Like I always write this trip too was unforgettable.
Starting the trip with the tour to Isle of man also felt right.
Letting someone else do the legwork and just walk and ride where you're told was a nice contrast to doing it all by myself and it was obviously very nice having that many compadres along, they where a real friendly bunch.
It was a grand experience going to the TT even if it was somewhat tarnished by my migraine and a bad cold.
It's definitely something I can imagine doing again and the tour with SMC was pretty affordable, especially since I got deductions for the ferrys on the return which wasn't a given since it was after all a pre-prepared package deal.
The islands lived up to any and all prejudices I've ever had about British weather, up in the Highlands the climate almost felt like I was back on Iceland.
The Klim gear cost a fortune but they are really starting to pay dividends, messing with rain gear for every drizzle I've had this trip would have ruined it (and driven me to insanity).
A few times I actually regretted not bringing the heated jacket along but I managed to keep pretty warm anyway so in retrospect it wouldn't really have been in worth lugging it along for a month just for the few occasions it could have been useful.
This trip was more about the scenery and nature than just sightseeing and boy did it deliver.
I who usually just gets in a worse and worse mood by every downpour should by that account have hated it since I think I totalled four days on the whole trip where it didn't rain during any part of the day.
But I don't, quite the opposite, it was worth every single droplet just to see what I've seen on this trip.
It was also really since to just to pretty much make it up as I went along from one day to the next.
I didn't have a fixed route like I did last year, I just had a bunch of waypoints fed into Garmin Basecamp from which I could pick and choose as they fit in to the general direction.
I would have wanted to ride a bit more in Northern Ireland and along the Irish coast but I wouldn't have wanted to sacrifice anything else I did so on the whole I'm pleased with how the route turned out.
One of the reasons that I spent so little time in Belfast was that the price for accommodation was absolutely extortionate but I also wanted to get to Dublin so I could spend my birthday and the Swedish midsummer holiday there.
In retrospect I think I made the right choice, Belfast was an interesting city but I fell head over heels in love with Dublin.
Accommodation was really the biggest problem I had during the trip, last year I spent a lot of time finding the most affordable places but up in the Highlands I was difficult to find a roof over your head regardless of cost and the whole Isle of Skye was completely out of the question with prices ranging from €250 and up for a single night.
I managed to find some nice places but I do think this might be the first time my lack of foresight have been to my disadvantage, usually it pays off considering the hotel costs.
The Datsun debacle on the Isle of man was a real bummer but still it's most serious accident I've been in (abroad) since I started touring so I guess it isn't that bad.
I took a couple of months before I heard anything from my insurance company.
At first I got a message saying that I was deemed at fault and that the excess would be added to the next payment but just two weeks later they wanted additional info about how the bike had been parked.
If the counterpart couldn't prove that I hade been reckless it would be deemed as an act of god (direct quote).
That seems to be what happened because after that I never heard back from the insurance company.
Geoff, the owner of the Datsun on the other hand got back to me and was to say the least a bit upset about how he'd been treated (by the insurance companies that is, he still hasn't said or written a single harsh word to me).
The estimate for the damages to the car was £1734 (~€1960) so he has no other choice than to use insurance to pay for it and since god have decided that it wasn't my fault he has to pay his own excess.
Since I'd already calculated paying my own excess ever since the day of the accident I Paypaled Geoff that money, it didn't cover his excess but at least it helped some.
Last I heard he was planning a war against the insurance companies and I hope he wins it, the guy was a real gentleman.
The Tiger did good on this trip as well and the fact that it didn't use any oil this time around and had a lower fuel consumption was most likely a combination of lower temperatures and a slower average speed.
Since this trip was less about the highways and more about the byways I'm as sure as I've ever been that for me personally there's no better bike than my trusty Tiger.
Finally, the trip in numbers:
The cost of fuel and accommodation (converted to Euros).
|Total cost of petrol||€554.6|
|Most expensive petrol||Holland||€1.66/Litre|
|Average fuel consumption||0.50L/10km|
|Totalt number of hotel stays||21|
|Total cost of accommodation||(excluding extra fees for breakfast and parking)||€1370|
|Cheapest accommodation||Hartfield House, Applecross Scotland||€40|
|Most expensive accommodation||Radisson Park Inn, Belfast Northern Ireland||€119|
|Total cost of (secure) parking||(free on all except three places)||€38|
Other costs (converted to Euros).
|Ferry||Stena-Line Cairnryan - Belfast||€46|
|Ferry||Stena-Line Rosslare - Fishguard||€66.5|
|Ferry||Stena-Line Harwich - Hook of Holland||€82.5|
|Ferry||Finnlines Travemünde - Malmö (single cabin)||€140|