Instead of lesson planning, writing and studying, I packed croissants and coffee in my panniers and rode northwest towards Lleida and the region of Segrià where the fruit trees are blooming in different colours and the scent filled the air and cleared my head. Absolutely amazing!
I love to explore new roads and I did feel I had not actually seen much of the area of the WIMA rally, very much due to the weather and the busy schedule. Therefore, I was absolutely thrilled to be able to take Ron up on his invitation of a guided ride in the Peak District. Ron is a friend I met through Horizons Unlimited and I’ve had this standing invitation from when we first met at the HU in Baskerville Hall back in 2016.
As Ron lives near the Peak District and frequently leads rides there for a couple of motorcycle groups, I knew I was in for a treat. It was like it was my birthday, he’d planned everything from beginning to end, with lunchstop and photo opportunities. And yes, he had brought his dslr to be able to take these photos for me. As we headed out, he casually said we’d do a little ford crossing in a bit, don’t worry, just do what I do. I’ve never crossed a ford before so it was an exciting start to the day. We rode all kinds of roads from large popular “turn the throttle” types to teeny weeny little roads with more grass and gravel than actual tarmac. At one point we did some proper exploring trying out a new road that Ron might implement in his standard route. This day was one of the absolute highlights of my stay in England.
My mum loved the unique nature and birdlife in Gotland and this
was planned as a family excursion for her, Christopher and myself.
Christopher has a keen interest in medieval history and
Gotland has plenty of historical sites. In addition, I have an aunt with vast
local historical knowledge living in Visby, so this would make for the perfect
family excursion. At least that was the plan prior to mum’s cancer diagnosis. For
a long time we hoped our planned trip could go ahead, but when time draw closer,
we realised that she wouldn’t be able to come with us. She was still keen for
us – and especially for Christopher who had never been there – to go and
explore the island and have a good time.
Gotland can be very touristy during the high season, but we were given excellent recommendations by my aunt Siv. On her suggestion, we rode stretch of road in the south captured in the video below, arriving along the coast at Hoburgsgubben, a rock formation which, with some imagination, can be interpreted as a man, or perhaps a troll. We decided to video the journey, so we could show mum upon our return, and here it is now for everyone to enjoy:
In addition to this video, we took lots of photographs for mum, thinking that we at least could share our experience with her. Fortunately, we had time to show them to her before she passed away. As they were intended for mum, the main focus is nature, flowers and birds.