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Thread: Thunder's Road - Calum's Road 2010

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    Thunder's Road - Calum's Road 2010

    Right, it's been done, I'm home, have started sorting out the pictures and videos from the trip (you would not believe how many) and will begin composing a report shortly but to start the ball rolling here's a kpz file for Google Earth to let you see where we went.

    Spot Trackers are a wonderful thing!
    Attached Files Attached Files

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by H.R.H. OONYACK View Post
    How dae ye open a kmz file
    Try this
    Attached Files Attached Files

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whatton View Post
    Try this
    Windows has the following information about this file type. This page will help you find software needed to open your file.



    File Type: Unknown

    Description: Windows does not recognize this file type.

    You may search the following Web site for related software and information:

    Search the web

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by H.R.H. OONYACK View Post
    How dae ye open a kmz file
    Down load and install Google Earth on your computer thngy, it's free, you'll like it

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    The off.



    Left Chateau Thunder just after 8pm on the 6th of January 2010 to catch the ferry to Birkenhead, so many layers on I needed a hand to get my leg over the bike, this did not bode well for the rest of the trip as asking strangers at various stopping points " Would you mind helping me to get my leg over?" did not seem like a good idea!

    Temperatures well below freezing, side roads like glass with compacted snow and ice but the main roads were clear enough thankfully although once you got off those things got interesting and just a little bit slippery. Riding through the docks to the terminal had the back end stepping out more than once.



    Safely on board and layers peeled in my cabin I went for some light refreshment and a bite to eat.





    Unfortunately I have since been informed that deep fried cauliflower and broccoli does not count as part of my five a day regime.

    Got off the ferry in Birkenhead just before 7 am, the docks were glistening in the street lights and decided to take the long way round to Neil's place using the motorways rather than the direct route through the tunnel and Liverpool. Bloody glad I did, motorways for the most part gritted but still the odd patch of ice to make things interesting and tighten the sphincter.

    As it was still pretty early I rode passed the road to Neill's off junction 23 and headed into a large Shell service station to grab a coffee, have a pee and ring Neill to announce my imminent arrival.

    Bloody mistake that was, entrance was also an exit onto the roundabout and there is a slope up to the parking areas and pumps covered in comp0acted snow and ice. Large artic heading down said slope started sliding, meaning I had to cut across ruts at a leisurely pace, next thing I know the wheels have had enough and over goes the bike on its side with me under it.

    No damage to the bike, no one hurt and plenty of help getting her back to the vertical. Added some go juice into the garage to do the payment thing and asked for the toilets to find they were out of order. Should have just gone direct to Neils after all.

    Made it back down to the garage exit, sphincter tightening is not the word , negotiated an icy roundabout back to the road I'd passed 30 minutes previously, sphincter tightening is not the word and had a relatively gentle bimble on a gritted main road before turning on to a side road for the final ride to maison Hughes. Won't say it was bad, all I'll say is it was an experience.





    Friday afternoon saw the arrival of Gert and Dave ready for the run down to Folkestone on Saturday where we to meet with Mike (who had just collected his “new” bike following the spontaneous combustion of his original 1200 GSA 10 days before), Andres and Richard.

    9/1/2010



    Snow was still falling but Saturday morning dawned bright and clear albeit still freezing, bidding the Hughes clan a fond farewell we headed off on to the M6 and the run to the coast. All went well until we hit the M20 just after dark and the snow came on with a vengeance, basically the road disappeared in a total white out and we covered 20 odd miles with the bikes sliding all over the place.



    Arriving at Folkestone I got a call from Andres to say they had been pulled off the motorway further up and told it would not be advisable to continue. Luckily there was a Premier Inn at that junction so they could transfer their bookings, unfortunately being on a motorway there was no bar, a problem we did not have.



    10/1/2010



    Sunday morning saw us up early to unload Mikes bike from his brother in laws van. He’d picked it up from the dealers on Thursday and stayed up to 3am on the Friday morning changing it from it’s original vario luggage (previous owner had fitted it) back to the GSA luggage and packing the bike with icicles hanging from the roof!

    Thing is until we unloaded the bike for the run down to the chunnel terminal he’d not had a chance to ride it so was starting the trip on brand new tyres, dedicated or what?



