It has been a good break but it has been nice to know the blog has been missed over the last 16 days A lot has happened.
But let's first of all " back the bus" up to 16 days back. We leave Cortina for a 300km run down to Opatija in Croatia where the plan is to park the bike up whilst we head back to NZ for a 2 week break
So we leave our very nice hotel in Cortina
And we head down and on to the Italian autostrada system. Barrelling along at a respectable 130km per hour we hear a " whoosh, whoosh " as high speed impatient Italians keep us out of the fast lane.
However it all slows down when we cross the border into Slovenia en route to Croatia. At the border we park next to the police bikes
I try and do a jacket swap as the writing on the back of this jacket could be handy in Africa ! However the friendly police chappie was not a starter and also would not give me his pistol !
We meander about 50 km thru the Slovenian countryside
With glimpse of the deep blue Meditterrean coming into view
And where we cross into Croatia where we have to show our passports for the first time since leaving England
Then it is just a quick hop to Opatija
The bike engine is ceremoniously turned off and the first leg is officially finished
So here is what we have done so far on this leg
50 days on the road
So we sit on the sun drenched patio, eat tons of food, drink lots of wine and unwind. Here is a light lunch in Opatija.
With the barbecue all fired up cooking freshly cooked local fish
One day later we get dropped off at Venive airport for the trip to Auckland. At the end of the week we are in Queenstown where there is funny white stuff everywhere around the house
However having seen a lot of the world over the past two months Queenstown is still as good as it gets.
Then suddenly it is time to be back on the plane to Croatia. In the Red Cross parcel from home for our son Hamish are Pineapple lumps, Whittakers Chocolate , Hubbards cereals and Marmite! Not necessarily in that order of importance.
As I write this we are on the eve of our departure heading to Serbia, Romania ( think Transylvania and Dracula! ) Bulgaria, then Turkey ( if is still there) and then into Georgia, Armenia and Iran.
But whoa, a hiccup happens today!. I take the bike in for a good thorough service check in Rijeka before we head into "Tiger country". There is a problem. An expensive one ! The " doctor" beckons me over and looks grave. The main ( there is only one!) shock absorber is leaking oil! It is still perfectly OK and functioning but a small leak is the canary in the coal mine and the shock absorber could well give out somewhere in the back of beyond in 5,000 to 15,000 kilometres time. That would not be a good look. The bike would be unrideable without it. So we are up for about 2,000 Euros (I am currently absorbing the shock of a shock absorber!) and a 3 day wait for the replacement part to come from Germany. It will put us a bit behind but is nothing compared with the cost and inconvenience of the shock absorber collapsing in the back blocks of Ethiopia or Iran. So instead of tomorrow it will be another 3 days at least before we are off again.
So dear reader, bear with me, give us another several days and transmissions will shortly return to normal as we head east