Yes ok, I should have written this up sooner, but we were at the ACE Cafe Motorcycle Travellers Meet, promise! It was an awesome day 🙂 Lots of people to have a chat with and to gather tips from. And had a yummie, greasy late breakfast too – I love just riding to the ACE late morning with an empty tummy and then munching away on their awesome roadside cafe food!
Managed to have a quick hello with Sam Manicom (it’s always a quick one with him….. he’s just too famous ;)) And had a good chat with Graham Field too. He’s off to the Stans right now and so we thought we’d grill him on everything he knows: Visa restrictions, open/closed borders, required guides. And Aidan n him chatted away about some rock bands too (I love to rock, but I’m awful at remembering bands or band members’ names, so I always just sound like a wannabe overenthusiastic teenager when talking about music).
I first briefly met Graham at the Ripley HU Meeting in 2012 where he gave a rather inspiring presentation about how do prepare for a long motorcycle trip without spending too much money…. inventive home-made solutions for preparing the bike instead of buying the entire Touratech catalogue, maps in the country’s own language instead of GPS, that kind of thing. Really made us feel like we CAN do this trip even without having a house to sell or something like that :). Bought his book “In Search of Greener Grass” at the HU Meeting after said presentation of course….. awesome read! Great humour and the inspiration continues :). (Now I really sound like an overenthusiastic teenage fan…. Oh dear!)
But I’m not the only fan. Another biker, who was reading the book stole Graham off us (Graham is obviously too famous too ;)) to question him about the book. So Paddy Tyson from Overland Magazine grabbed the opportunity for a quick chat and invited us to write for the mag. I’ve never done any articles before but always really wanted to so I promised I would send him something, latest when we go to Portugal at the end of this summer. If its good enough and ends up being published, I’ll let all of you know ;).
And finally bumped into Liz Fox 🙂 Had met her and Matt at the HU Meeting in Ripley too. Had tried to contact them at the time but that failed so didn’t hear from them till recently on the HUBB. They were supposed to set off from the ACE that day but Liz got injured so they now have to postpone till September 😦 Shame! Was real nice to finally meet Liz again (matt had to work). Chatted about bike modifications, LED lights, finding a temp job till they are finally off (they had just quit their last one), hair colours and lots of other useful or not stuff over a Becks blue (alcohol free – we were riding after all ;)) which doesn’t taste too bad at all.
And then we won some stuff in the raffle too! If you spent over £5 on food, you were given a raffle ticket. The prizes were pro-mo things such as T-Shirts, hats, bags, stickers and books. I picked the bag that contained Kevin Turner’s“Bonjour! Is this Italy?”. Am yet to read it but hoping it’s as fun as the many pictures inside are promising!
Eventually we had to go, as were meeting a friend from Italy in the evening and since drinks were going to be involved, we had to bring the bikes home first…