So it starts again, this time though with a bit of a difference, I’ll be picking up new wheels, still two, but this time between them there will be an 800 cc engine. I get up early and pick up the stuff that is already packed. For a change I have done all the night before, partly as I need to be sharp off the mark to catch the shuttle to the airport, part as I have chosen to ride my dad’s condemned bicycle to the bus station, and I am honestly not sure it’s going to make it.
Much to my surprise I get there without incidents and I abandon the bicycle in front of the door of the community bicycle centre, they might fix it and give it to someone that hasn’t got one. The place is right next to the bus station and I am a bit early so I indulge in an Italian breakfast “cappuccino e cornetto alla crema”, it still baffles me how abroad people drink cappuccino at all hours when in Italy it’s really restricted to breakfast alone.
The bus ride to the Airport is comfortable and swift, just above an hour and I’m checking into my flight to London via Copenhagen. The luxury of time often allows lengthy pauses in airports and access to extremely cheap fares.
I like Copenhagen Airport, and it’s a good thing as the flight is delayed and I have to spend a whole extra hour in it. By 16:00 I am however in London and a short tube ride gets me to Maida Vale where I spend the night with Cristiano, my first Free&B host of the trip.
I’ve been through 3 countries: Italy, Denmark and England on 4 modes of transport: Bicycle, Bus, Plane, Tube
After a nice meal out (fish and chips) and a restful night I’m off to the station in direction north. I bought a motorbike that I’m going to pick up now, and, thanks to the extreme reach of the internet, I have been able to identify one that had all what I needed, the only thing is that it’s located in York. Virgin Train is a refreshing change from the nightmare of Italian train travel. I get to York in perfect time and I’m met by one of the chaps from the BMW dealership that takes me to the the showroom where I collect the bike.
On the way there only one though seems to find space in my head, will it be too tall? The problem is that I have short legs and this is an Adventure motorbike and Adventure motorbike tend to be that little bit higher. Luckily all works out fine and before long I am off on my way to North Wales and the ferry to Ireland.
The ride there is good, I guess you don’t forget how to ride in a single year. This bike is lighter than the one I had before and despite the fact that the engine is 1/3 smaller, there isn’t a great deal of performance penalty.
I don’t really hang about as I need to make it to Holyhead for 17:00 to catch the fast ferry to Dublin. I get there with 20 minutes to spare and buy a ticket at a minor premium but it was not worth risking to buy the ticket only to find that the boat had already left when I got there. As it turn out the boat was both late in departing, and late in docking at the other end. The trip was not really that smooth, had something to eat and that was a good call as I only got to my destination at 10:30 in the evening.
I met a some very nice people on the ship and that made the trip much more bearable. Janice, from Washington State, and her daughter had just been touring around the north of Europe for a fortnight and were going to be on a plane back to the states the following day. We chatted a lot in the hope to beat the sea sickness into submission by staying distracted, I succeeded.
As we got to Dublin we had to hover outside the port for a whole hour just to let a cruise ship out of the shipping lane, after that we were however in and it took only another hour and a bit to ride the 90 miles to the house of Dermot and Siobhan.