Patrick with his grandmother Patricia
With a mission today to deliver the GS to Guildford, take a taxi to Heathrow, and stop by Stone Henge on the way to see the famous monument, I’m hoping I’ve got my calculations right as we say goodbye to my mother.
It’s a moment that’s been repeated many times over the last 30 years as she has watched me take off for parts unknown, sometimes not returning for years on end. Today it’s a little tougher, as Patrick and I load the bike for the last time and head off across town for a last cuppa with my mate, Shearsy.
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It’s another stunning day as we make our way inland through the English countryside and after some quick conversation about routes and times, we say our last goodbyes, make our way up through Exeter and out along the A303.
Memories of racing along this road of our hot shot Japanese 550s back in the day come flooding back, as I keep one eye on the trip counter and the other on the clock.
Stonehenge has become a tourist jam so we just pull over and take a picture or two from long distance and keep on rolling.
The road is fairly congested so I’m pleased to be able to lane split and make up a lot of time entering and exiting roundabouts and small towns.
Soon we open up onto a stretch of motorway and with an hour to spare we are enjoying our last big, cholesterol-loaded English Breakfast. Made by a Croatian cook, served by a Russian waitress in a restaurant owned by a man from Cyprus its just fantastic for Patrick as he gets to learn firsthand that it truly is a fascinating world we live in.
We drop the bike off with no stress, re-pack our bags, and taxi to a nice, comfortable hotel to stage up for our following morning flight.
Luck would have it there’s a Moto GP race on and we get to kick back, enjoy some great racing and get a good night’s sleep before our journey home.
As I fight off some twinges of sadness that it’s over, I remind myself of a statement I wrote to myself many years ago. The adventure isn’t over, it’s just beginning.
Please see Neale’s earlier blog entries at TRIP BLOGS.