Time seems to have slowed down somewhat, now I'm pretty much stationary myself and I muat say I'm really enjoying the change of pace.
Last time I wrote I was undecided about the fate of my faithful Ducati but since have decided to sell it prior to going home. I spent some time washing it before taking it to some dealers and a frieght company for quotes. It's not very expensive or difficult to ship it home but the Australian authorities don't make importing easy and I don't really need any more bikes at home (we currently own about 5 there) so have decided to part with the silver one. Strange really, how I tend to form a bond with a machine - doesn't always happen but this was a good one. i have arranged to d the deal on Monday or Tuesday, then I'll just be one more passenger on public transport - not really looking forward to that!
Meanwhile I've only been doing short trips - went out to Maidstone looking for a copy of Ted Simon's 'Jupiter's Travels' on Thursday - I thought it would be a good read on the plane and an internet bokseller from there had a copy. I bought the book, enjoyed a yarn and a cuppa with the blokes there (both old bikers) and headed back the long way towards Horley. I decided to call in on Gordon, the bloke I had bought the bike from when I was a newly arrived, bright eyed Aussie tourist hopeful.
I had to wait for about an hour until he came home from work, so sat in the pub reading, then went outside again to find the usual sunny, warm English weather had dissappeared. the bike and everything else, was wet and getting wetter in the consistent rain. I rode around to Gordon's place and enjoyed several hours talking with him and his his wife Lynne about motocycling adventures and all the places I had been on his old bike. It was good to catch up again and share some of the success of the trip with the people who had honestly sold me such a great bike.
This led to another adventure. While we had been talking the sun had gone down but the rain had continued. I went outside and rode off into the dark,wet night wearing my summer riding gear which the rain pelted straight through, but I only had 20 or so miles to go so wasn't worried. As usual in the rain, traction on the road wasn't a problem but visibility quickly became an issue. With visor fogging up and covered in big raindrops, then my spectacles following suit, I soon found myself blasting along a motorway at 70mph into driving rain, on a soaked road surface inundated with water and unable to see much at all. Very scary, and I think the most dangerous ride of my entire trip! I made it home alive, although not before stopping to remove my glasses and riding with fuzzy, but less foggy vision.
Next day (Friday) I had arranged to go out for a liesure ride with my mte Russell and his much more sport oriented Ducati. I must admit it was difficult to get inspired to ride after the night before but I put on my not quite dry gear again and after some procrastination we set off around lunchtime for a cautious ride in the drizzle. the weather conditions eventually eased and we were enjoying the bikes in the sunshine until the big red beast dropped to limp home mode and spoiled our fun. Perhaps it was a good thing - saved us getting into trouble, if you know what I mean.
Another reason I was happy to get back to Russell's place was reuniting with my old friend the Akubra. I had been effectively hatless for a month and it's great to be back under it. I returned to Brighton yesterday to catch up with Mark & Maki and fitted in immeditately as Maki stood out from the crowd in her striking black hat. I feel right at home! I have been enjoying the Brighton sunshine, good company (although mark has been subdued somewhat by a cold) and being back at this computer again. It's luxury using a better quality computer that I don't have to line up for! I have been suprised at how much of a hassle it has been to use public computers all the time - next trip I will bring a laptop, I think.
Brighton feels very familiar this time and I will enjoy the weekend here before getting busy next week. Only three sleeps now before I'm on the plane home. See you soon.