    Off to the Chunnel, missed the 9.20am crossing so had to wait 30 minutes for the next one. Got a call from Andres to say he was on the 9.20 and would meet us in France, Richard had to head back to see Steptoe as he was having engine problems and would catch us up later.

    Temperatures? Still below freezing and lots of ungritted roads.







    My bike was displaying signs of the UK's use of salting on the motorways by displaying a rather natty coating on the exhausts.



    Having met up with Andres at the French end of the tunnel we headed south in an attempt to get round Paris on a Sunday which was supposed to be relatively quiet. Plan was to use the ring road but at the last minute a certain member of the group decided it would be more interesting to show us the sites so taking the lead he took us right through the centre. What fun that was (well looking back on it it was) avoiding the Parisian drivers and trying to stay in site of the group.

    Safely through we bedded down for the night at an Ibis south of the city.

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    11/1/2010

    Paris to Issoire



    Still cold, well cold and lots of snow which necessitated stopping regularly for coffee and a pee.





    Bedded down for the night at an Etap and posed for a couple of pics.





    Local Pizza place seemed to be sorted for deliveries in the snow.



    TBC

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    12/1/10



    Today we headed for the Milhau Bridge with the intention of stopping over in Perpignan, simple route with the famous bridge thrown in, but oh no not today!

    Today we hit fog, saw it coming not an issue but then we hit it and the temperature dropped to -17 degrees, not just fog but freezing fog! Within a minute visors had frozen over, now not a problem if your a non glasses wearer but for yours truly once the visor went up the next thing I new the world disappeared, frozen glasses!!

    Managed to pull over onto the section of the road beside the arco, all 3 foot of it. Gert and Mike following pulled in as well and provided cover while I dug in my panniers for my contact lenses, pretty scary when lorries and cars were rushing past out of the mist!

    Contacts fitted it was back on the road.











    Intention was to video the ride over the Milhau bridge but it was so cold the helmet cam failed.

    Made it to Perpignan safely and settled in for the night, food was decent enough although a container on wall had the non French speakers puzzled.









    Next stop Spain! TBC

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    13/1/10



    Spain at last and its not snowing, not that warm at the border but temperatures in the positive for the first time since we left and would you believe it the sun is shining







    Of course mother nature was ready to bring us back to earth quickly enough, it started to get windy, so much so that when we parked the bikes in the car park of one of the service areas a French biker on a Ducati came in having seen us to tell us to move between the buildings as bikes regularly got blown over, decent of him who ever he was.



    That night we bedded down in a hotel for the infirm in Benidorm, Sid and John were already there while Glenn had gone off to path-find in Algeceris, place was roasting even the receptionist had a 3 bar fire going full blast behind her desk

    As we stood checking in with sweat trickling down our faces we asked why it was so hot and were informed the elderly residents liked it that way. We found 2 in the bar and went with a group photo.



    As it was a bar purchasing alcohol was the thing to do, we did it for most of the evening.

    Next stop Granada TBC

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    14/1/2010



    What started off as a gentle bimble to meet up with Richard for some site seeing in Granada turned out to be one of the most stressful days of the trip so far, I say so far cause we had a few more ahead of us but more of those later.....



    As we headed up the road and started to climb we were hit by winds, I say winds rather than wind as they came from all directions, just when you thought you were compensating by leaning the bike the direction changed and had you all over the place, and as for passing trucks and artics well that was an interesting experience.

    We stopped for a break and a coffee at a petrol station in the mountains making damn sure to park the bikes in as sheltered position as possible.





    As we started the descent into Granada the winds reduced but then it started to rain, as we hit the outskirts of the city it was chucking big time and keeping 6 bikes together was hard going but we managed it and thanks to Andres local knowledge eventually ended up finding a parking space in the centre.



    Across the road we found a little tapas bar for a coffee and a warm up , (the staff did not look too pleased at the pools of water gathering on the wooden floors under our dripping gear) and to contact Sockpuppet to arrange to meet, sent him the details by text, 5 minutes later my phone rings, it's Richard telling me he's dropped his bike, is still under it and thinks he's broken his leg!

    Now initial reaction is it's a wind up but from the sound of his voice it soon becomes apparent he's serious so Operation Rescue Richard began.

