Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Birthday at the Story,

A very fine culinary chapter in our London Story.
An organoleptic adventure - chapter by chapter.

The candle is beef fat melted for dipping the bread. Unctuous aptly describes the creamy fat and the beef jelly. Some of us can remember having toast with dripping and salt and pepper for breakfast. Who'd have thought it would become a fine restaurant menu item. 

The asparagus sits atop mashed potato, the scallops are raw and creamy, rabbit sandwiches sit on the moss, crab is wrapped in finely sliced avocado, the nasturtium flower is stuffed with oyster mousse. This is my birthday meal for 2016. So wonderful. to be with Hamiah and Melba.

Such is the style of the Story that when Dick arrived late and wearing his motorbike gear they welcomed him without a perceptible flicker.

Oh, and they served tea made with fresh mint. A hallmark of a very good kitchen.



Day 2: Folkestone to Brugge via the Eurotunnel train

We crossed the Channel on the train through the Eurotunnel. 
Thanks to Fern who helped us by phone booking from the Ace Cafe. £49 for the bike and us. Half hour check-in and about half an hour in the train. We saw no sign of refugees as we rode through Calais. Lots of security wire though.

Cool and cloudy weather turned to rain just before we arrived at Brugge. 
We found a centrally located hotel - the Golden Tree. Handy to the Market place and a short walk to the restaurants and cafes.
Lightening with instant thunder made us glad we were sitting in a cafe drinking hot chocolate. Not so pleasant for the horses and their wagon masters standing in the rain.
I have just about sorted my photo issues and will post photos separately instead of collage format.
Google's changes in the blogger app have meant some relearning for me, too. Everything on blogger works through Google+. I wish I hadn't clicked the App update. If you have a gmail email address you will be ahead of me and will have noticed the changes. I have a hunch that Google have restricted the comments option to people who are signed up
to Google+.
In the meantime I have set up a Facebook page Facebook.com/PearlsOnWheelsMotorcycleJourneys/

The food images - a wonderful omelet and a local Flemish pork cheek dish served with apple sauce.
And images of renowned lace from Brugge. 

Day 1 Greenwich to Folkestone

Goodbye to Hamish and Melba and Peter the Great.
He was here in the 1600's learning about how the Britannia ruled the waves.

Greenwich is chocked fill with history. Henry V111 and Elizabeth 1 were born here. The  merchant and naval shipping power was based here.
And now Greenwich features in our own wee slice of history.


We met Mark at the Ace Cafe. HIs opening question was "which unsung New Zealand hero won the war for Britain?" "Keith Park," we said. Mark supports the move to have a statue of sir Keith Park permanently on display in Britain. 

As promised I am including some food photos. We couldn't get more English  than a full breakfast and roast beef and Yorkshire pudding.  
I am trialling collages for posting photos. Let's see how it goes.

Distance today: around 180km 
Time on the road: 7 hours 




Monday, 30 May 2016

A fine farewell from Fern

We set off from the prime meridian in Greenwich for the Ace Cafe in North London. 28km away. 3 ¼ hours later we arrived. 
We now fully accept that taking an hour to drive 2km up Symonds street last week in Auckland was perfect preparation for riding from the Chelsea embankment to Brompton Rd.  

Everything has a purpose under heaven.

Just as well I am well balanced. 
There was a lot of staying in one place and inching along.

The Ace Cafe is a mecca for motorcyclists. Today was no exception. Hundreds of bikes. A memorial ride for veterans had arrived before us.

We had a full English breakfast even though it was afternoon. Brown sauce for my driver.

Fern Hume, our friend, and intrepid  motorcycling adventurer was on hand to perform the  ceremonial farewell.
Fern left the Ace Cafe several years ago and rode solo to New Zealand through Iran and the stans and Pakistan and India.
We rode south to Folkestone via a complete tour of the map of central London.

We received a warm welcome at the Leas Best Western Clifton hotel from Tommy and Andrei who gave us some good tips for places to ride in Romania. 

I have misplaced the device for transferring photos from my SD card to my iPad. Full service will resume shortly.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

First stop London.

While Dick goes to collect Orlanda from the freight company I go for a long walk along the Thames path from Greenwich to the Millenium Dome.
Names like Enderby wharf, Mordern wharf are now attached to new apartment developments. Whaling ships and Antarctic explorers sailed from here. Submarine cables were made and shipped from Enderby wharf from the 1800s. Bollards and old wharf structures on the Thames shoreline are the remains of centuries of shipping. Photos to come.

Later Melba and I went to the Victoria and Albert Museum. Afternoon tea in the courtyard. Children playing in the pond. A robot in the corner creating a sculpture. 
Two special exhibitions inside - Botticelli revisited and Paul Strand photographs. 
Marvellous.
A robot has been creating a structure in the courtyard at the  Victoria and Albert museum.

Only in England?
Pimms at 5 pm.

The Cutty Sark at Greenwich
And home to an early birthday treat - a raspberry cake to welcome us to Greenwich.
I have had a lovely day, meanwhile...
Dick has fetched Orlanda. 
Riding a motorbike from Heathrow to Greenwich without the aid of GPS is a nightmare. 
An early appointment at BMW Motorrad at Battersea is scheduled for tomorrow.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Ready for our next adventure.


Our short ride to Auckland reconfirmed our enthusiasm for being on the road.
Since then we have  been dealing with sorting gear, vaccination updates, and the myriad of things that need to be done before we depart.
Dick has been doing lots of research and planning for the journey.
I have been dusting off my pearls...

We have both been getting fit. Mounting the big BMW 1200GSA  is my biggest challenge so I have been doing a variety of things to improve my strength and flexibility. Pilates, Feldenkrais and the gym - Thanks Ebony, Nicky and Maria. I hope that my new bike trousers prove to be as flexible as I am.

I need a longer string of pearls...
After we cross from the UK to Europe we will ride to Denmark and board a ferry that will take us to the Faroe islands and Iceland. We return to Denmark and head north to Nordkapp Norway.
Then south through Finland, the Baltic states, eastern Europe to Croatia. Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, Iran and south...  There is also a Plan B. We have visas for Pakistan and India.


Orlanda  is in the departure lounge at Aukland airport. She flies out on NZ002 at 9.40pm tonight.  We look forward to seeing her in London and hope that all the paperwork for her clearance goes smoothly.