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Re-Connecting…

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Since my return to South Africa, I have been itching to make contact with the many people who assisted me before I left to start my journey, and who in various ways assisted me during my travels.
Having spent a few weeks down on the coast with my parents, I was now able to start making contact with my sponsors…

FORKS…. By Allan Karl.

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Those of you who have been constant followers of my Gypsy Biker World Tour, and have also read the journal I wrote before that, entitled Taking Back My Heart, about my first major expedition ride to Tanzania and back, will recall with fondness, my good friend, the irrepressible Allan Karl from Encinitas, California…
I credit Allan to a large extent, for firing up…

Bent, Buckled, Bashed, Bruised and Bemused…!!

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Which pretty much sums up how both the Big Fella and I currently feel after our epic journey…
I spent the day after getting the Big Fella from the airport, carefully unpacking my panniers and other kit which I had carried around the world. I took my time doing so, as each item I handled brought back memories and a…

A Much Longer Wait Rewarded…

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The same day that the Big Fella was released to me, was my eldest daughter’s 22nd birthday. I had been at the airport all day and sent my best wishes to her later that same afternoon.
I received an email from her with a telephone number included… I had last seen Roxanne, and heard her voice on the 23rd of December…

The Long Wait to Freedom…

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After seventeen days of separation, the Big Fella finally touched down at O.R. Tambo International Airport (still Jan Smuts to me…) at 10 pm on Friday the 6th of September. He had made a quick side trip to Dubai aboard Emirates Airlines, having left New York on the 4th of September…
Although the air-cargo warehouse of Africa Freight Services is…

Place-marks on the Planet…

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I have begun what feels like a mammoth task of tidying up my website and completing the many posts I never got around to writing. I have no idea how long this will take me, but will persevere until it is done to my satisfaction…
To this end I have finally placed all the “balloons” on the Google Map I used to…

Back to the Future…

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It has been a while since last I posted an update, and with good reason !!
The last few weeks have been filled with both highs and lows; excitement and disappointment… At times I operated on high energy, and others, relatively “low voltage”…
I missed out on riding through Newfoundland and Labrador, but managed to ride the Cabot Trail and…

The Cabot Trail…

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The weather had improved, and after checking to see how long before the next cold front would come tearing down over Cape Breton, I saw that I had a very short window of opportunity available to me.

We took the short cut to the start of the Cabot Trail via the Englishtown Ferry
Although the Atlantic side of the island…

BIG Birthday, No Bash !!

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Since the day we started out on our epic ride, the Big Fella and I have marked our journey by the numbers…

The exact place where the Big Fella reached a huge milestone of his own. This is on the Nova Scotia / New Brunswick border.
We figured it would be easier to say things such as “103 countries”, or…

North Sydney and a Change of Heart…

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The few days I spent in North Sydney at the Heritage Home B&B were both pleasurable and frustrating.

Heritage Home, a stones throw from the shores of Sydney Harbour Sound..
Pleasurable, because I was made to feel at home by the owner Juana, who went out of her way to make my stay as comfortable and interesting as was possible.…

Bad weather and blind ferry captains…

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After a week spent on Prince Edward Island, I am back in Nova Scotia, with hopes of getting to Newfoundland. I arrived in Cape Breton last night, and today the weather has closed in, with heavy rain forecast over the next few days…
To make matters worse, one of the three ferries that service Newfoundland from North Sydney, is out…

Cape Breton…

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I left the farm we had been staying on and ride along the coast towards the Confederation Bridge.

South African Toll Roads take note !! In every other country in the world, tolls for motorcyclists are either half that of cars, or FREE !!
I rode through the villages of Rice Point, Canoe Cove and Argyle Shore, and then had…

Prince Edward Island…

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Prince Edward Island, or just P.E.I., as it is most often referred to, is Canada’s smallest province, both in area and population. It lies cradled between three other provinces; to the west by New Brunswick province, to the south by Nova Scotia; and to the east by Cape Breton Island, and is separated from all three, by the Northumberland Strait.

Ode to…

Into Nova Scotia – The Long Way Round !!

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It was colder in New Brunswick than it had been in Maine, and it began to dawn on me that I probably did not have enough cold weather gear with me. I had left the large silver duffel bag that contained my neck warmers and spare gloves back in New Jersey, believing that I wouldn’t be needing them. It was…

New Brunswick – Canada.

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The most direct route from Appleton in Maine, to Saint John in New Brunswick, would have taken us along Route 9, and a little over 4 hours of riding.

