MrKiwi's rambunctious ramblings

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Re: MrKiwi's rambunctious ramblings

Postby MrKiwi » Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:41 pm

More pictures

This castle has thick walls
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A rune stone just outside the castle
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The night's accommodation was a bed and breakfast affair - European style.

Enjoying the end of day quiet
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the digs for the night. We stayed in the cabins to the right, the owner lives in the pink house top left.
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Re: MrKiwi's rambunctious ramblings

Postby MrKiwi » Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:53 pm

1 June - Destination Gotland Island, well Faro to be precise.

The day dawned fine, I was beginning to wonder if Sweden ever saw the sun. At the B&B we stayed at there was an old oak tree which I estimate to be around 300 years old, I bet it could tell a few stories if it could talk.

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We enjoyed a lovely breakfast at the owner's house.
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Then it was off to catch the ferry to Gotland Island
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Arriving in Visby, Gotland Island
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The route took us north to the top end of Gotland Island where we caught s much smaller and free ferry to Faro. This would be our location for four days as we attend the 19th annual VIM meeting (honda adventure motorcycles).

Ferry crossing
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Then our accommodation for four days. This little cabin was well kitted out with three bedrooms, bathroom and kitchen/lounge. Making ourselves at home (gosh look at the sexy red bike, but buggered if I know who photo bombed the pic :lol8 )

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Last edited by MrKiwi on Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: MrKiwi's rambunctious ramblings

Postby MrKiwi » Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:54 pm

Next up - riding Gotland and Faro.
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Re: MrKiwi's rambunctious ramblings

Postby MrKiwi » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:09 pm

We arrived a day earlier than most so it was a chance to get out and about. Gotland and Faro Islands are in the Baltic Sea off the coast of Sweden. During WW2 this was a strategic military asset for the Swedes. The islands are relatively flat and even though it was early summer still quite cold.

Our accommodation was at the Sudersand Resort, a holiday facility. We were there before the season rush, apparently half of Sweden come here for their holidays!

See this link - https://www.google.fr/maps/place/Suders ... 5297?hl=fr
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Re: MrKiwi's rambunctious ramblings

Postby MrKiwi » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:13 pm

2 June
Rest day. Washing clothes and other duties. In the afternoon explored some of the gravel roads on Faro.
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There are a number of interesting rock formations around the coast.

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There are quite a number of churches mostly of a similar style
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I'm guessing it is also a windy place
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Re: MrKiwi's rambunctious ramblings

Postby MrKiwi » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:24 pm

I was intrigued by the design and practicality of using natural resources to build fences and buidlings.

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Re: MrKiwi's rambunctious ramblings

Postby MrKiwi » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:29 pm

The following day was a ride with some of my friends and others who I had corresponded with through the VIM website/forum but met for the first time. This day was spent finding all the gravel and off riding we could do.

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My Finnish friend who I had met the year before and also know through work channels
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Yours truly
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Red looking right at home.
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Re: MrKiwi's rambunctious ramblings

Postby MrKiwi » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:36 pm

Some pictures of the people, accommodation and fun times I had with this group of around 40 people. This was the second year I had made VIM, one more than I thought I would. It's a long way from home to Europe.

Happy times
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My messy room (I'm on holiday!)
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Doesn't pay to be tall in this building, my mate Two Plugs who was looking after Red for me at the time (Red stayed in his garage when I was not riding her)
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YOu can see how tall Two Plugs is compared to those standing next to him
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Departing the island to head back to Sweden. No idea who that twat is with his arms raised...
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Re: MrKiwi's rambunctious ramblings

Postby MrKiwi » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:42 pm

I can't leave Gotland Island unfinished without showing you a few pics of some of their military history.

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There are also quite a few old buildings on the Island.
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Queuing up to catch the ferry to Stockholm
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Re: MrKiwi's rambunctious ramblings

Postby MrKiwi » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:45 pm

more tomorrow...
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Re: MrKiwi's rambunctious ramblings

Postby MrKiwi » Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:29 pm

Some gravel riding, video taken by one of the other riders

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=uYFv_sog9fU
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Re: MrKiwi's rambunctious ramblings

Postby MrKiwi » Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:41 pm

We got to a campground in Stockholm at 8:00pm and by 9:00pm were enjoying the sun still in the sky. By 11:00pm this was as dark as it was going to get.

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There were a few pesky blood sucking insects around, steps to prevent them sucking me dry were necessary :patch :fp
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We really shouldn't take photos while under the influence :ImaPoser
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Re: MrKiwi's rambunctious ramblings

Postby MrKiwi » Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:49 pm

The next day was a rest day, although this is a strange term as restful if was not. We did lots of walking. We spent the day in the centre of Stockholm. Some pics from that day follow:

Woman dressed in their national attire (for their region in Stockholm)
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The city
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photo bombing :patch
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The city again
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It was hot, so while the others were drinking coffee I ordered a Long Island Tea. Mmmmmm
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Can't remember what this meal was called but it was yummy
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I met Alfred Nobel
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Re: MrKiwi's rambunctious ramblings

Postby MrKiwi » Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:04 pm

That night it was very windy. When we woke up we were met with evidence of just how windy it was. The camper fan was new

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Our target for today was to spend more time in the city centre then catch the night ferry from Stockholm to Turku, Finland.

This day marked the longest time I've ever been on a motorcycle trip for. Two weeks. Sadly that has been the case until now.

