To Harwich

6th august
So many trips have started with the ride through three counties over to Harwich, just over 60 miles from home. This morning forecast was for rain so I was prepared for a rather muted start to the trip. As it turned out today was glorious and the ride joined the catalogue of sunny evening trips arriving with the sun low over the sea but still bright and warm. Thank goodness for Morrisons Harwich where I go and fill a carrier bag with a cabin dinner and bottle of wine. This trip it’s Morrisons sliced pork pie with egg, Morrisons pea shoots, port salut cheese yoghurt and Morrisons strawberry shortcakes which if they don’t disintegrate will make a fine breakfast for a couple of days. Accompanied by Morrisons Beaujolais villages.
In the queue waiting to board is the usual dozen or so bikes of all shapes and sizes with riders to match and enjoyable conversations with a few Germans all on BMWs of course. The most notable being a highly camp police Harley Davidson complete with flashing lights and siren. I thought the HDs looked a real handful to ride slowly stop and go up the circular ramp to the back of the boat.
This trip I am trying out my just bought Redverz Adventure tent, so big and tall you can actually keep your adventure bike inside it. I bought it more thinking about being able to stand up inside it than sharing it with Bertha though I might try that if I get melancholy. What better than non human company at night? Accompanying me is the following literature: where angels fear to tread by E M Foster, The elephant vanishes, Murakami, a collection of essays and interviews by Paul Auster plus a slim text book about narrative analysis.

It is 10.15, late already. I think the unwary stay up drinking on this trip. The savvy realise that the clocks are one hour ahead when we are rudely woken at a round 6.30 so get their head down even before the boat leaves dock at 23.15.

So many times I have caught this ferry. I remember the first time clearly when I had only recently learned to ride and was the proud owner of a blue Triumph with only a tank bag and something small strapped on the back for luggage. Now I carry around probably about five times as much stuff.

I went up on deck for a cigarette and bumped into German biker Frank with amazing English but I was in the shower heading for bed as I felt the ship move off.

Tomorrow is a 400k ride to just south of Koblenz (stress on the first syllable I learned this evenin ) to a campsite on the bank of the Rhein. So nearly all on motorways, but after that much nicer roads. Tomorrow evening I plan to scatter my mum’s ashes in the Rhein.

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