Journeys end

I’m home in Melbourne now. I flew out of LA on Monday 27th July. Azulo is waiting for a ship home!

Me with Maggie (left) and Mister

Me with Maggie (left) and Mister

Merry has had her second operation on her ankle and is doing well. It’s a bad break and she has had a bone graft. She will have to go to rehab and won’t be home for a while. It’ll be a long haul for her.

San Antonio to Los Angeles

I liked San Antonio. Apart from the Alamo and the other Spanish Missions, the City has a fabulous “Riverwalk” area. This is a sort of an “American Venice”! There are dozens of restaurants lining the narrow river…Maybe it’s a canal…I’m not sure. Anyway it’s excellent

Riverwalk - San Antonio

Riverwalk – San Antonio

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The next day, my journey to LA began in earnest. I decided however to detour a little from the main “Interstate 10” to see some interesting countryside.

I headed South West towards El Paso but detoured South to the Deep Bend National Park which is on the Mexican Border.

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I decided to lash out and stayed in a lovely Hotel called the Gage Hotel in a little place called Marathon. I really could have stayed a few days there!

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That night I had dinner with a father and son who were going camping in the park together. The son, Jack, 15, was driving Brian’s Hummer! Brian asked me if I would like to have a drive! Naturally I said yes but unfortunately we had too much to drink and the moment was lost!

Jack and Brian at the "Gage"

Jack and Brian at the “Gage”

DSC01159I had something called “deep fried chicken” for my main course….Actually it’s not chicken but beef that is “deep fried”….it tasted a bit like schnitzel to me.

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The next day was as long ride of about 700 K. Again, instead of going straight down the I-10 I detoured North towards Albuquerque stopping at Socorro where I headed West through the mountains to Scottsdale near Phoenix. This route had been suggested by my “Travel Agent” – Stuart. It proved a good choice as the road crossed some varied countryside from green mountainous to dry desert. I stopped for breakfast in a little village at a local diner and had the best bacon and eggs in a long while

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Scottsdale

I reached Scottsdale where I stayed with my good friend and ex-business Partner, Jim Josephson and his wife Susan. Jim cooked a fantastic steak on his new and very fancy BBQ. The BBQ had a special “searing element” (I haven’t seen that before???) Anyway the result is that the steak had a tasty charcoal crust which was superb. Why it had a charcoal taste mystifies me as there was no charcoal. Maybe someone can explain that?

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Los Angeles

The next day, Sunday I rode the 600 k to LA. It was a long and hot ride and I arrived around 4.00 pm.

In LA I stayed with my relative Andy Wainwright and his wife Melissa and son Alex. They live not far from Newport Beach and the GPS took me through the Cleveland National Park (I think that’s what it was called) It is a simply fantastic ride through the mountains and a biker paradise. Azulo was in second heaven with lots of long bends. What a great way to end the ride!

Alex (left) me and Andy Wainwright

Alex (left) and Andy Wainwright

We went out to a nice restaurant and later Andy and I polished off a bottle of Port sitting outside on his Patio. It was cool so he lighted a “fire table” (I’ve forgotten what it’s actually called). Again, that was something I hadn’t seen before…It’s a table with a hole in the centre where an element is heated by propane. The element is covered with glass cuttings. The net result is that it feels like you are sitting by a camp fire. I might try and get one of these for our home!

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It was a great way to finish the trip spending my last two nights with friends in their homes

Andy kindly drove with me on Monday to the shipping agent and we said goodbye to Azulo who will now be shipped home to Melbourne for a well-earned rest. Andy then dropped me off at LAX

Melbourne, Australia

It is good to be home. I got home at about 7.00 AM and received absolutely NO welcome from my two dogs! They were fast asleep. Some guard dogs.

Later Stuart and I visited Merry. It was good to see her and she is doing well

Merry - she must be feeling better!

Merry – she must be feeling better!

So, another trip is over and this is the end of the blog.

A word about Azulo, my Kawasaki KLR 650

I must make a tribute to my trusty faithful bike Azulo. He has now covered 60,000 K on my travels around the world. We have gone from Buenos Aires to LA, Vladivostok to London and Halifax Nova Scotia, Canada to LA.Over these trips, I have had no serious mechanical breakdowns. The only issues throughout the journeys have been water on the petrol in Kyrgyzstan, a puncture in Colombia, a broken side stand switch in Siberia and several problems with the pannier struts and foot pegs.

I think Mr Kawasaki should be very proud….. I should tell them!

Goodbye for now. Thank you all for reading my blog and a special thanks for those who have sent me messages.

 

 

 

 

 

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