    Andres and Dave headed off on their bikes to were he was (or thought he was it turns out ) Gert and I headed off to find a base camp with secure parking (OK it was a four star hotel with a swimming pool on the roof but it was an emergency ) while Sid, John and Mike watched our dripping gear and the bikes to protect them from the locals and an increasingly irate tapas bar owner.



    Rang Dave and found they had found Richard's bike in the custody of the local constabulary, Richard had been taken to hospital in an ambulance apparently being restrained with screams of "It's just a scratch, hows the bike?" Andres with his superior Spanish headed for the hospital to find the scratch was in fact a smashed ankle and ended up spending about 6 hours at there being watched by a couple of female security guards while he waited for news.

    Dave stayed with Richards bike and waited while Gert took Sid pillion to collect it and bring it back to the hotel and the safety of it's underground garage. Of course I mean safety from the locals but not the Calum's Road team that is.







    Dave and John were on guard at this point but with the promise of a few beers turned a blind eye.



    With Andres back from the hospital and the full details of Richard's injury revealed we adjourned to the bar to discuss the situation. Our plan had to collect our tyres from the garage storing them and have them fitted on Friday morning as the garage was closed on Saturday and Sunday, but until arrangements had been made for Richard and his bike that was not going to happen.

    After a call to Glenn who had already sorted his tyres out he offered to rent a car Friday morning, drive up, collect the tyres and bring them back to the hotel we would be staying at.

    With that we retired to bed.

    TBC

  10. #10
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    Hot off the Press Daily observer Gambia

    Intrepid motorcyclists arrive The Gambia
    Africa » Gambia
    Thursday, February 11, 2010
    The people of the Kudang ward of Niamina East recently gave a warm welcome to seven intrepid motorcyclists who completed a 4,700 kilometer motorcycle ride from Calums road in Scotland to the road which has affectionately been nicknamed Calums road in The Gambia.

    The riders made the journey in order to raise funds to help with the cost of rehabilitating the road. The road is in fact the vast four kilometres of the Kudang-Kuntaur road which is in desperate need of repair as it is impassable.

    The cyclists encountered and overcame many challenges during their trip and several members of the team had to drop out due to the adverse weather conditions in Europe. When they left Scotland there were severe weather warnings and the British police were advising people against using the roads which were covered with ice. There were also the dangers associated with travelling through Mauritania due to the number of recent kidnappings, but the bikers were determined to fulfill their promise and raise money for the building of the road.

    The late Stella Brewer Marsde who launched the internationally renowned Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Association had tried to find funding for the road before her untimely death and the last request she made to her sister was that money should be raised to help the people of the area to build the road.

    Stella’s family and the people of the communities surrounding the road are very grateful to the Calums road motorcyclists for the invaluable contributions they have made to the road building fund. The motorcyclists were surprised and delighted with the warm welcome they received and said it was a pleasure to help. They also indicated their intention to return to witness the official opening of the road when the work is completed.

    Author: Daily observer

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    15/1/2010

    Still in Granada, woke up to discuss the options for the day, particularly what to do about getting Richard home.

    After searching through his bike we found some of his documentation relating to his travel insurance, but nothing about his bike insurance so Andres volunteered to head off to the hospital to see ask Richard about it and at the same time see what news the medical staff had for us.

    Now given that Andres has a decent grasp of Spanish where the rest of us (excluding Gert) mainly got by with " Hallo, please, thanks, one more of the same, a large beer and a vodka and diet coke" in our Spanish repertoire this seemed like a good idea.

    We decided it best to check if the hotel had rooms available for another night and also if we could still have them after the late night discussions in the bar (it got a bit noisy ) as it looked like we would be in Granada for most of the day. Glenn had confirmed he was on his way to get the tyres and take them to the Hotel Christina in Algeceris where we intended to meet up for the crossing to Tangiers so with nothing else to do four of us headed off to see the sites, one stayed at home to write his blog and Mikey went back to bed to catch up on his "teen" sleep.

    As no bikes where involved this day I'll let some pictures do the talking.

    We strolled the city in the sunshine admiring the views.





    Dave admired his watch



    and selected ingredients for our morning snack



    For some reason Jeanette Winterson's novel came to mind at this moment, bonus points to the first person to name it!

