Tuesday  Dateicon  30.5.2017   Tigericon  270km Total:270km  Ferryicon  #1 441km Total:441km  Feeticon  1.75km Total:1.75km

By my own standards I get up early but still lazy around because the weather isn't biker-friendly at all.
I'm not supposed to meet up with the rest of the gang on the ferry terminal in Gothenburg until 5PM so it's not like I'm in a hurry anyway.

This is the first trip I'm not travelling entirely by my own accord because I've booked a trip with SMC Travel to the Isle of man TT-Races.
I started planning this trip in February and realized early on that's when I should have started planning... if I had intended to go next year.
After checking the cost of accommodation (where prices of around £100 per room and night for homestay wasn't extraordinary) the SMC felt like a good deal, not least since they where kind enough to deduct the costs of the ferries I wouldn't be returning on because I intend to keep travelling around the Isles when they're heading home.

I finally head out in the rain and the whole trip is pretty much and orgy of boredom, 2/3 in it's practically a monsoon.
I stop for lunch at Vårgårda Rasta and there I can pour about a decilitre of water out of each boot, I really need to do something about that because I'm completely dry apart from that.

After I've finished my lunch and still have plenty of time until the meet up I use the hand dryer in the bathroom so dry my socks and shoes.
Considering that it's still pouring down it's pretty futile but at least I was a bit more dry a very short while.

I ride the rest of the way and meet with a rather large crowd on the terminal even though I was pretty early, in total we'll be 22 travellers and they seem like nice guys and girls all around.
After riding onto the ferry and checking in to the cabins (which I'll be sharing with a guy named Nisse from Vasteras which I'll also be sharing a room with on Isle of man) we meet up in the bar where we introduce ourselves to each other and our guide Fredrik tells us about the rest of the route and about what's going to happen when we get to the Isle.

 

Obligatory before picture.

Ferry terminal in Gothenburg

Interactive map of my route in the Furkot planning tool.
Click here to open in it's own window/tab.
Where I didn't go the quickest route there are more info about my route in the info.

GB

Wednesday  Dateicon  31.5.2017   Tigericon  598km Total:868km  Ferryicon  #2 204km Total:645km  Feeticon 2.82km Total:4.57km

With our numbers and with a strict schedule scenic routes are out the window, the quickest and fastest route is the order of the day which of course means the soulnumbing Autobahn.
The miles disappear rather quick and it's a good thing since we have a lot of them to do, there's about 600kms to the next ferry over to Harwich.

The next meet up is at a Japanese restaurant at the ferry terminal we arrive an hour and thirty minutes ahead of the agreed time at 8PM which had a large margin to the departure at 10.30PM.
But I'd rather have a lot of time to spare than miss the ferry because of some mishap along the way, I'd probably done the same thing even as a solo traveller.

So a few petrol stations later and a lunch at an Autohof we eat dinner at the Yamasaki restaurant in Hook of Holland.
The let us on the boat early which is nice because absolutely regardless of how well I've strapped down the bike I'm never entirely satisfied.
We don't have a lot of downtime on this boat either since we need to get up at 5.30AM in order to get breakfast before disembarking.

So we just grab a beer in the bar and share a few biker stories before we hit the sack.


Meet up in Kiel

...and another before riding onto the ferry in Hook of Holland

Thursday  Dateicon  1.6.2017  Tigericon  422km Total:1290km  Ferryicon  #3 127km Total:772km  Feeticon  3.62km Total:8.19km

Another moving day and this time it's very important that we arrive at the ferry terminal on time since the Steam Packet ferry that will take us to Isle of man have been fully booked for months, missing that would be nothing short of disaster.

We made the decision yesterday to travel in pairs so it's me and Nisse again today and since we agreed to travel at about 130km/h it doesn't make much of a difference settling for 70mph.

Rather devoid of inspiration we get lunch at McDonalds but I have a feeling we're going to get our fill of fish and chips the rest of the trip anyway.
The miles roll on but I find it a bit hard trying to adjust to the traffic rhythm since the Brits don't seem to respect the speed limits to any great extent (apart from the stretches of road with average speed cameras).

We cross the width of England without incident and roll into a sea of bikes parked at the pier in Liverpool where we arrive with plenty of time to spare.
I will be a while until the team is assembled as one of our group suffered a mishap when we where boarding in Holland, his bike was stone dead.
The diagnosis fell on a dead battery and it was harder than you might think to get hold of a new one in Harwich.
The succeeded eventually but the 45 minutes of charging must have seemed like an eon with a boat to catch.
There was a backup plan to leave the bike, move the gear onto another bike and ride as a passenger with one of the others but fortunately it wasn't needed.

We wait at the pier for a very long time until we board the ferry.
Fortunately at least the sun is shining, more like scorching actually but rather that then rain.
I was strange riding on board the "car deck" of the ferry because for once this was a transport tailor made for motorbikes, here the other vehicles (which weren't many) where the exceptions.

Unfortunately my life companion migraine had creeped up on me while we waited on the pier so I quickly get something to eat and find a spot where I can take my meds and rest on the crossing.
The seas get worse and worse the closer we get to the Isle and the scorching sun we had in Liverpool has given way to dark clouds and rain.
Eventually the boat is rocking in the ways to the extent that the pieces of rope the used to fasten the bikes feel like they're never going to hold up and I've almost convinced myself that the worlds most expensive game of domino is being played on the car deck.

But considering that this boat does nothing else than shuttle between the Isle and the mainland I guess one should trust that they know what they're doing and as far as I know there weren't any damages reported when we rolled of the ferry in Douglas at 10.30PM in complete darkness and drizzling rain.

We've already gotten the address for where we're going to stay so I'm followed by Nisse and an older gentleman from Dalarna named Anders who's staying with the family the next door over from us.
The confusion was great when we roll in to the correct street but can't locate a single number on any of the houses.
Luckily for us the women in whose house we're staying was out walking her dog so that problem solved itself rather quickly.
Anders hostess comes out into the street as well so it was a warm welcome all around.

We unload the bikes and hit the sack.

 

Harwich ferry port

Liverpool ferry port

On board the ferry