Old Friends, Beers and the Seaside

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Back to Weymouth, this time on the bike. Found a nice place for lunch (excellent potato&leek soup) in Dorchester‘s pedestrian precinct.
Bike had lost a bit of coolant, but not much.
Met up with Brian. His family had all left. We talked. Might have had a drink or three. Supper at Enzo’s, then an early night.
Next day much the same, with supper at the pie shop.
Third day was errands, including a trim by a Canadian married to a lady from Poltava, Ukraine.

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My return to Weston-super-Mare was via Yeovil.
Found my Weston hotel AOK. Had swung by before Christmas. Close to the beach. Sue was at reception again. Nice to be remembered 🙂
Bike coolant was AOK. Maybe running on highways exacerbates the loss of coolant? Possible cylinder head-gasket issue. Will be going back to see Pat for a new battery on Monday. The replacement battery starts the bike, but not first time.
Spent the next couple of days resting. Have caught a bit of a cough.
Medication was courtesy of the Black Cat, a micropub. I popped in for a coffee, because the place looks like a cafe. Was a real surprise to see the beer barrels! I kid you not! Nick is an excellent host, so there is good craic. Plus there are excellent beers, and ciders. Gotta love a place that has this beer mat……

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Sunday was a run to see Jock (another old soldier) in Royal Wootton Bassett. We had lunch, at the pub I was staying at. Then I parked the bike and unpacked a little. We wandered back to Jock’s place for a cuppa. Lots of chat.
Then I returned to my room. Very nice place, and an early night.

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Monday morning was very frosty. So took my time checking the bike, having breakfast, and packing.
Bike started but then it was parked next to my room. But when I moved the bike off the patio, had to remove a pannier, as the walkway was very narrow. Switched off the bike. Replaced the pannier. Bike wouldn’t start. Let it rest a minute. Started on the 2nd go. Rode onto Pat’s place. He put in a BMW battery (twice the price) and the bike has been starting AOK ever since 🙂
Pat also confirmed that the head-gasket is the likely culprit. So I will be back next week.
Half dreading going back. My off-roading skills aren’t up to Pat’s. He rode my bike, side-saddle, through a large muddy patch, as if it was on fresh smooth asphalt. It’s so discouraging! hahaha. And just to underline the gap in skills, I slid my rear wheel and then dug a bit of a hole, when leaving.

Next stop was to fill up and find a place for the night. Selected Faversham, based on chat in the Black Cat.
I can recommend Furlongs. Though it is tucked away, not quite on the street of it’s address. Look for the Fleur de Lis Heritage Centre, and take the narrow alley.

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Tuesday morning saw sunshine, so I dressed with only 2 layers. Coolant was low, but I had run from Pat’s to here along the highways.

First stop was Canterbury.
First chap I met was from Krakow, Poland. Small world.
Then over to see “Squashed Ian”, but maybe I should have called first. Here is me outside his shop, which was closed……

Wandered around a bit till I found a Moroccan place for lunch. A buffet was perfect as I had skipped breakfast. Nice food, and a mint tea to finish.

Rode onto Margate. Never been here. Rode in to find my hotel, then rode off to fill-up. Back to check in, unpack, and TLC for the bike. Coolant AOK.
First stop was the Harbour Arms. Excellent place. Excellent craic. Just go when the tide is in 😉
Then the nice Lifeboat.
Wednesday’s walkabout confirmed that Margate is “closed” for January. haha. Great place to lurk around, and catch up on the chores that I did not do over Christmas. Eg: updating this blog 🙂

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ps: it’s only 2degC, but back up to 9degC tomorrow. Oh to be back in Toronto? I think not. Minus 11degC is forecast for next Monday in TO. Even sunny, that is too cold for riding.

Paul says:

-11C in Toronto I wish! -18, wind chill -33. Though it did go + yesterday.

biker says:

A few additional comments on Margate:

The Turner Contemporary has just the one Turner. The rest being modern.
Memorable? Well.
One disco-ball, a homage to eclipses and disco.
One ring of squished silver-plated brass-band instruments, by someone who did not like their music lessons.

Go across the street into the Old Kent Market, where you can have breakfast and more, in a double-decker bus, INSIDE the market.

A “proper cafe” is Kussan’s. Simple old fashioned food, mug of tea, and good service.

Can recommend the Grain Grocer. Picked up some needed items, as well as a shot of anti-flu drink. Ginger, lemon, honey and other good stuff.

Margate has an old windmill, open only in June, July and August……

Tourist Information don’t know that there is a laundrette in Margate. But there is.

The Tudor House is worth a visit, even if only for the antique carved wooden table, and pair of armchairs.

Twice I have been to the museum. Closed both times. Different reasons.

A return to The Fez was good 🙂
However, the return to The Lifeboat, was not good, as this time I was after food. Disappointing pie.

One of the flea-markets has C5 shop. Didn’t know they were still around.

Recommend a visit to Radio Margate. You can find a comfy couch, proper pot of tea, and an oatmeal biscuit 🙂