Saturday, 28 January 2017

Homeward bound: Picton to Queenstown, New Zealand. 875km, 11.5°C-22°C

We saved the best for last.
The longest distance we have ever ridden two up in one day.
From Marlborough's Wairau Valley vineyards...

To lake Rotoiti
And the forest-clad hills 
That accompany us south and to the west coast.

Coffee stop at the Beeches in Murchison
Awesome pies for lunch in Hokitika
Whitebait fritters at the Paringa Salmon Farm.

So good to be on familiar roads,
So close to home
We decide to make a run for Queenstown while the sun is still shining.

Through the Gates of Haast
Over the Haast Pass
To the warmth of Central Otago at Makarora

Along the shorelines of Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea
Through the early evening golden light 
Etching patterns on slopes of the Crown Range.

Home to Te Komata 
Our house on the hill
Which welcomes us with open arms.

We are truly blessed to live in this part  of the world.


Vineyards spread across the Wairau Valley. Home of Marlborough wines.
 

Lake Rotoiti - high water this summer.

Beyond lake Rotoiti
Dual single lane rail and road bridge.
Carving pounamu at Hokitika




Thank you for the awesome pies, Marilyn and Jo.


Forest at Paringa, southern Westland.


Haast River


Gates of Haast

The Cardrona Valley.
The Crown Range road.


Home at last.
In 13 ¾ hours and  riding 875km today we broke our own record for a daily ride.
 
 Orlanda and Mella reunited. 
Each has many stories of faraway places to share.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

A very long way down from London, via Iceland and NordKapp, Norway to CapeTown, South Africa

We began our ride at the Meridian in Greenwich on Sunday 29 May 2016
Our first farewell from Hamish and Melba.
Across the Tower Bridge

To the Ace Cafe in North London
To meet our friend and fellow round the world motorcyclist Fern Hume
Our second farewell...

To Folkestone our first riding day,
And to Calais on the Eurochunnel train.
First stop Belgium.

North to Hirtshals in Denmark
Ferry to Iceland
And return
 North through the fjords of Norway
To our first milestone 
NordKapp, as far north as you can ride in Europe

South through Finland
Ferry to Estonia, then Latvia, Lithuania
Poland, Czech, Austria, Switzerland, Italy...

Slovenia and Croatia.
Aaah... a rest with family
A trip home to NZ.

Back on the road eastward through the Balkans
Then Romania, Serbia and Turkey
East to Georgia, Armenia and Iran

Sharjah, Dubai...
A trip to NZ and back.
Egypt

A long wait for Orlanda to arrive
A long wait for customs clearance
A long wait for Sudanese visas...

... but wonderful  places to visit, 
People to meet
History to walk through.

Our fathers had been here before us in WW11.
Leon Reader, 2nd  NZEF  23rd Battalion
Arthur Colin Hubbard

South through Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya
Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia
Zimbabwe, Botswana, Swaziland 
And South Africa 

Our grandfathers had been in South Africa in 1899
The Anglo-Boer War
James Catto 1st Aberdeenshire Volunteers, Royal Engineers
Walter Hubbard and Percy Richard (Dick) Hubbard, NZ Mounted Rifles Contingent.
They brought their own horses, too...
They all went home but their  horses did not return...

We rode to Cape Agulhas
Southernmost point of Africa on New Year's Eve 2016
And CapeTown on. New Year's Day 2017

36,279km 
120 riding days 
Average distance per day 302km/day
42 countries
Numerous border crossings. 
Schengen in Europe is wonderful.

We rode in Four continents
Europe
America (Iceland straddles the European
And America continents)
Asia
Africa
We rode from 24° 10" W in Iceland to 56°26" E in Iran
From 71°10" N at NordKapp to 34°27" S at Cape Agulhas

Rest days - 
Egypt 28 days
Croatia 7 days
Return to NZ twice for Diana and three times for Dick
Safari on the Serengeti

We had wonderful weather. 
You can see the blue skies throughout the blog posts.
We only struck rain on the road a few times 
in central Austria, Near Artvin in Turkey, Near Marsabit in Kenya,  in Zambia and as we were riding into Swaziland.
We arrived to sleet in Iceland but it cleared.
The highlands in Ethiopia were a cool 11°C in places.

Everyone we encountered was friendly.
We ride with this in mind...
'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you'  Matthew 7:12

Friendly smiles and waves are always reciprocated...
In every country.

We have been truly blessed on this journey

Me - because I have an amazing husband who rides  me around the world...
So that I can meet new, and old, friends...

Both of us because we have been kept safe by the grace of God

We have not been alone...
We treasure those who we met each day...
That moment of instant and deep heart-melting friendship...
Those who have prayed for us...
Those who encouraged us... 
the people who said to me 'You are strong' Mama, when they heard where we had been...
And where we were going.

We know we can't be human all by ourselves.
A ride like this involves a great deal of trust, caring, sharing, respect, helpfulness, unselfishness
And awareness that we are part of a community
A global community

We are all God's children.
We all want the same things...
To Love...
and to be loved.

 
We departed from the Meridian at Greenwich on a sparkling clean motorcycle.
 

 

 
NordKapp, Norway.
 
It's a long way down to the sea...
 

 
Happy arrival at Cape Agulhas, southernmost point of Africa.
 
 Ceremonial dropping of the pebble from NordKapp into the ocean.
 
Arriving in CapeTown...

 
 

Monday, 2 January 2017

Day 120: Bredasdorp to CapeTown 285 km four hours, 23-33°c

Up with the sunrise,
Early breakfast,
On the road...

Jörg takes us through the back roads
Wineries, hay bales
It has been the harvest season in every country we have visited.

North to south
Becomes a ride east west 
Around the coast.

First stop Hermanus
A very smart seaside town
Sculptures along the water front

One is aptly called traveller,
Our last coffee 
On the road

To Rooi Els
A village where bikers gather
Before the ride along the spectacular coast to CapeTown.


 
5.30am sunrise at Bredasdorp.

 

 
 

 
Kayakers setting off.
 
Traveller ... 
 
Taking a dive.
 
Proteas. Apparently they need fire every four or five years to allow them to thrive. Eucalypts do, too.
 


 

 

 
Khayelitsha the largest and fastest growing township in South Africa.
 
Table  Mountain.

 

Mission accomplished.