Thursday, October 28, 2010

Amalfi Coast_

The Amalfi Coast in Italy is a highlight of my trip for two reasons...

1) Just look at it, it's effing incredible! I was riding down this coastline at sunset just a week or two ago... mind blowing!






And, somewhat more significantly, 2) It was a BIG player in my decision to take this trip in the first place... If you're a diligent reader of my blog, you'll have read my post on why I am doing this trip. A visit to Italy was always on the cards, but the suggestion of motorbiking down the Amalfi Coast was the catalyst that sparked the change from short European backpacking trip, to full blown motorbiking through Europe for a year!

And it was everything I was hoping for and more!! Simply stunning. I was truly overcome with emotion on the day I arrived, and had to pull over to just take it all in. You can see for yourself how amazing it is (and how hard I am trying to hold my massive grin in!)...





Let the debate begin_

Apples are easily the best snack...

They are good for you in general, good for your teeth, have no wrappers, their waste becomes compost, can be eaten with one hand, don't need to be peeled.

I am sure there is more to it, but really, I think nothing compares...

Your move B.


OK.. so it's been a while since Berlin.. lots has happened between then and now, as I write this some 2 months or so after spending an awesome week there. That's OK, Berlin is an unforgettable place!!

Admittedly though, it'd damned well want to be after the trip I took to get there! Whilst Spokey Dokey Performance took advantage of a little story telling licence... it's not so far from the truth! My trip from Hameln to Berlin was a nightmare run on the Authobahn, in the rain... where I actually travelled 100kms in the wrong direction. This meant what was supposed to be a leisurely 350km trip, all of a sudden became a 550km, 10 hour marathon in the rain!! It was so exhausting that I actually pulled over at one point to rest, and fell asleep at picnic table, with all my gear - including my helmet! - still on.. for a whole hour, sitting upright! Funny in retrospect...

After a couple of cruisy but slightly lonely days in Hameln I was actually feeling a bit homesick. In fact, a lot homesick - so much so that I spent most of the trip to Berlin planning my trip back home. Sell the bike, change my flight, arrange some work, find somewhere to stay - I had it all worked out and would use my time in Berlin to make appropriate arrangements. This was all undone, and even forgotten, in quite literally a matter of moments when I pulled up and parked my bike at the hostel in Berlin. It was just a few friendly words from a guy I came to know as Billy..

"Hello mate, I thought that was a Triumph I could hear" in a thick, cheeky, Bristol accent. Those words, along with a friendly handshake was all it took. A shower, and many beers shared with Billy later, I was back on track, and my plans to escape Europe were barely a distant memory! Billy had been getting around on a Triumph as well, but his was a Sprint, which is a sports bike, and he had been travelling mostly in Eastern Europe for about 4 months - I certainly don't envy that ride on a sports bike!

Berlin as a city is absolutely awesome - and my favourite  big city for a while, until just recently pipped at the post by Roma (where I am writing from now). So gritty and grungy and dirty and edgy (hell, people here even have Matte Black BMWs!!)... and absolutely full of culture and art, and a real up and coming generation of creative types. My favourite thing about it though, is that its recent history - I'm not sure if you've heard, but the Berlin wall came down in '89 - actually took place while I was alive! Everywhere I have been the significant history all took place well before I was around, so to see something so important in the flesh that I remember seeing on TV at the time was really quite amazing.

It was all made better by being able to spend it with awesome people. Billy being one, and I met Jamie - a girl from LA (County) - and had a ball out with her drinking and wandering through the streets til the early hours of the morning. Good times! Until of course I woke up with a hooker in my bed... haha.

Plenty of photos too.. here's some:














And click here for the rest.

For a friend_

(A friend who didn't think I would, and for another friend who I am sure knows who they are...)

I am sitting in my B&B room in Roma, with the sweet-like-pineapple taste of new experiences dancing on my tongue... and my mind spinning like a ferris wheel, with each compartment filled with yet another memory, yet another reminder, yet another thought...

Ahh, I love this crazy world. I am so lucky to be part of it!!





Wednesday, October 20, 2010


EDIT (27/10/10): Forgot to mention, this post is out of chronological order. I was in Czech Republic from August 31 to September 3, just after Berlin (which is soon to be posted also!).

Oh... poor Prague. Sadly it must bear the brunt of a change in mindset for me. Sorry, but I can't help the way I feel. For those reading, please don't let my experience sway you if you were thinking about going...

For me, Prague mostly sucked.

It started off bad with a run-in with a couple of dodgy train inspectors just a few hours into my time there, continued with a dance with death and whilst there were a couple of funny things to hear, the highlight of Prague for me was leaving!

Actually no, that's a bit harsh. It really is a very pretty city, with lots to see and I am sure, plenty to do.

I spent most of my time though, just wandering around and taking some pretty cool photos. I did a walking tour also, and whilst it was well done and interesting, Prague was the city in which I decided that I had enough of big cities. Having already visited London, Paris, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Bruges, Amsterdam and Berlin before hand, seeing yet another big church, another town square, another big city limit wall, another famous statue, another big monument, and hearing yet another story about the war really just tipped me over the edge.

My loss though I think. Go and decide for yourself!!

