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Saturday, 6 August 2011

BonnivelleAmerica Euro Rally - 2011

Well - I'm back home, safe and sound! And had a fantastic time while at it!

This years BA Euro Rally was held at the Meteora area (Kalambaka) of Greece:

I'd planned to ride back with an America friend - Joe - back up through Italy. More on that later.
So it all started on a cloudy Wednesday afternoon - 27th July. I had arranged to meet 3 guys riding down from England and Joe coming from Frankfurt, at a place just outside Freiburg.
Plan was to have a coffee and then I'd guide them back to Bad Zurzach via the scenic route through the Black Forrest.

Joe go there first and helped himself to refreshments:
I followed shortly afterwards.

Then finally the troupe rolled up a few hours later!!!
Next we rode back in RAIN RAIN and more RAIN!!!
I was soaking by the time we got home - as were the others (except Joe - his wax jacket did a good job.

That evening we had a grill - but ate indoors as the weather was shitty!
Of course - a little amount of alcohol was required!!

The next day we rode down through Switzerland - stopping to see and photograph the Schindler Stone from Wilhem Tell

Then up and over the Gotthard Pass

That night we stayed at a hotel just off the ring-road of Bologna. The next day was the ride down to Ancona and onto the ferry. We met up with Martin and Holly in Ancona too.

Joe and I had a cabin - we was a GOOD THING! You could lock your stuff away and also get a good nights sleep!

Then it was food and down to the bar!

The next day we left the ferry at Igoumenitsa in lovely sunshine and warm weather! But while down in the bowls of the boat it was HOT HOT HOT!

We made a quick coffee & cig stop along the way at some cool small town 'coffee shop'

After the break we rode another hour to the camping site where I met Thanassis - the host for this years event - once again.

Luckily there was enough beer, as it was VERY HOT!

Later that afternoon the people from Poland also arrived - making the group complete - 20 members this year.

What I'm missing to say, is the fact that the area is SPECTACULAR!
As was the campsite and pool!!!!

Over that weekend we did two little rides out - one around a lake and the other up to the monasteries.

On the lake side ride we stopped off at a fish (farm) restaurant for lunch - where the dining area was NOT up to EHS standards, I'm sure! :-)

From there it was a ride back to town for a coffee and chin-wag.

The next day's ride was the monasteries.

The views from the rock formations are fantastic.

Of course - I can't always be sensible!!!

I rode up again toward the evening time to try and get the evening sun - but I was a little too late!

The sunset was nice too - there were lots of people photographing it...

The evening were always filled with food - drink - and friendly discussions...

The next day - Monday - Joe and I set off back to Igoumenitsa to get the ferry over to Brindisi, Italy.
We rode the old rode down to Igoumenitsa which was special...

We got to Igoumenitsa early as we didn't want to be riding in the dark - so we rode around the coast to the next village and waited a little while for sun down before checking in at the ferry.

The next day we were in Italy - Brindisi, which was Joe's old home ground when he was there in the army.
First port of call - Joe's old military base.

Next was his old vila when he lived.

From there we rode up to Abberobello where those 'trulli' houses are.

After Abberobello we headed for my Aunty over at Napoli... What a MAD MAD MAD area to ride a bike! They are CRAZY! But we made it safely. The Aunty was also pleased to see us and was cooking as always :-)

The next day we rode up to up to just under Florence to the Hotel Lido - which is apparently 1111 km away from Eltville am Rhine (Germany)!

After that stop we rode up to Carpi where Joe had provisionally arranged to look at a Moto Morini bike (Scrambler). Well we got there and the place was closed for lunch - so we waited an hour, only to be told when a worker came back that the bike had been sold 3 days earlier!!! Bollox!
So we rode on up past Lago di Garda, Trento and Bolzano, and onto a little village called Parcines where we found a place thanks to the local tourist info.

The next day saw us riding up and over the Passo del Stelvio!

The only thing was - there was a blummin cycle race at the same time!!!!

Motorcyclists could ride up with the cyclists - but it was very heavy work on your clutch!

From there it was down over the Umbralpass - up and over the Ofenpass - then up and over the Fluelapass!

2 hours later - 3'033 km - I was back in Bad Zurzach!

This was the route we took:

View BA Euro Rally 2011 in a larger map

What a fantastic event!

Next year's event will be held in Andorra, between France and Spain.

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