Duncan’s Italy Diary – Day 3

Dear diary.

What a great morning to wake up to. Great nights sleep and a nice ‘continental’ breakfast (hark at me), Manny sustained a toilet related injury (please contact Manny at your leisure to attain the details) and then it was time to vacate the premises, more twiddling with the electrics and we were off travelling South towards Switzerland and what an amazing road it was as well for ’twas the smoothest silkiest Tarmac in Christendom, unfortunately at this point the madness took me and I could not resist powering up and taking some of these corners at proper knee scraping speeds, gliding round the corners like a red arrow of speeding VFR Lightning, my TT sliders gently bumped the Swiss Tarmac when suddenly I remembered that the panniers were actually a tad wider than the angle I was aiming for, best power down with many apologies to road captain brother Nettleship for breaking formation…………..I am sure that there is a high probability it’s going to happen again!
We took the N9 from the hotel to Lausanne and stopped for a fantastic cup of coffee and crepes on the shores of the lake.
After a short break we took the road to Martigny via Montrose. Montrose looked a bit snooty so we didn’t stop and continued up into the Alps. OMG the Alps, I am a bit shamed to say it but the Alps here dwarf the NZ Alps in stature and beauty and I could of happily stopped every 100 yards to take pictures.

3 amazing facts about Switzerland………..

1) The Swiss have the most amazing biking roads and every manhole cover is completely flush with the Tarmac, how can they do this and we can’t?
2) It is probably one of the most beautiful places ever to the point I am already thinking of coming back with Linzi and the boys.
3) The Swiss women do stand out because each and every one of them has a bottom that looks like two hard boiled eggs in a handkerchief.

So we ended up in the hotel Fully in Martigny and I can’t help think of my old friend Andrew Lunt……….Lunty I am not sure where you live in Switzerland but the country is only 3 inches long on the ordinance map so you have no excuse to nip out for a pint.
Sat outside with a pint of Swiss beer and looking at the spectacular scenery was cool but going out to the local kellers was even better!
Myself and Manny drank an entire pub dry of wheat beer and then on to sample authentic Swiss cuisine and have to say it was the best kebab ever! Back to the hotel for a laugh and story telling with a couple more beers and now bed.
Gosh what a great day, what will tomorrow’s exciting adventures bring? For this and many more exciting tales tune in the same time tomorrow.

Nighty night.

Duncan’s Italy Diary – Day 2

OMG. what an amazing day!
Left the ferry in Zeebrugge after watching Brother Nettleship deplete its stores significantly during breakfast.
Travelled to Brussels and then on to Luxembourg. Have to say I am quite shocked, the people all look really normal but as soon as they open their mouths you realise they are actually foreign.

If anyone is looking for a job then the one to go for is with the Belgium mountain rescue service! They must be ever so quiet poor buggers cos there is not much their, lots of cows and for some strange reason guys walking small dogs.
Didn’t get to see much of Luxembourg which is a shame as I remember as a kid listening to radio Luxembourg and thinking I bet that is a great place to visit (will try better next time) turned south at Luxembourg and headed into France, gosh the French drivers put the English to shame, no one hogs the fast lane and most people let you pass, pretty cool really.
Stopped off at a garage and that’s where I developed a bit of a problem with my electrics, it really is an easy problem to fix and will be done tomorrow but it meant that I had to ride for 300 miles knowing there was a fault so it played on my mind being so far from home. Stopped at a cafe / petrol station and was served by the grumpiest Frenchman ever, can’t all have good days eh?

Biking in Europe is great and as ever am amazed by how friendly other bikers are the world over, it’s so much easier on the continent to acknowledge other bikers as well cos driving the wrong way round means your hand is free to wave to other bikes instead of just nodding…….I like that.
The little villages here are beautiful and I would so recommend taking a trip down this way to anyone, the road reminded me a hell of a lot of the springs junction road and driving around Dunedin………weird.
Arrived at Basencon and found an absolutely stunning town, walked to the bar area and had a couple of beers before getting very rowdy and loud in a kebab shop but the owner thought we were German so we let that nationality take the blame for that.

One small point! Had to pay 50 cents to have a wee today! Pretty gobsmacked about that and will be writing a letter to my euro MP when I get home, I don’t think we should pay a penny to have a wee cos we saved their asses in WWII. (Bleedin garlic munching surrender monkeys)
More tomorrow! Sleep now after such a mega ride today.

Duncan’s Italy Diary – Day 1

Dear diary.

Today was an unusual if not fearsome and frightening day. Today we set off to Italy on the MAG “Off ‘t’ see the doctor” tour 2015.

Amazingly enough everybody arrived just where they were supposed to be at the times they said they would.

It was a nice gentle ride to Ull to meet Das Boot and when we got there Sister Kate took charge and gathered the passports and took care of us by getting us on board which was great.
Once on board it really did feel real, dead nice to actually be on the way after all this waiting and planning.

We all got our official t-shirts and met in the bar before going to the restaurant to witness one of the wonders of the modern world, namely Brother Nettleships attempt to rid the entire ship of food, it was most spectacular.
Back to the bar for a bit then bed, got the top bunk from Brother Gav and thought that was a great score but after a while it turned out to be a bad idea.
Heat rises and within a few minutes it was hotter than Satan’s willy so I didn’t sleep that well, to add, gradually the oxygen that normally comes free with the cabin gradually changed to methane………..won’t be having the curry next time!