Moto Adventures

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


A 700 year old castle now made into a hotel.

The Gerlachovsky stit the highest mountian (2654 m) in the Carpathian range.

A photo op, just in case you forgot what we looked like.

Slovakia has a few more mountians and what a beautiful view with the colors of fall that we haven't seen in 2 years.

Solvakia was a whirlwind tour. We headed up into the High Tatras in the north because we were ready to see some mountians and we heard the hiking was good.

The first (and only) night in Solvakia we got a pension across the road from a 13th century castle that had been made into a hotel after the denationalization of the country. The kind owner of the pension we were staying at was more than happy to give us a tour of the hotel which included climbing a 400 year old carved wooden staircase that has now turned almost petrified. We looked into a room in the tower that rented for at least 125 €/night, a bargain but not quite as reasonable as our room at 28€,plus we had the whole place to ourselves (we even had to lock up the doors when we left in the morning).

The weather is still great, blue skies but cool enough for comfortable riding. In fact the riding was so good we kept on riding all day and blew off the hiking. By the time we started to look for a room we were in Hungary. Oh well, Slovakia is a small country and we just got carried away.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Czech Republic

Ken gets ready to ride Czech

Along the trail on our 16 km hike in Hrensko.

A 1 km ride up a river with sides 150 m high.

The hike included views of cute little mountian towns.

Europes largest natural bridge.

A stunning view of Prague from the castle.

A night view of Prague castle.

Bikes galore at a Moto Museum, it features mostly Jawa motorcycles.

Miles of Czech farmland and forest, a nuclear powerplant in the background.

A funny thing happened onour way to Czech from Germany. We were following a nice meandering road, which was maybe a little busier than we would have liked, that wound thru a forested area. We were not surprised to see a lot of motorhomes parked along the roadside in every space available and we were kicking ourselves for leaving our camping gear at Franz and Sabine's place in Germany. The thing we started to find a bit funny was that in every motorhome, sitting in the passanger seat, was a woman very scantily dressed........uh huh...yes....working girls! Have wheels will travel.

Crossing the Czech border was easy, all we needed was a quick stamp in our somewhat full passports. What a breeze compared to Central and South America. We really didn't do much homework of Czech so while Ken was getting a Krones, I dug out the Lonely Planet for a quick low down on the area we were going into. It turned out Hrensko is the gateway to the Bohemian Switzerland National Park, with lots of trails for hiking. After finding ourselves a quite little room we headed out on a 16 km hike which took us along a river (we actually had to take a pole boat for close to 1 km) up stairs along a rock bluff, out through farmland and back into the forest along sandstone pillars and arches. All this and more packed into just 5 hours or so!

After a great dinner and a good night sleep we decided to head off to Prague. I know...not our style heading for the big city but everyone we met said we had to see it. We got a room at a pension on the outskirts of the city and rode the metro downtwn for less than a dollar (what a breeze and no headaches finding parking). The only way to go! Anyway...I think I've found my new favorite city. I can't even start to to put it into words...the architecture, Charles bridge, the narrow streets, Prague Castle (the biggest in Europe) and the overall feeling of a this ancient city. As usual the pictures just don't do it justice.

The countryside in Czech is mostly rolling hills, farmland, and the odd bit of forest thrown in. Great riding and we have seen quite a few dirt bikes and tracks along to way. We also stumbled on a motorcycle museum that was very cool and had a lot North America. Ken says the beer is good here, you know this is where pilsner beer got its start. The people are nice once you get them to warm up to you (I guess they have had some tough times) Ken gets them going with motorcycle talk and before you know it we are old friends.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Friends in Germany

Here it is at last Ken and Sabine's new Honda Varadero 1000

We are ready to ride, a short day but on the road at last.

The Kellers in Overath. Martin, Dagmar, Nikolai, Alicia and Timo.

Heinz, Martina, and the boys Jonas and Lukas.

Ken and Lukas are very serious about a game of chess.

Knights of iron guarding the Rathaus in Bremen.

We are standing with a statue of a donkey, a dog, a cat and a rooster. The four animals in a fable.

Ken sitting proud on Heinz's Africa Twin.

