Getting the bikes off the boat is a mess as they have us parked the wrong direction so we have to turn ~80 bikes around on a wet surface with cables run all over it. I head through customs fairly easily, the customs officer is interested in my trip though so I delay everyone else’s customs check.
I spend the day in Plymouth as I am still sick with the flu. Plymouth is a really nice town that is set up well for tourists with shopping, hotels, and restaurants all within short distance of the ocean. I mostly use the day to re-acquaint myself with the English speaking world replacing my shoes that have been falling apart for a while now and getting a haircut and a shave.
I am still sick and it is quite cold here so I do a short ride in to Yeovil.
I finish the drive in to London and stop at Stonehenge on the way.
After repacking all of my non-motorcycle related stuff into my hand luggage I drop the bike off at the shipping company so they can ready the bike for shipping.
I then tube into town and check in to my hostel.
That evening I meet Carly, a friend of mine from residence advising in university for a ‘Jack the Ripper’ tour. The tour is interesting but all in all a little morbid and as far as I am concerned not very respectful of the dead even if they are over one hundred years old.
At the end of the tour we end up at the “The Bell” to have a drink and more importantly use the washroom that JTR used.
Carrying on with my cleaning myself up to look less homeless, I use a laundromat for the first time which is nice as I normally just wash my clothes in the sink but my room has no space, hangers, and is too cold for the standard operating procedure. Later in the day Carly meets me and we go to Camden where we get some delicious burritos and watch a canal gate be manually operated.
After grabbing some grub we go to the RAF museum. It isn’t quite as impressive as the museum in Tucson but has an impressive selection of World War I planes.
We then head down to see the sights in down town London which involves a lot of walking.
Today I spent most of the day trying to get my banking and motorcycle shipping details sorted, very frustrating.
Afterwards I head to the Churchill War Rooms. This is the bunker Churchill ran the British war effort from during World War II. It is interesting to see how the people would have lived as the place is very well preserved, many of the rooms were simply left exactly as they were following Japan’s surrender.
I also went to see Buckingham Palace that afternoon. Unfortunately the Queen didn’t greet me.
On the 27th Carly and I went to Cambridge to see the colleges, Polar Museum, and Fitzwilliam Museum. Interestingly most of the colleges charge to come on the grounds, this is avoided by starting at the back entrance. I don’t know what kind of colleges these are but I notice a severe lack of drunk college students.
On Friday I go to the Imperial War Museum and the British Museum.
The British Museum contains artifacts “collected” from around the world, with extensive collections from Egypt, Greece, and Syria. The whole time I am there I can’t help but think that the vast majority of the collection should not be here but it is nevertheless interesting.
On Saturday we head to Eastbourne to walk along the chalk cliffs. A marathon is being run along the trail. There is a fair bit of up and down and for a guy who has spent the last two months sitting on a motorcycle and it is hard work. The cliffs are amazing and the pictures don’t do them justice. The cliffs contain chert which erodes out onto the beach. Chert is very cool because it can easily be worked in to stone tools. Carly is nowhere near as amused by this as I am so I am only able to spend ten minutes banging rocks together like a caveman. After reaching Birling Gap we head to the town of Dean and grab a half pint before catching the train back to London.
That evening we head to the Maple Leaf, which is a vaguely Canadian themed bar. There I am able to have some poutine, and a rye and ginger to remind me of home.
On Sunday I go check out Tower Bridge and the Natural History Museum.
I head to Gatwick Airport to take my flight to Johannesburg via Dubai. This brings the number of continents visited to three and the number of countries visited to seven in the first two months of travel.
So far my favourite ride was regional highway 307 between Ourzazate and Demnat in Morocco followed shortly by riding in the Pyrenees.
The most impressive individual piece of scenery I have seen is one I didn’t even get a chance to take a picture of Montserrat in Spain as the autopista doesn’t have pullouts.