I started the day with a huge helping of Lasagna, which would hold off hunger all the way to Saint John in Canada…
I chose instead to follow the coastal route…

Camden, Maine…

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Camden became somewhat of a “Halfway House” for the many members of the Spahn and Mennen families who were on their way to Prince Edward Island to attend Tiernan and Rachel’s wedding.
Both of Patricia’s sisters, Donna and Mimi, hosted groups of friends and family that had driven up from New Jersey and New York, and even flown in from…

New Hampshire to Maine…

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I was up early, eager to start riding in what looked to be the perfect day for it. Clear blue skies greeted me as I strolled to the dining area to have my first of three cups of coffee… Before I went out to refuel the Big Fella, I lifted a cup in Jane’s direction and said,
“Domo arigato, Jane…

Connecticut to New Hampshire…

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With good weather forecast for the next few days, I left Niantic and began the long ride north to New Hampshire, which would take me through Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Vermont, before I reached North Conway before nightfall.

Rhode Island would be a “ride through” state only. We had a long day ahead of us and three more states to…

New England –

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I set out to ride the New England states with a few specific ideas in mind.

The six states that this region is comprised of would complete the “25 State Ride” I had planned a few months ago, before my arrival back in the USA, and within these states were places that I had always wanted to ride to. Some…

The Long Island Saga…

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Patricia has spent many a summer in the Hampton’s on Long Island, not only teaching Pilates, but also working at a much respected restaurant in Sag Harbor.
Naturally, she had made many friends there, some of which she had not seen since our wedding last year. Although riding on Long Island was not part of my original plan, I agreed…

Freehold Bike Night.

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About 80 motorcycles were present at the Freehold Bike Night, the vast majority being Harley’s of various hues and sizes.
With my “double-flag” flying, we rolled into the parking lot and were shown to our allotted parking spot.

Freehold Bike Night, sponsored by Budweiser. “Grab some Buds” the sign said…!!

So I followed their instructions to the letter…

More than…

Ithaca, New York State…

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After stripping the Big Fella of his panniers, we loaded our clothes into the top-box and the tank bag, and set out for Richard and Sally’s home on the Finger Lake in New York state.

I was beginning to think that all roads lead through Pennsylvania. Apart from New Jersey, I think I have spent more time in Pennsylvania than…

Test Run to Pennsylvania…

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Keith Weber, a close friend of Ken’s, with whom I had made a short ride to Pennsylvania before our wedding last year, again invited me to join him and his biker club, The Elks, on an out-ride.

Leaving Freehold as part of a large group of riders…

The home of crispy chicken, as Keith can attest to !!

We crossed…

New Jersey, and Caley’s Wedding…

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Freehold, New Jersey, was only a few hours down the drag from Port Carbon, so I did not have to get up at the crack of dawn to get there in time.
Which was a good thing, as I was still feeling a little brittle after the last few days of excitement that my body had been subjected to.
By…

Downtime in Pennsylvania…

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Doug and I spent the day driving around Pottsville, trying to find someone who was not only available, but prepared to knock my pannier back into some semblance of its former shape.
After stopping off at four different places we finally managed to locate Bill’s Body Shop, and we agreed on a price for the repair.

Looking a little beat…

It’s been a rough week…

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Firstly, to all my American friends and family all over the world, here’s wishing you a Happy 4th of July !! You be careful with all those fireworks, y’hear…
I am currently in my “Pennsylvania Refuge Centre” in Port Carbon, just a few hours ride east of Freehold, New Jersey, where I will be tomorrow, in time for Caley’s wedding.…

The Longest Ride…

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After what seemed like only a few minutes of sleep, I got up, took a cold shower, went to reception to have a cup of coffee, checked out, and was ready to roll.

After a misty start, we headed for Lexington and Slade beyond that.
I had not taken much off the bike the night before, because my laptop was…

Arkansas to Kentucky…

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After a longer than expected breakfast with Don and Lillie, I finally got going at about 9.00 am, chastising myself for not getting away earlier, but at the same time having thoroughly enjoyed the time we had spent chatting around the breakfast table.

After short ride through some beautiful countryside, we entered Little Rock through the back door, having…

The Idabel Incident…

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Little did I know that I would soon be doing a little “farming” of my own…

Oklahoma was the 12th State of my 25 State Ride. Almost halfway there…
I had arranged to spend the evening of the 30th of June with Doug’s parents in Arkansas, which was a shortish ride of only 450 km away from the Tex…

New Orleans to New Boston..

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Patricia left New Orleans early on Thursday morning, and had made the long drive back to Brunswick in Georgia, covering the 1000-odd kilometres in just over twelve hours.

The rain pelts down while I wait for the call that will let me know the bike was ready.
I was both surprised and proud of the fact that she had done…