Davids trip to Italy

Discussion in 'Road Trips/Touring' started by David, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. David

    David Active Member

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    OK guys, I'm not very good at this writing lark and this will certainly not be anywhere as near entertaining as the continuing adventures of the great "Cavebiker" and his good lady Heidi however, here goes.
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    Firstly and fore mostly, I have to thank the guys at Mustang Seats for the great products that they produce as it is highly likely that this trip would never have happened but for the recently acquired Mustang touring seat which I bought only weeks before the trip so , Thanks guys.
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    I'll keep the story brief and throw in a few pic's that we took along the way and during our time in France & Italy.
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    Travelling locally, ie; the first 500 miles from just South of Glasgow to just North of the Channel Tunnel in Kent would be regarded as the boring part of the journey, anyway this had to be done and after having the misfortune of having to attend the funeral of my wife Rosemary's older cousin Tony on the morning of departure I set off towards my first stopover at my good friend Peter Clark's House in* Kent a little behind schedule. So, Tony this trip is dedicated to you, cheers mate.
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    The weather was not great considering the time of year, however, considering the starting point just South of Glasgow it was more than acceptable*ie; Dry for the first 15-mins. I guess I should have known that all that cleaning and polishing the previous weekend would have been in vain.
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    After about 25-miles things cleared up and the remainder of the journey was made in dry conditions, so shouldn't really complain too much. It was only when I pulled in to the services at Shap to remove the waterproofs and take a quick coffee break*that I had my first mishap of the journey, by*spilling a cinnamon flavoured latte*over the bike. I had placed the latte on the pillion seat and then opened up the tour-pak lid which tipped the cup and spilt its contents, most of which landed on the exhaust however, as I was running late I just rushed everything and never bothered about the coffee on the chrome work.
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    Eventually arrived at Peters house, I got the bike parked up in the garage and settled down for the evening, early to bed early to rise.
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    The following day was an early start, on the road around 5.30am for a 50-mile*blast to the tunnel at Folkstone which was*a good idea as the roads were really quiet at that time of the morning.* The Train was pre-booked so I had no alternative but to be there for me 7.20am departure time however, I got here*early enough to get aboard the earlier train at 6.40am.
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    Arriving at*Calais in France was for me the real start of the journey, and the difference in temperature alone made me feel that my holiday had really started. Having hired a Tom-Tom Rider Sat-Nav for the journey, I had plumbed in*my destination and set off for the small*town of Saint Pierre en Faucigny*near Bonneville,*approx 50-mile North of the Mont-Blanc Tunnel.
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    Prior to arrival at my destination, the battery of the sat-nav decided it had done enough work and failed*around 10-miles from my destination. A quick call to the guest house owners, an exchange of very bad French and English and the landlord came down to meet me outside the town hall and lead me out to the guest house which was quite a ways up a mountain. Had a really good evening that night with a lovely home cooked dinner and a few drinks with the owners and 2 other guests.
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    Up early the following morning, a good breakfast the sat-nav all charged up and ready to go, destination Palaia, Tuscany approx 40-mins inland from Pisa. This run took me through the Mont Blanc Tunnel down through Genova , the Northern part of Italy was nuts with approx 80 - 100 tunnels of varying lengths from 100mts to several kilometres in length. The Italian drivers are very good but also a little un-nerving, driving very close to your rear before overtaking and when doing so tend to keep their 2 nearside wheels in the inside lane. I found that sticking to either the middle of my lane or slightly to the left of the middle would normally ensure that any overtaking vehicles moved all of their car into the left hand lane.

    Anyway, I eventually arrived at my destination just outside of Palaia and met up with my better half who had arrived earlier that day.

    The following 10-days were a mix of highs and lows, the highs were getting out on the bike and chasing the sun, the lows was the lack of the glorious Italian sunshine that normally greets us during our visits there.

    Weather aside, we had a great time with the best of Italian wine and food (I wish I was back ther right now!!!)

    We took a trip out to Florence (Firenze to the locals) to visit the resident Harley Dealers, the first one we got to was closed, seems the dealer had been arrested for something or other, see the picture and if anyone can read Italian I would be interested to see a translation. When we arrived at the second dealer at just before 12.00-HRS on a Saturday morning, we were amazed and disappointed to find that the dealership closes at 12.00-HRS (funny, we were there before then, and they were still closed) well mustn't grumble, after all I'm only a customer.

    Hopefully, you can get a flavour of the trip from the pic's, the holiday was great, the return trip was much the same, although the final leg from the base of Mont Blanc to home was 1005-miles which was really enjoyable but tiring. This was the first 1000-mile+ trip and the last on a motorcycle, but one to tick off the list and had to be done.

    No doubt there is so much more I could pack into the story however, I'm no journalist, but all I can say to wind this up is, that was a real good trip.

    Not sure how the attachments will come out so will post more after this lot.

    Cheers, David.

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    More pic's

    And some more (Beware biker in the bath)

    And some more

    That's all for now folks.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 20, 2008
  2. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    Sounds like you had a nice trip despite the weather David. Thanks for the pics.
     
  3. Speed

    Speed Site Tech Administrator

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    Thanks David for the report.Sound like you had a great trip there.
     
  4. Joyflyin

    Joyflyin Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator

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    Thanks for sharing the trip with us David. I'm jealous, :s I have to technically go on vacation without the bike. :(, but I will have plenty of other things to do while I am away. Lawn mowers to ride etc. Thanks again!
     
  5. David

    David Active Member

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    Thanks guys, have lots more pic's, just need to work out how to post them properley and where to post them, here or in the gallery?
     
  6. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    David

    I would post them here to keep them in the same area as the first ones. I'll merge them into the first post.
     
  7. David

    David Active Member

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    Thanks Glider, I'll do that over the weekend, all the pic's are on my lap top at home. Just on lunch at the moment, having one of those days when 5.00pm can't come soon enough.