A quick note as Ken and I set off on our own, east to Czech. We have spent the last 12 days visiting great friends here in Germany. Before we left Weisbaden Vitor took Ken for a ride in his Opel special project car, they hit the autoban and before you could shake your head they were up to a speed of 265 km/hour (ken still has smile on his face, I think it may be perminant). From there is was north to Overath to see the Kellers. We had a short stay with them, it was great to see them again after 2 years. The kids have all grown like crazy. From there it was even farther north to Asendorf to visit the Dieterings, who we had met last trip, at the motorcycle hotel in France. After two great days of visiting and riding with them through some beautiful countryside it was time to move on and discover new territory...and languages. We are well rested and well fed. Eastern Europe here we come!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Our first week....without a bike.

Always a warm welcome.

One of the castles along the Rhein River.

A charming street in Rüdesheim.

Germania, this statue commemorates the fall of the French and the beginning of the new German empire.

A casual drink with our gracious hosts Franz, Sabine, Melly, Bernd, and Heidi.

Uh yes...Bratwurst!!

Ken infront of the worlds largest coo-coo clock

Flight truely is an amazing thing, one minute you are sitting in the sunny Okanagan and the next you are over the ocean a world away in Germany sitting sipping schnapps and eating gulasch, red cabbage and klösse (dumplings). Thanks to Air Canada our flight was enjoyable and uneventful; thanks to Visa Avion points it was cheap.

Franz picked us up at the Frankfurt airport and he and Sabine have been unbelievable hosts. Much to our surprise we found Mark and Cara arriving here from Kelowna the day after us so Franz and Sabine have a full house so we celebrated with a Canadian party.

Buying a bike here has turned out to a little more difficult and is taking a little longer than we planned (maybe that is part of the reason we shipped our bike last time). Although the Internet is full of bikes for sale they are either sold, halfway across Germany or the people who placed the ads have fallen off the face of the earth. As foreigners we can't buy a bike here, the bill of sale is made out to us, Franz and Sabine must register the bike and insure it. A kind of complicated procedure and much easier done if we find a bike around Wiesbaden. As it turns out the bike Ken was hoping to buy, a Honda Africa Twin, is a very desirable bike here and we can't find a single one so after several days of searching we have decided on a Honda Veradero 1000 that is for sale at a local Honda dealer. We will buy the bike for 6500 euros and the dealer will guarantee a buy-back for 4500 euros. We could take the time to sell it ourselves for more but this way it is easy for us and the 2000 euros is still cheaper than the cost of shipping our bike both ways or renting a bike while we are here. Ken is happy with his final choice of bikes as it is the new big brother of the Africa Twin. So as it turns out, exactly one week after landing Germany we will be set up with a bike complete with bags, new tires and new oil. Ready to ride!

Our days here have been busy touring Wiesbaden and the surrounding areas. One of our highlights has been a boat trip up the Rhein River to St. Goar had lunch and then took the train back, a great day and from the boat you get a clear view of the castles and vineyards that line the banks of the river. Unfortunately our nights have been a little long and sleepless, it took us 5 nights to recover from the jet lag.....5 long nights of staring at the ceiling and thinking about the bike and traveling plans. Heinz's schnapps in the evening didn't help us out but we do appreciate his trying.

Now that we have the bike thing settled and we are sleeping thru the night we can sit back and start to truly enjoy our time here in Germany, the land of castles, great cheese & wurst, and wine & schnapps. Prost!!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

On the road again....Europe

Where the heck has the summer gone?

Ken and I had such big plans for this summer because it was the only summer either of us has had off, we had a list of things we wanted to do a mile long. We got around to some and some we will have to do some other time. The days just don't have enough hours in them. We did some camping, did a few rides around B.C. and the northern U.S., Ken did some riding with the boys and I did some hiking with the girls, we did some sailing, I got my motorbike licence (at last) and we both caught up with friends we were glad to see again.

When we were home, we stayed at my mom and dads place (thank you, thank you, thank you) which was complete with a new mattress (what a treat after some of the taco beds we have slept in on the last trip). No wonder we stayed for the summer! Caution! Just when you think your kids have grown up and left they ever really?

Today we are leaving on the next leg of our adventure. The Central/Eastern countries in Europe. Our plan is to buy a bike in Germany and go from there, visiting a few friends along the way before we head east to new countries we haven't seen yet. We are not quite sure where that is exactly or what it will look like but "Do we ever?". All I know is our bags are packed (60 kilos) and there is a road out there with our name on it!!!

Here we go again.....