    Having decided to head up to The Alhambra we stopped off on the way for some refreshment and a natter.



    Gert and Dave looked serious.



    The waitress remembered me from my last visit and brought me my usual, well it was after 10 in the morning.



    Duly refreshed we climbed the hill.









    and enjoyed the wonders of Moorish Spain





    Dave relaxed



    before starting his shift as a bouncer at a local club



    Gert had trouble standing



    Dave went back to relaxing while John evaluated his performance.



    We all admired the view



    before heading over to the hospital to see Richard



    and discuss his case as if we knew what we were talking about.





    Having met up with Andres and discovered he had been able to find all Richard's documentation after his morning visit and managed to sort out both the repatriation of said Tosser and his machine as there was no way he could continue with a smashed ankle we decided to head off the next morning to Algeciras to meet Glenn and sort out the tyres.

    Bidding Richard a fond farewell we headed back to the hotel for a final check on his bike in case we had missed anything the previous day before adjourning to the bar for some pre-packing refreshments.

    TBC

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nakambale View Post
    Nice one Somehow the trip seemed a little longer than 4,700 km though
    Gambian time and scale remember

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    Quote Originally Posted by NI Phil View Post
    Fabulous report


    For some reason Jeanette Winterson's novel came to mind at this moment, bonus points to the first person to name it!

    Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit??
    5 bonus points to you Sir

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    16/1/2010

    Algeceris



    Headed off on the Saturday morning for a gentle bible down to meet Glenn, what a surprise no winds, no rain and the sun was shining, happy days? Well almost just to take the shine off the trip the local authorities had decided to start resurfacing the main road that week and we had 30 odd miles of freshly scraped tarmac to contend with, were we concerned? Hell no but the bikes didn't half get a good shaking.

    Stopped on route for a coffee, fag and pee break, the sun was out and clothes were being shed and stowed on the bikes.



    Andres legged it when he saw the toilets where out of hand cream.



    I just admired the view.



    As we arrived at the Hotel we found a welcoming committee in the form of Glenn and his camera, he'd had to rough it there for 3 days and was starting to feel the strain.











    An old colonial hotel it some unusual features including a roaring log fire in reception which made us feel right at home



    We adjourned to the terrace appropriately attired in our finest adventurers gear



    A nice man in an orange vest was at our beck and call



    we called him beck a lot



    As the day wore on and the drinking continued we saw the first examples of the strange effects of adventuring.

    Andres played us a tune on his imaginary Stylophone



    John played imaginary cats cradle



    Gert grinned inanely even though we had super-glued his elbow to a lamp post



    I cried at the price of oil



    and Sid began to develop unnatural feelings for Dave................



    who went off to play "My petrol caps better than yours with Mikey."



    TBC

  15. #15
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    Is that a Club sticker


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    Algeceris part 2, (still Saturday)

    As the day wore on we continued to keep the old man in the Orange vest (he made me home sick for Norn Iron he did ) busy, took him ages to deal with our orders so by when he delivered one we ordered another which seemed to work.

    As the day wore on Sid's infatuation with Bhud got stronger



    Gert managed to free himself from the lamp post



    and I decided to go and change the oil on the bike for some fresh mineral while Glenn slipped behind me to hold my bag!



    2.8 litres of old oil, 2 heavy duty bin bags, sorted

    We returned to the terrace for additional refreshments and one by one ended up looking across the straits to Africa.........







    before heading to our rooms to shower (well some of us ) and get ready for dinner

    Dave and I decided to mark reaching the end of Europe in traditional style



    and had to explain to Sid in graphic detail that the term skirts and the use of his digital camera could be hazardous to his health

    After a rather decent all you can eat buffet and some additional refreshment we adjourned to watch the entertainment.





    Saturday night was salsa night in the hotel with a live band ( well duo, keyboards and a woman with a big pair of lungs, think Alison Moyet 20 years older, you'll get the idea) and the locals were allowed in to strut their stuff on the sprung dance floor, was a hoot.

    As the night wore on the sounds of " sheee youuu, your my beshtest mate youuu isshhh" increased the concern of the locals, so much so we were invited to go to our rooms, which we eventually did.

    Sunday had begun.....................

    TBC

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