Time in Canada passed quickly enough. Only thing I did not accomplish was finding a fleece sweat-shirt. One would think that winter never arrives in Canada. hahaha.
Before I knew it, back at Barry’s. A bit of hedge trimming. A visit to a pub or two, plus Toni purchased tickets for a tour of Botley Brewery 🙂 
Also visited with Robert&Eilene who had a lovely time on Crete.
Some of my time was spent moving to my new phone, the Blackberry Classic. Nice to have the buttons and track-pad again. Just the sheer ease of answering a call or ending a call with the press of a button. And before you ask, the touch screen does not work with my gloves. 

The bike was OK, though the chain had a little rust. Took a while to reconfigure everything. Have brought my suit over. And am taking my comfy chair. So had to remember how everything is organised, then change it.

When I rode north, it was a sunny Wednesday. Traffic was busy. 
Even busier once I was on the M6 at Birmingham. Made a mockery of the 50mph average speed limit. 
Was some 4hrs since I left. Time to fill-up and find a place to stay. 
Ended up being a service area hotel on the outskirts of Warrington. Supper was a couple of salads from M&S followed by mince pies and tea 🙂

Up to a grey, cool, damp Thursday morning. Headed north. Good move. Weather improved once past Manchester. Sunny blue skies. Ran onto Heysham and checked out the ferry location. 
Ran into Morecambe for good fish&chips by Atkinsons, and this famous character……

Then back and onto the ferry.  
Cuppa followed by an excellent chat with Barney. An ex-motorcycle police officer. Lots of stories. Including about his 5 week zoom around Australia, that he was just returning from. 
Hotel was VERY close by. Parking in front. Nice hosts, Lisa & Paul. Nice room. I’ll be fit walking up all these stairs 🙂
Unpacked and sorted the bike. 
Then out for a curry at Tandoor. Not bad. A recommendation from Barney. Followed up by sampling the local real ales at two pubs from Barney’s recommendations. 
Friday morning up to a full breakfast. 

Next step to plot the Manx TT route. TomTom has an option where you can plan a route by touching points on the screen. Did that properly on the third try. 

First Parade on the bike, then suited up and rode out to the TT start line. Where I fell about laughing. The lap time for the race is 17mins. Covering 60.7km. Requires an average speed of 217kph. I wasn’t going to be doing that. TomTom stated that this route would take me 1hr 21mins. I have a bit of skills upgrading to do 🙂 Even more startling, riding the route made me realise the skills gulf was even wider than the times suggested. There are stone walls, big trees, and roundabouts. This is a route along regular roads. The only bit where I thought I might open a bike up, was up along the mountain part of the course. The rest requires real fortitude! . 
Popped into Peel. Nice place with a castle. I was tempted by the sign advertising kippers, but too close to breakfast. Rode around the town. Checked it out. Took a scenic route out, then back on the TT course.
Ensured that I waved “Hello” to any fairies that might be hiding under any bridge. In theory there is only one bridge with fairies. Better to be safe than sorry. 
Returned home having completed this scenic route. Got to see lots of the island.
And I “take my hat off” to the TT racers.

Back in Douglas I found the Tourist Information office with a knowledgeable and helpful staff.

Next stop was Murray’s Motorcycle Museum
Bit of a problem locating the place. Especially as TomTom ignored the place until I used my finger to point out where I wanted to go. Once in the village, hard to miss the museum as you ride through Santon. 
Parked out front. Steep driveway into a gravel car-park. Getting in is easy. Getting out could be tricky, as I’d be coming off gravel onto a steep driveway, blind to the road. A very quiet road. But still a road. Discretion etc……
Well worth the visit. Not much signage, but Peter has TONS of stories. Including about Famous-Canadian, Mike Duff 😉

Back home and park the bike. 
Walkabout to see more of Douglas. And find supper. Was to be fish&chips, but ended up being poutine. Yes. It has come to Manx 🙂 Found a kimchi soup enroute home. And some halva. 
Back in my room, I had tea and halva.
Then an early night.

Saturday up to the promised wind and rain. Debbie (from Bournemouth, who’s brother runs Dynomite) pointed out the effect on a boat on the water. Was bobbing up and down, quite well.

I boarded the stea‎m train and went to the railway museum in Port Erin. Nice small place. Applies to the museum and the town.

More famous people seen enroute…….

The weather continued to be grey, wet and windy, so hopped the train to Castletown.

Nice Marine museum.
Nice clock in the castle. Presented by Elizabeth the First……

Couple of likely pubs, but time to go home.

The last train of the day took me home. Whereupon I booked myself on the nightime curry train 🙂 Had just enough time to do some shopping (long-sleeved fleece) and leave my postcards behind. Then back to Douglas steam train station. Rain really heavy, so the fleece really helped.

On the train, I found myself seated next to a nice young Manx couple with three kids. We exchanged parenting, work and leiure stories. Curries arrived. Mine a fish-green-curry. Then we were in Castletown. Train stopped for an hour. Time for 2 pints at the Sidings. Then back on the train. I had a port with the cheese-plate. More chat. Quickly (so it seemed) back to Douglas.
I love train travel. Especially the bit where you raise your glass to the car drivers stuck in their vehicles, whilst you are having a drink in a comfy setting 🙂 🙂 🙂

Sunday morning was a much nicer day. 
No Debbie at breakfast, but she had gone out dancing last night. Stated she expected to be out till 3am 🙂

I wrote up some postcards, but the nearby Post Office closed on Sundays. 

Headed out to the Electric Railway. Scenic ride to Ramsey. Where I did a walkabout, and caught the same tram back to Laxey.
Found the Mining Tavern, which served kippers. Have been hunting kippers since Peel on Friday. Was begining to think I would leave the island kipperless. 
Then onto the two big wheels. This one being the world’s largest…….

Met a fellow Canadian, volunteering at the wheel, for a long chat.
Then caught the last tram home.

Fish&chips enroute. Well, Queenies and a fish-cake.
Then an early night. With a bit of prep for tomorrow.

Monday morning up and pack.
Off to the ferry.
And here I am, all Manx’d out.
You’d have to be very good, and immensely dedicated to ride the TT. This is not for wimps, nor lunatics.
When the sun shines, Manx is beautiful. 
People are great. 
And my personal favourites: real beer (aka Hooded Ram ), and real kippers 🙂

See you in The Lakes

Richard Swiecki says:

Finally a mobile with a decent camera and buttons. What next? Buttons on britches?

biker says: