Touring

Adventures on the bike

The Swiss Soujourn

Instead of writing one of my usual long and bewilderingly boring all-in-one holiday posts (which I’ve already got half written thanks to some 2am insomnia a few weeks ago), I’ll try something a little different this time around. As I’ve probably mentioned in the past, Switzerland is a country that I’ve been wanting to stay in and explore more of for several years. I always seemed to bypass it for what seemed like legitimate reasons in the past. Primary amongRead More

You Are Here

July 30, 2020 France, Fuji X-T3, Motorbike, Touring

Waaaay back in May, I bounced the thought around in my head and eventually here on paper that I needed to be procrastinating less and doing more of the things I love doing. At the time I’d been forced to completely give up on the idea of getting to Norway this year and cancelled or rebooked everything. Ironically, it turned out that we could almost have gone, with travel to Norway opening up again less than 24 hours before weRead More

On Procrastination

May 12, 2020 Motorbike, Norway, Touring, Travel

I’ve been trying to structure this post in my head for a few weeks, with only marginal success. I partially blame not being able to get out on the bike for this, as that’s when I usually do my best thinking. When I got the new bike at the start of the year, I made one of those plans. The ones that end up being carried out about 30% of the time. I was going to wait until the weather gotRead More

Are we there yet?

April 12, 2020 Motorbike, Touring

The five reasons you haven’t gone touring yet. I originally wrote this back in mid-February and planned to edit and publish it not long after that. However, with current world events as they are, I really tried to stop thinking about being on the bike so much. After a few weeks in the Covid-19 uncertainty bubble now, I’m coming around to the realisation that life must go on. Whatever that life ends up looking like. A recent post got meRead More

Working on Lists.

December 18, 2019 Norway, Touring, Travel

A camera pans around a small, messy room. Past a desk strewn with cameras, camera parts, empty coffee cups and notebooks full of hurriedly scribbled beer recipes, travel plans and other important things that need to be remembered. We see the figure of a disheveled man hunched over a computer, mumbling incomprehensibly. As the camera moves toward the subject, mumbling becomes swearing. The monitor of the computer now partially revealed, we see the sweaty, red-faced man pleading and bargaining withRead More

Another lap around France

February 26, 2019 Belgium, France, Landscape, Nex 5N, Touring

If it seems I’ve only just written a blog entry about our 2015 trip to France, it’s because I have. The same thing that kicked me into motion to write that entry has prompted me to write this one about our 2016 trip (to mostly the same places). The 2019 trip will again be to many of the same locations, because if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. July to see lavender in full bloom, then to retreat into theRead More

Around Dordogne

December 23, 2018 France, Touring

In (much the same) exactly the same way I started the first post recalling our 2015 trip to the Dordogne region, I start this one while thinking about booking 2019 holidays. In the spirit of eventually finishing what I began, here we go. So here we are in the Dordogne, in a sleepy but rather large town called Issigeac. A very French country town. Men sitting around outside bars smoking and having a laugh, people riding around on bikes withRead More

Part 8: The Beer Run

November 12, 2018 Belgium, France, Motorbike, Touring, UK

I had originally mapped this meandering waffly mess out as a 10 part saga. The kind of thing that’d keep on giving all the way to the end. As this is supposed to be a photoblog and not a repository of short stories, I’m going to squash all the final detail in this post. Parts 9 and 10 would just have been text anyway. I didn’t exactly take many photos once leaving mainland Europe. If you take any fantastical revelationRead More

Part 7: The scenic route back to France

September 2, 2018 France, Landscape, Touring

I woke the following morning to what must have been an answered prayer, it wasn’t as cold as it was supposed to be, and certainly not as cold as it’d been the previous few mornings. There was a stint of hasty packing completed, followed by one final eggy bacon buttery breakfast and enough coffee to temporarily incapacitate a horse. The original plan, which was to exit the Tyrol valley and Austria via the Silvretta pass, was very much still on.Read More

Part 6: Fire and Ice

This ‘fire & ice’ route was also hastily borrowed from my friends down the road at the bike rental outfit. Lots of low(ish) roads with scenic vistas and rides through valleys. That kind of thing. Except it’s never really that easy, is it? ‘Another cold start’ I thought, as I stepped back inside the hotel and began thawing out my frozen eyeballs with copious amounts of black coffee over breakfast. Colder than yesterday and as a special extra treat, it’s alsoRead More

Part 5: Leaning Towers and Mountain Goats.

April 9, 2018 Austria, Italy, Landscape, Touring, Travel

I awoke early to a temperature of minus four (centigrade, for my American friends) after a restless night of worrying about my battery and cursing myself for not replacing it before I left. The conclusion I came to last night still held, there was nothing I could do about it now so I’d just have to deal with the outcome. I pulled on suitable dining attire, not bike gear, and went downstairs for breakfast. Again I met the same veryRead More

Part 4: The road to Tyrol

March 1, 2018 Austria, Landscape, Touring

I woke up in Kempten and the first thing I did was to have a cautious peek out the window. Cautious because I didn’t want to see any rain and my room was directly overlooked by a dozen others. I didn’t want to give any unsuspecting guest more than their share of horror this early in the morning. Wait. Sunshine? What? I pulled on the minimum amount of clothes required to be presentable at breakfast and then proceeded to packRead More

Part 3: The Black Forest

I sat eating breakfast with the other guests, less than a dozen people at this time of year. Mostly (if not all) bikers. We watched the rain move over in worryingly heavy and increasingly persistent sheets and tried to plan our escape, all going in different directions. It seemed inevitable that at least one of us was going to have a very soggy day indeed. I packed up, paid up and said my goodbyes and got on the suspiciously dryRead More

Part 2: Across the water and into the forest

February 28, 2018 France, Germany, Motorbike, Touring, Travel

As I already said, it was a cold start for both me and the bike. The sun beating down on me made it bearable, and gave me some shred of hope for things to come later in the day. I worked my way through what seemed more affluent suburbs of Folkestone, beyond the shuffling hordes of school children, and back onto the motorway heading in the opposite direction. In only a few minutes, I was at the eurotunnel check-in, wavingRead More

Part 1: From Here to Mediocrity

February 6, 2018 Motorbike, Touring, Travel, UK

I had a grand plan. It was mostly successful. With the summer doing it’s usual death rattle in mid July, my window of opportunity to actually see something outside of Ireland was closing fast. As we had started looking at the possibility of buying a house in March or so, any possibility of going anywhere off in foreign parts was written off as luxuriously frivolous. But if we know anything about me, it’s that I’m a stubborn little shit. InRead More

Down to Dordogne

January 31, 2016 France, Touring

It’s funny how (some years) every year it seems to take the jolt of thinking about and getting to planning the current years holiday to actually go back and remember that I still haven’t processed nor uploaded any of the previous year. ‘Funny’ probably isn’t the word, I’m sure there’s a word, the meaning of which is a lot closer to ‘procrastination’. It won’t come as a surprise to learn that 2015 was yet another trip to France. A shorter route this timeRead More

En France; Week 3

August 4, 2015 France, Landscape, Motorbike, Touring

With the lavender fields, rolling hills of Provence and daily (hourly) thunderstorms now in the rear view mirror, we were off to spend a few days in the Alps. Nothing really new here, they’re just mountains and in previous trips we’ve pretty well covered this ground here. In the French Alps anyway, anything outside France is still very much unknown territory. We were heading back in the direction of Gorge du Verdon and we’d only be on the road forRead More

En France; Week 2

Leaving Carcassonne, today’s journey was about 350 km. In the name of it not taking all day (and because we had to be at our destination within an hour of a time I’d set with the property owner), today was going to be very much a motorway day. As luck would have it, this also included my favorite piece of French motorway; The ring around/avoiding Montpellier. I’ve sat baking in the heat waiting for the toll in the past soRead More

En France; Week 1

August 24, 2014 France, Landscape, Touring, Travel

All the convenience of getting to France, without the pain in the arse of the 3 hour motorway trip from Dublin. That could be a tag line for Cork tourism and a slogan for Brittany Ferries all in one. Now somewhat freshly married, it was finally time to set off for three whole weeks, touring around the cities & countryside of France on a shiny and almost new motorbike that I somehow managed to sneak into the deal. The firstRead More

Cornwall

August 5, 2013 Landscape, Touring, Travel, UK

After the huge trip to Italy and back (with a lot of detouring in between) last year, holidays this year were going to have to be a little more low key. Don’t get me wrong, I was still all for a week or two in France but wedding savings said no. So instead, we decided on something we’d wanted to do for a long time; go to Cornwall! After all, pasties and cask ale. It sold itself well in advanceRead More