One good thing is that lil KMR finally made an appearance. Here's some photos of him and around the city itself:









These last two are from Cesky Krumlov, an awesome little town in the south of Czech Republic where I stopped for an afternoon. Really cute little place.. I wish I had more time there..



Check the rest out here.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It's an omission of music_

There appears to have been an omission in my post It's a question of music_. For this, I apologise.

My post talks about learning of new music from people I meet on my travels and in my life in general, and the affect it's able to have in terms of triggering emotions and becoming a marker in time of a person, place, event or thing.

Amongst several, I mentioned a few bands that Steph in Sydney recommended, a couple from Marine in Crete, and even two from Paris in Edinburgh (confusing I know)! The omission however, was of a band named Vampire Weekend - recommended to me by Beth, ex Sydney, now RADelaide.

I suppose the omission could be viewed in two lights:

  1. The music had little or no impact on me, and/or
  2. The recommender herself had the same little or no impact.

If viewed in this way, regardless of how the subject is lit, it's easy to see how the omission would be made - it simply didn't register on the musical radar when it came to the crunch.

But, alas, no. Viewing in either light casts an ugly shadow of untruth.

The fact of the matter is quite simply that both Beth and Vampire Weekend are just part of my life now. Ingrained such, that when it comes to racking my brain for outliers, they don't show.. they are part of my brain. Part of me. Part of my soul.

Perhaps this is the ultimate. Yes, this is the ultimate.

So - when does the switch flick from an outlier, to an integral component of what only I know as Me?

Who cares! All I know is that VW and BB will be a part of Me forever, and damn that makes me happy! ☺

PS - did you hear the news about Blake?

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Sometimes it's a little tough to think of stuff to write, and today I am in a mild 'funk' shall we say... so for now it's just a bunch of pretty pictures in no particular order, of nothing in particular.. Enjoy!

















Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Travelling presents so many bittersweet moments.. most - if not all, upon reflection - to do with people.

It starts with the bittersweet moment of quitting a job you truly enjoy, working with people you love.

It continues with the goodbyes with family and friends both at and before the final departure at the airport.

It progresses then to the moment you meet, and have to farewell, your first true "friend" on your travels.

This soon becomes bearable as you realise you will meet more friends... But is then ever so quickly replaced by, and perhaps crescendos at, the moment you have an experience at a place or with a particular person, that you know can and will never be repeated, that just... gets under your skin.

Only the fact that you know life and travels must go on and that there are more experiences awaiting, keeps the faint sweet taste on the back of your tongue, staving off the bitterness that lingers...

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Life's good_

Love it, live it. Anyone who suggests life is not good, isn't doing it right! Sure there are tough times, but get through those and see who you become.. take the time to reflect, but don't waste time focussing on the past. Make plans and set goals, but don't let the future get in the way of today.

It's a question of music_

I realised today that, subconsciously, in the lead up to my trip and at nearly every hostel I go to I've asked a bunch of people their taste in music, in somewhat of a selfish search of new music for me to listen to. Having already gotten same great tips of good bands, and downloaded most already, I've found I get a great buzz out of listening to the awesome and incredibly diverse range of new tunes, and taking the time also to recall who it was that suggested it, and in which location in the world it was suggested. I know it's not a new concept, yet still it amazes me how music can trigger such strong memories and sometimes emotional responses... I've been recommended everything from Reggae to Country, to Armenian Classical music and beyond... all so incredibly different, yet equally strong in the impact it's able to have on me.

In a slightly less selfish act, I figured it would be nice to share it with anyone who cares to be reading my blog. So as follows is a list of new music that has been suggested to me (and by whom in what location) in my travels so far, that I can recall. I'll try and post each time I get a new suggestion... If you're looking to add to your collection of tunes too, then please use these as some ideas for doing exactly that. This way, you may get a sense of the style of people I am meeting, the atmosphere and general feeling of my trip and the bands will get some support too!

  • Fat Freddy's Drop (Paris [yes, is her real name] in Edinburgh)
  • The XX (Paris)
  • The Bloody Beetroots (CJ in Sydney)
  • Jez Mead (Steph in Sydney)
  • Friendly Fires (Steph)
  • Boy & Bear (Steph)
  • Josh Pyke (Steph)
  • Joshua Radin (Jamie in Croatia)
  • Rouben Hakhverdian (Jamie)

  • Oren Lavie (Marine in Crete)
  • Kyo (Marine)
  • The National (Tom in Crete)
  • The Flaming Lips (Tom)
  • Miike Snow (B in Crete)
  • Amos Lee (B)
  • Morphine (Christoph in Crete)

Friday, October 1, 2010

October... already!!_

I wrote in my trusty journal a month ago today, exclaiming how quickly September had come around, how much had happened and how much I felt I'd achieved... I had planned to blog that anytime now...

But umm.. now it's October already! I can't believe how fast time is going.

It's been 4 months since I finished at work, 3 since I left Sydney for the second time after Japan/Thailand and 2 since I rode out of London on my bike.

And what you may have read on my blog so far is really only just a small portion of what I've been up to in all that time..

Good times. I'm a lucky kid.

Can't wait to see what this month brings!