Monday, 17 May 2010

Weekend at the BMF show

Well, I've just got back from a very enjoyable weekend in Peterborough at the BMF Show. I rode down on Friday, taking the long route over the North York Moors, and not really touching the A1. I came back yesterday via a stop at Lynsey's in Leeds. During the whole time I was away I didn't see a single drop of rain - very unusual!

In the tent next to me was a lad called Paul, and we got chatting. It turned out that he's spent time living in Poland, and knows a lot about Eastern Europe, and where to go. We spent a lot of time talking about my trip, which, by the end, went up to the Arctic Circle in Norway, across to Turkey, then over to Tunisia! It was a three continent ride, but alas would take too long - more than the 3 weeks I've got, to do it properly.

However, he had a lot of good advice, and places that I should visit, that I will be taking on board in my decision about what trip to take.

The BMF show itself was great with lots to do and see, and by camping on site you benefit from having access to the entertainment. On the Friday night there was a terrific Led Zep tribute band, and an awful comedy act, which went down very badly.

Saturday night saw a great 3-piece cover band whose name I forget. they were just young lads, but the guitarist/singer was very good. Top of the bill was Killer Queen - yes another tribute band. I was hoping for great things, but they were merely OK. They used too many backing tapes for my liking, and the Freddie Mercury wannabe has the most grating voice ever. He was very good at mincing about the stage though! Having said that, the crowd seem to like them, and I think they got better the more beer I drank!

Monday, 10 May 2010

Change of plan?

I wrote in my last post that I'd been doing some re-thinking about this trip.
Having totted up the cost it was apparent that the trip in total is going to cost around £5500 - assuming that the exchange rate doesn't get any worse. That's a lot of money for what amounts to a 3 week holiday for one! It also became apparent that even if I save every spare penny this year I won't have saved that much, so would be paying for it for a year or two afterwards. Do I really want to scrimp and save, doing nothing other than what is absolutely necessary, for the next 3 years, so I can have a 3 week holiday? Not if you put it that way....

So I started to look at where the money would be spent, and it was immediately clear that around half of that would be on the bike - i.e. hiring a bike for 3 weeks (about $3500).

Then it occurred to me that, for about one tenth of that (well, maybe £300) I could get both myself and my bike over to Europe and back on the North Shields to Amsterdam overnight ferry. Food for thought there. So if I was to do that, what would I do for 3 weeks? Well after pouring over a map for a while there seemed 2 appealing options:
  1. Head east. From Holland the Czech Republic is only 600miles away, on the other side of Germany. From there I could tour around some of the Eastern European countries, eventually ending up at the Black Sea.
  2. Head south. Straight through France and Spain to Gibraltar, and then across on a ferry to Morocco - that sounds adventurous!
Either of those could be done in 3 weeks, for significantly less that the USA option. But, I still want to do Route 66........ Maybe it's time to say that next year it'll be a trip to Eastern Europe or North Africa, and, when I've got more time I'll do the American trip - say, when Nathan's grown up, and Gillian can come with me - maybe for my 60th (now that's a scary thought)? We can spend more time over there, and make it the adventure I'd originally envisioned.

I'm still thinking about this, and will make a decision soon. But whatever I choose, there's now less than a year 'till I go!