And as if to throw a spanner in the works, my body decided the night before it has had enough of typical European breakfasts and lunches - lots of bread. My slight glutin intolerance reached levels unbefore experienced by me, so I ended up doing what I should have done from the start. A simple diet of yoghurt, fruit, boiled eggs and water till the system settles down.

The other thing I noticed is a different time clock between me and my travelling companions. They start late, in my books very late in the day. Most of the morning disappears into slumber while I'm rearing to go. At the other end of the day they stay up much later than I would while doing an extended bike tour.

And I the thing I was missing the most was a decent coffee. A flat white to be precise. We kiwis are coffee snobs and filter coffee doesn't cut the mustard, let alone instant coffee. It's going to be another 4 long weeks without my favourite tipple. Looking on the bright side though, I might have broken my coffee addiction by then.

But first I needed to replace my helmet, the 9old one had taken a fall and was now leaking like a sieve. Buying anything in Sweden is not cheap, their are a lot of taxes. I ended up with what I understand is an American brand, Iconic. Then went to an electronics store and bought a GoPro on sale. The guys I were traveling with didn't stop often enough for me to take pictures. More about that later.

Helmet and GoPro fitted
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I did not have a lot of choice for helmets in the HD shop we ended up in and I was initially a little disappointed at the lack of choice. However if there had been more choice I might not have bought this helmet which, as it turns out, has become one of my all time favourites.

The day developed into rain. Two Plugs, his girlfriend and Mense's wife all decided to go the museum. Mense and I had had enough so we went and spent the afternoon at a cafe. Irony is a bitch, the other got a parking ticket for their motorbikes for their troubles. Mense and I felt smug!

At the end of the day we lined up to board the ferry for the night sailing across the Baltic
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The ferry arriving
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My cabin for the night - cosy but very comfortable. I paid the extra to get a room by myself.
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On our way
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Re: MrKiwi's rambunctious ramblings

Postby MrKiwi » Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:13 pm

Video of riding onto the ferry. My first use of the Go Pro I think, so I still had a bit to learn about how to use it :fp

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Re: MrKiwi's rambunctious ramblings

Postby MrKiwi » Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:49 pm

I took several videos (or what I am calling video's :fp - I still have much to learn) while on the ferry. Three are below.

The first is a note to MrsKiwi about a birthday present she didn't know she had just bought me :lol8 . The second two are leaving the coast of Sweden and the approaching Turku


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Re: MrKiwi's rambunctious ramblings

Postby MrKiwi » Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:20 pm

Thursday 8 July.

The original plan was to ride towards Hameenlinna and see where to from there. But it rained. Enough for Naoh to float the ark! About half way to Hameenlinna from Turku we decided to beat the fastest track to Helsinki. And that we did. No photos today, the camera was buried in a pocket under several layers of clothes and jackets.

Of course the joke about Finland's summer is if it is raining there is no snow so it must be summer!

My four Dutch friends Planned to go into the city centre tomorrow to look at the old part of the town. My preference was to do a day return ride somewhere.
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Re: MrKiwi's rambunctious ramblings

Postby MrKiwi » Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:30 pm

Tuesday 9 June
Today was fun.

I'm sure the others had fun on the city, but I had fun seeing what Finland had to offer between Helsinki and Lahti, plus surrounds. I have the latest TomTom 450 GPS. Never had a TomTom before but I am pleased with this one. It has an option where you can choose a point on the map and ask the GPS to create a fun round trip (you can add several points along the way too). So I had no idea where I was most of the time, I just followed the GPS. It was a hoot as I ended up on good roads (but no motorways I turned that option off), wild country roads, gravel roads and forestry access roads.

One of my favourite pics from Finland
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Lots of churches
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I finally reached some lakes, Finland is quite flat, but when you do get a view it is nice
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The GPS took me to a remote bit of forest track.
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Short video clip of me dodging branches along a section of forest road

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Re: MrKiwi's rambunctious ramblings

Postby MrKiwi » Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:54 pm

That night my four dutch friends came home late and stayed up partying until 3:00am. We had agreed to leave by 9:00am for a short ride, plus detour to stop short of the Russian border for an early crossing the next day. By 10:00am they were still not ready.

So not only had they kept me and others in the accommodation awake until 3:00am with their loud partying, all in Dutch so I couldn't understand a word, they on the spot decided to yet again change the careful plans we have spent 8 months making prior to the trip. I was annoyed. So I told one of them I would ride that day by myself ahead of them, taking my time to stop when I wanted to take photos and do those little spontaneous detours you might be inclined to do. That freed them up to leave when they wanted.

Getting ahead of myself now, but they were not amused when we caught up that night. So we had a 'coming to Jesus meeting'. I was even less happy than they were. Things got better after that. It took 3 weeks of touring for the dynamics to finally be sorted but all was good in the end. One thing with the Dutch, they speak their mind and you call speak yours back at them without becoming enemies.
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Re: MrKiwi's rambunctious ramblings

Postby MrKiwi » Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:04 pm

So I headed off. Having got used to navigating with my new GPS, and liking the roads in Finland, I decided to take the day riding by myself. In AdvRider I just noted that I wanted to ride slowly, stop often and absorb the atmosphere that is Finland without holding up the other guys. So I left early and meandered through the day.

The route took me from Helsinki to Artjarvi, Ruotsinkala, to just outside Kotka.

Pics from the day, more churches
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Signs that told me where I was but I had no idea where I was :patch
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Old buildings, I took a few photos of these on this day
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A nice little side ride
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