I was all go for my spring adventure then I go and change jobs don't I? The resulting change in pay packet dates meant a lot of the capital saved for the trip had to be used to live off and the trip was postponed.
Anyway, fast forward a few months and the trip still burns a fire within me! Again, circumstances change and currently I'm laid off work following an operation for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. (Just three days ago as well!!!)
So I've been re-evaluating myself and the trip, and provisionally the trip is still on! Of course I need to book the time off admittedly, but I can plan.....
I'm planning for either spring 2017 or the Autumn of 2017. More than likely the latter for various reasons.
Another change is the mode of transport. I still have the old Rover, my faithful main mode of transport, but now I intend to return to a dream of my youth. When I was 19 - 21 years old I had a GSX550EF motorbike. Loved it and while I ran a business on it (a courier business) and traveled much of southern England on it, I never went further north than Bristol on it. Back then before responsibility really set it, mortgages, rent, children etc became a reality, I dreamed of touring the country on it. Of course in those days it involved meeting a big Scots man in the Highlands which sadly never came to pass, but of course maybe some dreams do come true!! So, to relive my adolescence ambition and to keep my daft reputation intact I have bought a motorbike!!!
Please meet Kevin the Kawasaki!
At Falmouth with my friend Steve's bike
Posing at home
Chasing Molly at home
Another home pose
At the showroom
So I need to buy a fair few bits for Kevin before he's ready for the trip. Also I need to regain my strength as having a hand wrapped in bandages isn't the best thing for riding a bike safely is it? So I won't be riding my lovely bike for another three weeks at least.
He'll be fitted with light panniers, I need a new tent and sleeping bag as well. Already got the bike mounted camera ready for the journey!
The Route remains remarkably similar. I've adjusted a few bits and will continue to do so over the following year of planning. But basically:
Lands End - West-country - Cheddar Gorge - Wye Valley - Brecon Beacons - St,Davids - 400ish miles
Day Two: St.Davids - Snowdonia - 150ish miles
Day Three: Snowdonia - Lake District - 200ish miles
Day Four: Lake District - Carlisle - over the Borders (via A68) - Loch Lomond - 200ish miles
Day Five - Six: Route undecided, but Loch Lomond to John O'Groats - via Skye and watching northern lights hopefully!
Day Seven: Across the highlands and Loch Ness, down into England to Berwick-upon-Tweed
Day Eight: Berwick-upon-Tweed - Holy Isle - Angel of the North - Lincoln
Day Nine: Lincoln - Dorking
Day Ten: Dorking - home via Portland Bill and Dartmoor
Although written ten days the mileage is huge. So I'll give myself a couple of extra days just in case. The total mileage when I first estimated was 2500, but on working it out last night it's actually closer to 3000 miles! Yikes!!!!
So, a lot of planning ahead. Any tips and advice gratefully received.