I think I missed a day - sorry, it's difficult to blog while riding the bike. Yes, I'm finally travelling by motorcycle after talking about and preparing for it for so long. Thanks to the Scott family for all their hospitality and help. I left Horley Monday evening. Loved the Motorway - no-one worries too much about the speed limit except for near cameras for which you receive about two miles of warning signs! Traffic moves at about 80 mph - I like it here!
Heading west I saw a sign to Windsor Castle - ended up being quite a detour - but worth it - the place is huge. The detour made me late though and I made my way to a camping area for the first time in the UK - in the dark! The first park wouldn't allow tents (vans only) but tenants directed me to a tentsite nearby, at about 9.30 pm I rolled in. A tall young man with a short old dog came out to see what was making the noise (my bike) and I used my normal greeting - "G'day, I'm Jeff - from Australia" - this seems to get me through most situations, and he said I could stay for the night and pay in the morning.
While in the bathroom in the morning I heard him ask the landlady outside "have you seen that 'cowpoke' - he came in late last night".
I hope you all (especially Kent) appreciate the postcard photo of Stonehenge has been replaced with another, more personal shot of the landmark. I was struck by how small Stonehenge looks when you ride down the road towards it - stuck out in the middle of open farmland and with what looked like cattle (but turned out to be tourists of course) milling around. The audio guide backed up what Alex had told me, that earlier visitors to the henge used to hire hammers from the local blacksmith so they could chip off a piece of stone as a souvenir! I didn't do that.
If you checked the map you will know that I am now in Somerset, which is apparently the home of apples and cidar. I am here to catch up with my friends from Perth, who are also travelling the world while work slows down.
Yesterday and today I have enjoyed riding the Ducati through the rolling undulations that make up the landscape from Horley to Somerset, along roads varying from fast motorways to country lanes lined with hedges. England is really beautiful at the moment in the fine weather. The crops look green and lush and the Canola is just commencing flowering. Paddocks look wet and green but are dry enough to ride on with road tyres.
You may remember from my initial blogs that I was expecting a lone trip. As things have turned out it has been a very social trip so far and I still have several people to catch up with, so at present I am enjoying more social interraction that I usually have at home! It's much more interesting to meet the people than just driving through places, so I'm enjoying the interraction along the way.
Tomorrow the plan is to visit Bath. Then I will leave Somerset for the Isle of Wight to check out Eric's garden there.
I have worked out the faster way of uploading photo's - so enjoy the pic's.