I am the original 'Uneasy Rider' .. not especially blessed with much natural motorcycling talent, nor am I a particularly courageous motorcycle rider.
Nevertheless I went 'Right Way Round' New Zealand (at least twice) followed by a wonderful ride around Australia.

Then it was up to southeast Asia, around Indo-China, across southern Central Asia to the Middle East, Asia Minor .. and finally into Europe.

Right Way Round - all the way home .. from New Zealand to England, 2-up on a Honda Transalp.

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PROGRESS SO FAR - Distance covered across Western Europe: 6,411 km [3,984 miles] - as at Thursday, October-22nd, 2015

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

I Am The Walrus

Thursday, 28th May

From Athens, we rode to the archaeological site of Delphi in the valley of Phocis, another UNESCO World Heritage place.

According to mythology, Zeus released two eagles at opposite ends of the world and they met here, thus making Delphi the centre of the universe. Perfectly logical .. and makes a lot of sense [yeah right!]

Almost from outset it was soon obvious we were in for a proper soaking.

We pulled into the first convenient lay-by .. and with a huff, and a puff, we crawled into our wet weather gear. Then the heavens opened. The down pour lasted for the next 2½ hours; easing-up just as we reached the outskirts of Delphi township.

On foot, our wet gear drying-out back at the hotel, we walked to the Temple of Delphic Apollo, with the rain still just holding off ..

.. which I have to say, as a spectacle, we found a little disappointing.

Then it started to pour down .. again, and we ran for shelter into the nearby museum. Entrance fee: €6 each, where we really tried hard to look with interest at B.C. bronzes, bits of Greek chariots .. and statues of blokes with no arms, noses or willy-winkies.

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One of the most striking pieces - and I say this as a full-blooded heterosexual - was the cult statue of Antinoos, a youth of extraordinary beauty from Bithynia, beloved companion of the Emperor Hadrian. Antinoos barely reached adulthood when he was drowned in the Nile.

One of the most well preserved statues of the youth was erected and later discovered in Delphi.

Bit of a poof if you ask me .. who should have been told about the benefits of Clearasil Ultra skin care cream.

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We got kicked-out of the Museum's nearby coffee shop just as the rain abated .. and made the 10-minute dash back to our lodgings, more-or-less with dry['ish] clothes and only slightly damp footwear.

That evening, we patronised one of the local proper-authentic tavernas.

Where Manos, Thanos, Stelios and Dimitri were playing card games, with outbursts of gasping, quizzical disbelief when one or another won an unlikely hand. Good to watch and hear.

And Sherba, the pregnant mongrel begging for scraps on the taverna entrance threshold right by our table. She became our friend and even followed us all the way back to our hotel. Still hopeful of a morsel or two.


Meet Sherba (above), the shaggy shagger from Phocis .. who now probably thinks the English are mean and void of all benevolence to a mutt up the duff.

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Friday-29th

Headed 340 km [211 mi] north-west from Delphi to the port town of Igoumenitsa, where the aim was to catch the 4:30pm roll-on, roll-off ferry to the Island of Corfu.

Along the Ionian coast road ..

 [Panorama - click to enlarge]

.. sweeping around the near endless bends and curves .. and all of a sudden, for some strange reason, my mind was filled with the music of an unlikely kaftan-wearing Greek sex symbol; the 1970s solo-performer fat bastard, Demis Roussos - although he was actually Egyptian.

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So I'm back into the 1970s .. again.

How could I ever forget that decade? - when I grew from a boy into a man (16 to 26 years of age) - and started to consider the T-shirt no longer as simply underwear.

When every bloke sported a moustache (with a slight downward turn, mind you) .. and I was one of them. From bum-fluff to follicular walrus bristling magnificence .. in 120 months.

Thoughts of brown shag-pile carpets, mustard fleck fabric wallpaper, and avocado-coloured bathroom suites. Chicken and mushroom vol-au-vents. Boil-in-the-bag prawn curry. The Austin Allegro, the Morris Marina - the metallic blue-mink Ford Capri (with a black vinyl roof), I had one once .. complete with an 8-track cartridge stereo player.

Disco dancing in flares to the Brotherhood of Man. Fawlty Towers and The Old Grey Whistle Test on a Friday night. Saturday TV and The Generation Game, followed by Starsky & Hutch, or Kojak the lollipop-sucking Greek-American, Telly Savalas. "Who loves ya baby?" Well I never loved you mate, because you were another unlikely sex symbol .. and yet another fat ugly bastard!

Farrah Fawcett, all hair and teeth, was the best-selling pin-up poster girl of the time. She was once married to another 1970s star, Lee Majors - The Six Million Dollar Man - who for some reason, couldn't keep his left eyebrow down.

The 1970s - a time when you could still buy a tube of Old English Spangles .. and half of Britain's population smoked either Embassy Filter, or Player's No.6 ciggies.

It was a different era back then.

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Demis Roussos - Abigail's Party by StaceyTad1

Back to the future. It's late May 2015 and I'm sweeping around the northwest coastline of Greece .. on a New Zealand-registered motorcycle, and Demis Roussos is singing in his unique whiny voice 'Forever and Ever' in looped re-play mode. 

Consider again that vocal sound of Demis Roussos, as I did last Friday afternoon, which brought back vivid memories of a young middle-class ex-department store cosmetics demonstrator, Beverley Moss. The not fully committed wife of Laurence Moss, an estate agent with 'Wibley Webb', who thought leather-bound Shakespeare "can't be read". Sadly, Laurence suffered a fatal heart attack after being hen-pecked just once too often by Beverley. THANK YOU LAURENCE!!!

Beverley, brilliantly played by the British actress, Alison Steadman, in the unforgettable 1970s stage and TV masterpiece Abigail's Party. Watch the whole play if you ever get the chance. Classic, bloody classic 1970s gold.

Now you have the complete picture of my Friday afternoon, 29th May 2015.

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We easily made it in time for the 4.30pm ferry that Friday afternoon, with around 45 minutes to spare.

Saturday-30th & Sun-31st

Saturday-30th, after a first night in the township of Corfu ('Kérkyra' in local speak), we rode the longer, more scenic twisty east coast road to Roda in the north of the island.


Passing through and by little towns and coastal villages and the odd fish farm, always with the Greek mainland - and Albania - on our right-hand horizon.

Outside our very adequate, exceptionally good value-for-money lodgings - Angelina Apartments - the garden was full of flowers in bloom.

Still pre-season, but perfect weather conditions (24° - 27°C) in Roda during late May ..

the beach was nearly deserted.

AND we didn't even miss the FA Cup Final match!

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Monday, 1st June

Away from Angelina Apartments, Roda, by 09:00am ...



.. to catch the 10:30am ferry back to the mainland.

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And the final bit of theatre .. an unwelcome Greek tragedy, just 10 km from the Albanian border.

I picked-up my third flat tyre of this wonderful trip so far (the first two occurring in Nepal and Iran respectively.) 

By now we knew the drill.

.. with the front tyre and wheel refitted and re-pressured to 30 psi - tools everywhere, of course - we were on our way again an hour later, only slightly daunted, where upon reaching and quickly passing through the border, we re-gained that lost hour by crossing another time zone into Albania. Just an hour ahead of London from now on (Romania excepted, if and when we get there.)

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During the next week we will cross into Montengro and meander through Croatia, eventually reaching the capital city of Zagreb by next Wednesday, June-10th.

All is good in the Balkans.

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1 comment:

  1. Keep the Stories Coming Keith. Not far to go now.

    ReplyDelete