It is Sunday the 29th of May - departure day.
So Orlanda was all checked over and packed up. At about 10.00am it was the obligatory farewell photos, speeches etc in front of Hamish and Melba's apartment.
And more. Spot the Cutty Sark in the background.
And we are officially away
Firstly it is off to the Ace Cafe in North London. This cafe is famous for being a meeting place for motorcyclists for about 70 years. There is a tradition that all long distance motorbike rides start from there. Evan McGregor and Charlie Borman started from there for their Long Way Roundand Long Way Down rides. So we did it too but without the film cameras in tow !
We meet up with Fern for coffee. She is a round the world motorcyclist who ended up working at the motorcycle shop in Queenstown for a year and who is now back in England.
Now here below is an interesting photo. She cleans the bike whilst he drinketh the coffee. An interesting concept!
When in England what better way to start a long journey on a traditional English Breakfast even if it is 2pm in the afternoon !
Then we hop on the bike, Fern says in beautifully modulated English tones ( after a few practice runs !) as only the English can do
" Now start your Engine please"
And we are off ! It was supposed to be a very well thought out route round the "Northern Circular " and then East to Folkestone for a nights rest before the Channel Tunnel the next morning. Lovely Elizabeth who lives inside my GPS however had different ideas and once again we plunged somewhat unwillingly thru the middle of London again. It was like being live in a game of Monoply ( without the ability to put down hotels!) as we flashed past St Pancreas Station , Marylebone Station, Euston Road, Pentonville, Leicester Square etc etc.
And thus to Folkestone - a sad town a bit like Picton could had come if the Interislander ferries had stopped coming there. However the hotel was very delightfully English ( although staffed by very friendly Romanians who made is promise to ride through Romania) . We had a dinner of Roast Beef with Yorkshire Pudding and a pint of finest ( warm of course ! ) English bitter to wash it down as a recognition of our last night on English soil. Bill Bryson would have been proud of us!
And so ends day one.