Thursday, 30 October 2008

The bike's back!!!!

Picked the bike up from Sydney this morning. Re-connected the battery and she turned over first go - ah those BMW's - just great. Took her over the Mike Owen's Motorcycles for a BIG service, and should have her back next week. Can't wait to go for a good ride . . . .

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

The final route

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The following people and organisations made our trip that much more memorable.
Thank you all for your service, hospitality and friendship.

Dave Milligan

Get Routed


Imorex Shipping Services

Dave and Julie made all the arrangements for the shipping of our bike from Sydney to the UK and back – fantastic service and great people.

Geoff & Elizabeth Harvey

The Grafton Guest House
13 Sea Rd
Felixstowe IP11 7LU

Put up with us before and after the trip whilst getting our bike from the docks in Felixstowe.

Ian Webber

BMW Ocean Plymouth
Longbride Rd
Plymouth PL6 8LD

The guys at Ocean Plymouth were just terrific in getting us back on the road after the fuel pump packed it in.

Wolfgang Kober

Automobile Bavaria
Sos. Bucuresti-Ploiesti, nr 53A
013685 Bucuresi

Wolfgang flagged us down on the highway in Romania; took our photo and was putting a story about our trip in the Romania BMW magazine.

Fred Meier

BMW Motorrad Zentrum Munchen
Frankfurter Ring 29
80807 Munchen

Fred and the service guys arranged for us to jump the queue (150 bikes) and install fresh brake pads and a quick oil change – thanks heaps guys – great service and hospitality.

Simon Corcoran

15A/21 Sabre Drive
Port Melbourne VIC 3207

Simon and his team arranged our Ukraine & Russian visas before leaving Australia – great service at the right price.

Gareth Evans

Flight Centre
Shop CL11 Canberra Centre
Canberra ACT 2601

Gareth organised our flights with Korean Air from Sydney to London via and overnight stop in Seoul.
Crossing from Dover to France and back – very cheap and great service.

Ross Pengilly

International Police Association (NSW Section)

Ross made the necessary introductions via the IPA network and put us in contact with members in Hungary.

Ida Havasi

International Police Association - Hungary Section

Ida gave us a tour of the Hungarian Parliament building and Police Headquarters.

Vitaliy Laptev

Pavel Nizkin

We met Vitaliv and Pavel in a hotel in the Ukraine. They were on their way to race in a WRC rally.

Alexander Pincevschii

Met Alexander at a roadside café somewhere in the Ukrainian outback and he shared his cut lunch with us.

Igor Broyde

Igor and his friend Andrew (the Cossack) collared us in a hotel in the Ukraine and poured vodka down our throats for the night – we were very sick little puppies the next morning!

Nangijala Osipova
Moscow, Russia

A member of the Horizons Community – she was kind enough to meet us on the outskirts of Moscow and escorted us into the city – no small feat in peak hour with 6 lanes of bumper to bumper traffic!

Sidenko Artem

We met Sidenko at the Russian border; he helped us fill in the Russian paperwork to get us through the border crossing – thanks mate – without him we would have taken 6 hours to get into Russia, as it was it only took 20 minutes.


Fort MFG Motorcycle Company
Gluhoozerskoye St, 18H
192019 St Petersburg

Also the home of: Rolling Anarchy MCC

Ivan and the guys at Rolling Anarchy MCC allowed us to stay at their clubhouse in St Petersburg for a few days after we couldn’t find any accommodation in town – fantastic hosts – appreciate the hospitality guys.


Alexander Lysenko (Sacha)

Dmitry and Sacha were our Moscow hosts and took us to areas of the city we would not have found on our own – they fed and watered us – two really special people and now our great friends – oh those Russians!

Carmen Olteanu (Curator)
National Police Museum
187 Calea Domneasca

Carmen gave us an escorted tour around the largest and oldest Police museum in the world.

Bogdan Chifan
Suceava, Romania

Mihai Dumitru

Bucuresti, Romania

Andrei Preda

Bucuresti, Romania

Very special thanks to our Romanian friends, Chif, Mihai and Andrei, and not to forget the guys from Seawolves MC and Bukowina MC – our time in Romania was made extra special having known these guys.

Antonio & Laura Lamanna

Grosseto, Italy

Our new friends in Tuscany – soon to be residents of Townsville. They took us into their home and made us feel like one of the family – very extra special people, and now our great friends.

Marta Bockowska

Marta is nearly one of the family (Mat’s girlfriend’s sister).

Horizons Unlimited (motorcycle traveller’s website)

Finally, our friends in Australia who, throughout our journey sent us emails and SMS messages of support.

