Note that this time round, distances will be in kms, as my bike is Japanese import and data is only in metric.
Our first day was to be short and sweet, just a small ride to Norfolk to visit some friends before catching the ferry.
As expected, we woke up on Sunday to very heavy rain. I could have bet a year in ahead that our departure day would see a wall of rain, it always does!
We had to delay our departure by a couple of hours and finally left by 1pm. The respite did not last long as we got caught on and off from light drizzle to heavy rain.
It was the first time we were riding our bikes fully loaded and we were happy with our minimalist approach!
Monday 13th June - Harwich/ ferry
We spent the day with our friends, reminiscing on our year trip round South America, where we kept meeting them on their three years motorcycle tour around the world.
We had a nice walk around Norwich, which is a very nice town with beautiful modern buildings (like the library, with its vaulted roof and immense glass panels!) and many very old historic buildings too. Downpour followed another downpour.
We left it as late as possible, but in the end we had to brave the weather. The ferry was due to leave at 11pm. With instructions for a short cut, we finally set off.... And promptly missed a turning at some point.
The GPS took us through a shortcut of its own, through single track country lanes, covered in mud and gravel, and under very heavy rain, that made difficult to see much through my visor! Somehow, we managed to get to the ferry terminal soon after 8pm, and after buying some food for the trip, we got through the passport controls.
A bit of a wait ensued, without any place to take refuge from the wind and rain. We finally got to our cabine, drenched, once again, and cold. A hot shower was great to warm up a bit.
The ferry trip to the Hook of Holland was uneventful.
Tuesday 14th June - Visbek, Germany.
Despite leaving Harwich late, the ferry arrived at destination on time (8am local time). We soon rode off into...well... You guess it, more torrential rain. We made our way along the Motorways and stopped at a McDonald for some sort of breakfast. And also to use the free internet there. That allowed us to do some routing and to program the GPS.
We then went back into the storm until crossing the border with Germany. From Germany we left the terrifying Autobahn ( with no speed limits, having a BMW appearing from nowhere at the speed of light, and staying one inch from my back wheel while I am trying to overtake a truck, is terrifying!) and we took the back roads.
By mid afternoon, after a quick stop for coffee, we went back into the national roads and finally got to Wildeshausen. The couple of hotels we checked were full! So we rode further away and found a small town and a place to stay.
On the plus side, our waterproof gear is very good and nothing leaks yet!
Depending on the weather, we will see if we can make it into Poland tomorrow. We are in no rush as we plan to be in St Petersburg for the Scarlet Sails festival, on the 25th, so we can take our time!