Looking across to the snow capped alpine mountains seen from the back seat of a motorcycle

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Then End Of A Good Beginning

Ride Date 23 May 2021

By Ren Withnell

With clear skies last night it was considerably colder in the tent. Not biting and icy cold but nippy, I never quite felt cosy all night. I have slept yet as ever not that long deep sleep to be found in the comfort of a real bed. 

As is my way I'm up'n'at'em before everyone else. One day, after eons of camping, after years travelling the globe, after sleeping under trucks and hedges then maybe, just maybe, I could manage to be at ease with a tent. Ho well, I am what I am there's no point fighting it.

It's raining lightly, on and off. The rest of the campers start to stir so I take down the tent and pack everything away. I suddenly get a strange and peculiar feeling, deja-vu mixed with a tinge of guilt. 

The deja-vu is a selection of mostly happy memories. I'm whipped back to Machrihanish on the Kintyre Peninsula, France - emotionally I'm in Millau, Urk in The Netherlands and somewhere in Wales I cannot place. Yes, packing the tent is a familiar feeling. It's a pain in the ass but the nuisance is the price paid for many good memories.

2018 CB500X covered in camping luggage
It's not a trivial task getting this lot on the bike.

The guilt is easily recognised as Covid guilt. This comes from recent memories of endless hours at home watching YouTube rather than being out camping and travelling. News reports, half-assed messages on broken roadside matrix signs, masks and not touching anything if you can help it.

Anyhow, onto more important things - breakfast. Along with the compulsory many cups of tea we are fed with bacon and/or sausage and/or egg butties this morning. Suitably refreshed everyone else decamps while I mill around making myself useless. 

Bernard's bike has eaten it's starter motor. You'd think 4 or 5 fully grown men would have no issue bump-starting a BMW R100RT but no. Why make things easy for yourself? First off try bumping on gravel? No. Then try bumping on the flat? No. Try again? No. Eventually agree to push the behemoth up the gentle slope and get all breathless? The downhill advantage does the trick. Don't chuffin' stall that thing Bernard!

BMW R100RT at the tea rooms
Yeah, owd BMWs should be easy to bump start.

The rain moves from light to very light and occasionally occasional as we head out. The pace is agreeable and I have time to look around. For the most part I don't like rain but it's results are pleasing. Green abounds all around. The weather has been both sun and rain leading to an opulent abundance of green, be it stinging nettles or tall grasses or neat crops or ample bush foliage. 

The ride home is uneventful in the best way. By the time I'm nearing home my ass is ready for a break and I'm OK with being home once more. 

As soon as I'm in the house though I start to yearn for more. I want to go to Scotland and see those majestic mountains. I want to feel that tentative, nervous, almost worrisome sense of fear and anticipation on a ferry to somewhere, anywhere. I want to sell the house and just go and never come back. Shut up Ren, you wouldn't do that, you're not brave enough.

Looking out over a grey sea from a ferry
What lies ahead on our next trip across the water?

As I write Covid numbers are on the up once more. We have the Delta and now the Delta Plus variants. Hospital numbers are up too but we're awaiting a verdict on whether or not these vaccines are working as well as we all hope. Presently people from Bolton are barred from going to Scotland. One day Ren. One day maybe we'll look back on this and be able to say "...remember when..."

I hope this is the first of more trips to come. Hope.

See your advert here - ren@bikesandtravels.com

Wet 'n Wild And Oddly Familiar A much antici......pated weekend away sees everything in order for Ren except for one small matter. The weather.
A Pleasant Day Out In a turnip for the broth Ren somehow finds himself having a nice day in good weather. Something's not right, am I on the wrong blog here?
Then End Of A Good Beginning It's time to go home and Ren is reflecting on the weekend. Will there be another anytime soon? Well, that depends on the news more than the willingness of the participants.

Reader's Comments

Bogger said :-
Ren, how on earth do you get cold and uncomfortable with all that gear you take with you. My mate Fatboy on his Cub takes far less stuff.

On the last, blobbys trip, he took two beds with him, a sleeping bag and a blanket. Plus all the cooking gear.
Ah well, nice write up.
This scamdemic is getting on my t*** as well.

Ooh that last sentence was controversial!!!!

25/06/2021 19:40:44 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
"Fatboy"... maybe that's the reason he's warm and I'm not. Me with my racing snake figure. Luckily middle aged spread is catching up on me and perhaps I'll be warmer at night. Then again old folk's blood is thinner so I'll just be cold.

It's me Bogger I know it is. I'm definitely not a natural camper. However I shall soldier on, bravely and heroically.
26/06/2021 09:47:06 UTC
Bigngreen said :-
Travel ban from Bolton lifted, 25 degrees, I'm on holiday. Want me to show you round Ayrshire Ren?
29/06/2021 13:29:41 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Yes! I have seen that we Boltonian scumbags have been given permission to visit the wonderful Land Of Scots. Yippee!

I'd love to come up Bigngreen. Presently I've got some work on but if you can give me some notice I'd be tempted to take you up on your offer. I've explored Ayrshire a little but I'm certain there's a lot lot more to see.
29/06/2021 16:46:58 UTC

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