Last but not least, Mum and Derek who put up with us at the end of our adventure before we came home; also, Michael’s cousins and extended family and friends in North Wales.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Petrol/milage stats

Distance travelled: 18,415.00 Km
Petrol: 996.14 Lts
Km/Lt: 18.49
Total cost: $2,232.47
Average cost per lt: $2.25

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

The trip home

We returned the bike to the Imorex depot in Felixstowe after giving it a steam clean and stripped her down ready for the trip home. It's going to be sitting on the docks for another 4 weeks before it leaves on a 'slow boat to Sydney'. Should get it back by the middle of October.
Stripping the bike down
All packed and ready to go

After leaving the bike in Felixstowe, we caught the train to Heathrow at 1pm on Friday. The plane left at 9.30pm for Sydney via Seoul; arriving in Sydney about 6.30am on Sunday; then the bus to Canberra, getting us home about 1pm on Sunday afternoon - absolutely stuffed!
We're currently culling the photos (815 in total) and 5 hours of video. Once we've reviewed everything, we'll post a final epilogue.
But for now; thanks to everyone who made this trip possible and especially to those folks we met along the way who made it more memorable; and also our new friends.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

We're home

Got back today. Update shortly.

Monday, 4 August 2008

Coming home

We're leaving North Wales tomorrow morning and taking a couple of days to get to Felixstowe via the Cotswolds and Stratford-Upon-Avon. The bike get crated on Thursday and we catch the train to Heathrow on Friday morning for the long trip home. We'll be back in Canberra on Sunday.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Gathering of the Clan

Saturday night at the Village Inn in Llanfairfechan found the cousins of the Tharme family get together for a drink.

Michael, Malcolm, Ruth & Derek (back: Tony, Mum & John)

?, Lesley, Michael, Tony & Ruth

Ruth, Michael & Jillian

Ruth & Michael

Michael, Malcolm & Barry
Michael, Roy & ?
Tony, Michael, John & Malcolm

Michael & ?

Friday, 1 August 2008

Colleen's birthday

Mum and Derek took us out for Colleen's birthday and we were joined by my cousin Ruth and her husband Malcolm and friends Lindsay and Malcolm.

Photos from North Wales

Caernarfon Castle
Derek, Michael and Mum
Scyhnant Pass looking down to Penmaenmawr
My Great Great Gran's pub, the Fairy Glen
Menai Bridge

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Best fish & chip cafe in Wales

Thanks Donna and Danny for the best fish and chips we've had.
Enochs Fish & Chips
146 Conwy Road
Llandudno Junction
North WalesLL31 9DU

Photos of Scotland trip

Colleen soaking up the Heeeland sun!
When bikers die, they don't go to heaven - they go to the Scottish Highlands to play!
Signpost at John O'Groats
Our country estate ;)
William Wallace Memorial
Edinburgh Castle
Michael and Sandy
More Heeeelands
Rob Roy's Grave
Stirling Castle
Isle of Skye
All loaded up
Bridge over the water to Skye
The Loch of Scotland (notice the shape - looks like Scotland)
Finally made it from Lands End to John O'Groats
The Heeeelands
More Heeeelands
One of the Lochs on the way to Skye

Trip to Scotland

18-19 July 2008 – Left North Wales and travelled to the Lakes District and stayed the night in Windemere – rained all day! Next morning was raining and very windy and be headed north, bypassing Glasgow and headed to Lock Lomond. Into the heeelands and some great winding roads and fantastic scenery. On to Loch Ness to find nessy; Urquart Castle, the Commando Memorial and Fort William.
By Monday 21 July the weather fined up, sunny and warm with lots of blue sky; more great roads as we wound our way up the east coast to John O’Groats where we camped for the night.
We then headed west along the north coast of Scotland on some verrry narrow and winding roads; through some more amazing countryside. More great camping sites along the way till we came down the west coast and headed towards the Isle of Skye.
Spent a day on Skye and camped the night. Then headed back to the highlands and Glencoe where we camped again besides a nice little river. We then headed towards Edinburgh and splurged out spending the night in the Mecure Hotel in the centre of town. On the way to Edinburgh we stopped at the William Wallace memorial and also Rob Roy McGregor’s grave.
Got on the turps with two mad Scotsmen (Mikey and Gerry) in a little pub in Edinburgh and woke up with headaches!
Nearly forgot about the piper (Sandy) we met on the way to Glencoe. He played Waltzing Matilda on the pipes for us (got it on video) – nearly as mad as Billy Connolly – and I think he could have taught Billy a few more swear words!
After Edinburgh we headed to the Yorkshire Dales – nothing but incredibly winding roads with lots of bikes with guys with their knees on the ground! Camped in the Dales the night then headed back to Mum’s in North Wales.

Commando Memorial

Urquart Castle

Our camping spot at John O'Groats

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Back at Mum's

We've been to The Lakes District; through Scotland to John O'Groats; across the top through the highlands; the Isle of Skye; and the Dales. We're back at Mum's till next week getting ready for the trip home.
Will update with photos in the next couple of days . . .

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Photos of North Wales

' Llanfair PG' for short - the longest named railway station in the world!
Michael and his Mum
Penmaenmawr taken from the Great Orm
Hard to see - but a dozen or more wind turbines a few kilometers off the coast, just standing in the middle of the sea!

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

More photos

The Matterhorn
French/Australian 1st WW memorial at Villiers
Land's End
Glastonbury Tor