Friday 15 August 2014

Summer in the UK

It is now the almost the final chapter in our journey and, sadly, it was also time to sell our trusty steed, the KTM 990, though we still had time for one last trip. Taking advantage of the brilliant UK weather, we headed towards the Welsh coastline. The journey took us on a spectacular drive up through the Elan valley and then towards the Llyn peninsular. Typically the sunshine didn't take us all the way there (this is the UK!) and driving through the rain at the end of the day to Dolgellau we found a pub, complete with a cosy room and yummy pub grub. The next day, the sun shining once again, we continued along the coast to the little town of Abedaran; with its two pubs (one with an amazing terrace overlooking the beach, and the other with an awesome restaurant) and a fish and chip shop, it seemed a good place to make our base for a few days. What I really loved about this part of wales was the Welshness-pub conversations between locals were conducted in Welsh, and an exchange at the shop more often than not ended with a 'diolch' than a thank you.
The stunning coast line of the Lyn Peninsular

The trusty KTM

It wasn't all sunshine! A bracing walk along the coast in the wind and rain

More stunning coastline

Whispering Sands

Llyn peninsular

Yet another "beer + view" picture
After days of  walking and fish and chips in the sunshine (mostly), it was time to say goodbye to the bike and take it to its new home in Bristol. We took advantage of delivering the bike by having a day out in Bristol with Liz and Bruce, seeing the magnificent Brunel's SS Great Britain, walking along the canals and then to a fantastic lunch at the Glass boat. An excellent day.

On the deck of SS Great Britian
We then headed to Cornwall, where there was still the Lizard to Plymouth section of the South West Coast path we wanted to get in before hanging up our hiking boots. I really love this part of the world and the weather was incredible; along with the amazing scenery- there were many glasses of cider in the sunshine, oysters and prosecco, yummy scallops and really rather too many evenings where we ate fish and chips.

We then had an excellent week 'on holiday in Holt' with Liz and Bruce. The days were spent in the best traditions of a British summer:  car-booting, vintage car hill racing,  country showing, beautiful Worcestershire walking, fancy meals out, delicious meals in, pints at the Fox, Christmas in August (okay, not that traditional but fun all the same!), and as always good food, good company and a lot of drinking fizz in the Garden.

 And so the final leg of the journey has ended here in London, where we have been to art galleries, visited the sights, seen some shows, caught up with good friends (that night is a whole other post I think, Nick and Kirst, especially as more things 'come to light' as bags and pockets are emptied) and spent more time than we should have at Gordon's.

Its hard to imagine that over 13 months have past since we set out from Cairo on that first day, heading towards the Sudan. It has been an amazing year and while it is hard to imagine life 'back in reality', the adventure of Hong Kong awaits. Thanks to all those who we have met, caught up with, crashed with and those who have followed us on this trip.