, especially from a motorcycle. Speed limit down to 50km/h, but you welcome it to take in the scenery. Sadly, there is nowhere to stop to take a photo.

From there, the last push to Santa Margherita. We got off main roads, and took the small roads along the cost. Fantastic, although scooters were starting to show up the steads we were on. We pulled in, and met our friends at their hotel. Hot and exhausted, we decided to grab a beer and a snack before finding our camp site.









Our “campsite”, was something I never really want to experience again. Perhaps JD has a photo or some more descriptive abilty with it. Highlights were the dodgy neighbours, what sounded like a plane crash in the middle of the night, and screaming kids. Fuck that, we would be getting a hotel the next night. But, we were here, the food was excellent, beers cold, and first chill part of the trip.
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Re: A Tiger chases a Panzer through Europe.
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2012, 10:34:14 am »
Excellent!
 

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Re: A Tiger chases a Panzer through Europe.
« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2012, 08:38:47 pm »
Lekker keep it coming  :thumleft:

Offline GIDEON

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Re: A Tiger chases a Panzer through Europe.
« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2012, 08:48:19 am »
Thanks


Nobody can be exactly like me. Sometimes even I have trouble doing it.
 

Offline killboy

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Re: A Tiger chases a Panzer through Europe.
« Reply #19 on: February 29, 2012, 12:24:41 pm »
Shesh, gotta finish the ride report sometime.

ADD sucks :P

But.... didn't have much footage from JD and I's little trip to make it interesting, so I've just put together a video with mostly highway riding.

If you looking for something "exciting", look away.

However, the last half of the video is the run into Genova, and I wish I had the camera attached to my helmet - the views to the sides were incredible. This could give you the idea how awesome highways in Europe can be.

Tunnel - Sky - Tunnel - Skye Bridge - Near hairpin bend - under pass - tunnel - etc.

Don't let life bother you.....it isn't permanent