I’m off to Spain, finally, sailing to Bilbao on Wednesday. It’s been a long autumn. I’ve been without a home since June, living out of my panniers, travelling all over Europe during summer and then studying and trying to maintain a daily schedule since September. Now I’m off to Spain, not Japan as we had prepared for; a sad event more commonly known as the UK referendum has changed the way we see our future possibilities, safer to return now while Christopher still is part of the European free movement.
Summer’s been long and filled with exciting travels, I’ve ridden my bike more than ever and from one corner of Europe to another. Firstly, we rode together in Wales, Christopher’s first adventure on his own motorbike. Although I feared that he would remain pillion forever he quite happily took up riding and enjoyed the small mountains roads in Wales immensely. He soon became a specialist on hill starts and single track country lanes. We had some terrible weather at times and he surely experienced what it is like to be completely soaked – while touring you make the best of what you get, the greatest difference between travelling and making daytrips I believe.
After a few but thoroughly enjoyable weeks in Wales it was time for me to head towards Hungary and the WIMA rally. I picked up pace a bit, instead of riding tiny mountains roads and having continuous coffee breaks and photo opportunities I had to cover distance every day. The fact that I had some problems with the bike didn’t help, because of the struggle I swore that this would be my last solo trip, but yeah, I know – it isn’t very likely. After an action-packed WIMA rally I aimed for Sweden, with a slight detour to see a good friend in Slovakia. Now I could take it easy, enjoy the mountain roads and chill again. I spent a few weeks in Sweden before returning to the UK. We were to spend a few weeks up in Scotland because people continuously tell me that if I like Wales I will love Scotland. I actually love Wales. So, the expectations were high but as often is the case, I was disappointed – only by the sheer fact that Scotland is so huge, and with the little CG 125 in tow we just never covered any distance and we didn’t get to see the islands or very much at all. Having said that we had some fantastic days riding, up through the north of England and we did ride some very scenic roads at times. We also had some very foul weather with rain and gales which strongly challenged Christopher on his featherlight bike. A couple of nights we struggled to pin the tent down and had to use the panniers to weigh it down. Admittedly, I loved it – but Christopher less so. The riding was just a bit too hard for him and I suspect that he will never be anything else than a fair-weather camper. Although he did put up with muddy fields, cold showers, midges and mosquitos without complaining I did realise that it wasn’t something he enjoyed and it will probably be filed away as “things you do for love”.
The summer ended too soon and it got cold. In September, we were happy to be able to house sit for WIMA friends, little did Pat and Sheonagh expect that we would end up staying for the rest of the year… Well, partly I blame the unavailability of test dates for motorcycles. Christopher managed to bag it all just before Christmas, I was admittedly proud of him doing his riding training on some rather frosty days in December. Hopefully, and quite possibly, the weather in Spain will treat us better.
We’ve had a great couple of years in England, and despite being disappointed of the current state of politics and the way it affects our freedom of movement I’m looking forward to returning to Spain and starting all over again, new city, new job, new house, well – pretty much new everything. We are all responsible for our own lives and for making our own happiness. Fuck Brexit – I’m European!
6 thoughts on “Emigrating, again”
How nice to read all your experiences of the last 8 months in one post.
Wish you a good ferry trip to Bilbao and keep us updated about your new live in Spain.
Yes Fokje – very much a summery and a closure of a chapter in my life. Hopefully I’ll have time to write more in depth about Wales and Scotland, we had a lovely time over there and rode some amazing roads.
It’s been great to have you with us down here in Dorset – lots of laughs and lots of great conversations and so happy that Christopher is now a fully-fledged biker! We look forward to reading about the upcoming Spanish adventures – and be warned we’ll be over to visit you before long! Cheers Sho and Pat xxx
Thank you! Where would we have been without your support! Hope to see you over here soon!
Lovely to meet you in Southwick. So free spirited to live out of your panniers for so long, a wonderful example. I hope everything goes well in Spain and see you on the road!
Thank you Jessie, and what a lovely christmas we had! I’ve just arrived in Barcelona – now I need to start taming my spirit 🙂