England…A Dream Comes to an End….
Our first night in Yeovil our former home town was spent catching up with Clive’s best mate Steve, one of the kindest, funniest, who always makes us laugh, good hearted person you could ever meet, we have one of those friendships that you can slot straight back into years later as if you hadn’t been away.
We’re using Yeovil as our base as its where Clive was born and grew up and where i lived since i was a small child, we both have family and friends here, more than anywhere else in the UK, so it seemed sense.
As our clothes had been only suitable for travelling, we were both in need of some ‘normal’ footwear and clothes now we were off the bike, so the next day was spent, spending money on some clothes so we didn’t look like scruffy bikers, a tip for all the ladies never take men when trying to buy clothes or shoes, it doesn’t work, although Clive managed to get a full wardrobe from one shop lol…
The next few days we spent catching up with family and friends, it was like we had never been away, not much changes in these small towns…
We had a wonderful few days catching up and reconnecting with family and friends, but we were on a time limit we had to get down to Cornwall to visit friends before they flew back to S.E Asia..
So first we needed to hire a car, not only because the weather was wet and miserable, but also because we couldn’t insure the bike in the UK, plus it badly needed a new chain and a front tyre.
So with our little rental car loaded up we head further down the west country to beautiful Newquay in Cornwall for a few days to stay with Keith (the proudest Cornish man we have ever met) and Ellen whom we had planned to meet somewhere in Thailand, by pure coincidence we met up with them in a small town we were spending the night in, on the Mae Son Loop, we had been following their blog of their travels long before we left for our trip and they too are riding their motorbike back to the UK, their trip started in New Zealand.
Many glasses of wine, beer, tea and much laughter later, it was time to leave these wonderful people as we were heading to Ivy bridge, Devon and they were picking up their bike in Cambodia and continuing their journey (which they do in 3 monthly stints)….
Next stop Ivy Bridge to stay with another wonderful couple of ‘Janners!’ Louise and Stuart, i knew them from when they lived in Brisbane, but have moved back to their home county of Devon.
Stuart and Louise were wonderful hosts and showing us around the beauitful local areas of Devon and filling us with plenty of wine and good food.
We haven’t slept so well in ages, maybe it was all the wine! But i put it down to being in a warm family environment.
To Keith, Ellen, Stuart and Louise we would like to say a heartfelt ‘Thanks’ from the bottom of our hearts for your incredible hospitality and friendship, you opened up your homes and made us feel like a family member, our door will always open to you all X
Back now in our little car for the short drive back to Yeovil, in a few days time we had an appointment to tour of my old school ‘Preston Comprehensive’ plus an interview with the local paper ‘The Western Gazette’ all arranged by my ‘old’ sports teacher John Flatters.
Who doesn’t look any different from when he taught me at school, what an amazing man he is, John followed our Journey from the start to the finish and was so supportive all the way through our journey, i feel very blessed to know him, he sure is a champ, it was a great morning, not only did John show us around my old school but my best friend (Vicky) from school and her husband Russell (who also went to Preston) got to join me and Clive, and to our surprise our ‘old’ history teacher was teaching a class while we were there.
These days he’s not allowed to throw blackboard rubbers and trainers at students any more lol… Mr Stone hadn’t changed much, still as much fun today as he was back ‘in the day’…
Large family gatherings were the order of the day for Clive, as just about all his family lives in the same area, meeting up with all his family and many cousins were treasured moments.
Playing catch ups with my family was a little different as they are spread about and not all in one area, from going from what we have wanted too with virtually no time restraints to suddenly having to fit family and friend visits ‘in’ was a challenge, not wanting to miss anyone this concept of time frames was ‘foreign’ to us after our year of ‘freedom’.
We both managed to catch up with many ‘old’ school friends, it was brilliant, memories we shall treasure.
Harrow, London was our next destination to visit my mother, we were going to travel by train but the cost was just ridiculous, it worked out cheaper to hire a car!
We really weren’t that fussed on sightseeing in this chilly weather, had we got here a few months ago when it was warmer we would have travelled to some other UK destinations, but we were happy just to spend time with family, but having said that, i have always wanted to visit the Cutty Sark the famous tea clipper which is now moored at Greenwich..
What a surprise when we got there, i saw Heston Blumenthal, the English celebrity chef…
A few days were spent on the Isle of Wight with my brother and his delightful family, i even had my ‘BIG’ birthday over there! Catching up with them all was fantastic…
We were still unsure of what to do with the bike, even at this late stage, shall we store it in the UK, ready for another trip or do we ship it back, after much discussion Clive decided it would be difficult to leave in the UK, so with that he made enquiries to have the bike shipped back to Brisbane…
But before we have the bike shipped back we needed to go to Bristol our offial final destination for the us and the bike.
So breaking the law and riding an unsure bike we set off, we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day, even though it was cold, the sun was shinning so brightly against the backdrop of the blue skies, a perfect end to a perfect trip, lucky for us the bike didn’t break down!
It wasn’t fun for Clive having to wash the bike in the cold weather, but the bike had to be meticulously clean, other wise we could be up for all sorts of cleaning costs if Australian customs decided it was ‘dirty’or contaminated.
With the bike booked to be shipped Clive needed to get it up to London, so with a van hired Clive and Steve took it up to the shipping company just outside London.
We have had fun, but we were now ready to leave to see our children and most of all our grandkids, who we have only seen on Skype fro the past year, its now time for real cuddles and not forgetting to meet our newest Grandson Harry, born while we were in Pakistan.
With all our good byes said to our family and friends it was now time to leave, our journey that took years in the planning, is over…