A Travellerspoint blog

Rebuilding My House

In Southampton

semi-overcast 18 °C

Just a quick note to those of you who are still reading this blog, and by the way, there have been nearly 20,000 site visits which I am very proud of, to say that I am back in Southampton for a short time getting ready to move back into my house after the flood (burst pipes which happened in January!).

Once I am settled in, I plan to do some more travelling before I return to work in the Autumn. I plan to go back to Cork to visit my son Gareth and his lovely girlfriend Kayleigh for a few days. I am also going sailing in Turkey in September and will plan in a short visit to Stockholm to visit my good friend Steve Cocks and his wife Suzie.

I may be able to slot in a couple of other things, and would welcome any ideas from readers...perhaps a road trip to Scotland, or a last minute deal somewhere sunny, or popping over to see my cousin Wolfgang and his family in Germany?

Posted by ackers888 15:53 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged round_the_world Comments (2)

Beautiful North Wales

Bagging Cader Idris on foot on a glorious summer day

sunny 31 °C

I got a phone call recently from Steve, a friend of Lois and mine from way back in her University days. Steve has got into a habit of travelling up to North Wales to do some hill walking on his own, and last year he invited me up to join him for a couple of days, when we bagged Tryfan and Bristly Ridge (Glyder Fawr). This year, Steve called me again and suggested I join him near Bala, in Mid/North Wales.

I decided to go up on my motorbike as the roads in Wales are perfect for bike riding. I stopped at Ruths and nicks house for lunch in Cardiff, then rode up the A470 through Brecon, Builth Wells, Rhyadder and eventually arrived at a mountain pass about 40 minute South of Bala for a rest and to telephone Steve to find out where to meet him.

Just as I got there, I noticed a car that looked remarkably like Steve's, I looked up, and who should be hopping over a stile, but Steve. An amazing coincidence considering we hadn't planned to meet there, nor had he told me he would be in the area. So I had the luxury of being guided to our accommodation by Steve whilst I was acting as his out rider.

Enough words, I spent 3 days there. The first day we climbed a mountain called Cader idris..a famous ridge walk that is quite often used by the SAS for training. It was sweltering, but we could see for miles which made the navigation easy as we could see where we were going..a rare feat in North Wales!
Please don't tell my Mum that's me on the edge..she'll have a fit!
We also saw loads of jet fighters doing low flying training in the valleys below us which was an impressive sight and sound.

The next day I hopped on my bike and did a tour of the local roads, taking in a lake tour and then visiting Port Merion, which is where th cult TV series form the 60's "The Prisoner" was filmed. What a lovely day that was, pictures below:

I am not a number !

Next stop...fixing my house in Southampton ready for moving back in...an emotional but necessary journey for my daughter Laura and I.

Posted by ackers888 08:27 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged motorcycle Comments (0)

Laura, Karen, Katie and Tracey race for life

at Poole Park Dorset In aid of Cancer Research UK

overcast 20 °C

Today Laura, Karen, Katie and Tracey ran the race for life in memory of Lois at Poole Park in Dorset. I was so proud to see them put the effort in for a good cause such as cancer research. It was very moving.


Before the race, the girls were quite nervous, eyeing up the competition and talking about trying to break 45 minutes for the course. They all wore their numbers with pictures of Lois proudly on their shirts:


Not only did the girls complete the course, but they breezed in on the 36 minute mark, and that after owning up to walking a little bit. I reckon they could have done a sub-30 minute time if they'd put their minds to it, but at least they have now set the benchmark for the next time.

The announcers stated that there were 1,750 ladies running today:


and that they had raised £94,000 in total. This was boosted by Laura's immense efforts at raising funds, she managed to get over £1,000, and Karen, Katie and Tracey got another £200+ which is credit to all of you out there who were kind to donate to this worthy cause. Thank you very much everyone. Lois would have been proud! I know I am.

Here's a picture of Laura at the finish line:


and proudly shows off her medal a few minutes later:

Well done to all of you. You made me proud.

Posted by ackers888 05:26 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged volunteer Comments (0)

Laura Reaches Race for Life Target Sponsorship

Thanks to everyone

overcast 20 °C

Thank you to everyone who sponsored Laura for the race for life in memory of Lois. Laura reached her target sponsorship of £1,000 today, one day before she is due to do the run at Poole in Dorset. I will be there to watch her run, and to support Karen, Tracey and Katie who are also running for Lois.

Here are some photos taken shortly before Lois had her relapse, and how we should remember her:

Posted by ackers888 03:35 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged women Comments (0)

Round Ireland

three men and their bikes cross the Emerald Isle

semi-overcast 16 °C

Luke, Mark and I decided to take a few days out for a side trip to Ireland. Me on my lovely shiny new (well 4 years old) Triumph Sprint ST1050,
Luke on his..yellow "push me pull me" chopper, and Mark on his smooth comfy Harley Davidson. We Left early in the morning from Luke's house, intent on getting to the Fishguard ferry in plenty of time. The ferry left at 2pm prompt and Mark wanted to get as many miles under our belt so as to take the pressure off us, and we left at 7am.
Luke gingerly stepped aboard his steed, turned the key, and nothing happened..he had that look on his face that said, i knew this would happen..so after a few attempts, Mark and I pushed him down the road and eventually got him bump started. To a loud crackling roar. Mark and I hopped on our bikes which started first time and whizzed off up the road after the demon yellow machine.

We drove to Chippenham, where we decided to fill up..Luke's fuel tank being woefully small and only capable of getting him a few miles at a time. Once again, after filling up, Luke's bike failed...but this time he spotted the problem, something had knocked an electrical cable off his alternator and it was not charging his battery. So Mark and I bump started him again. At he next stop (McDonalds in Bridgend = we knew how to live it up) Luke's bike did start. and we stole off towards Fishguard. Luckily I had the lead, and had also hear Mark mention that the ferry port was at Pembroke Dock..not Fishguard, so I duly navigated us that way much to Luke's surprise who was a bit concerned we'd gone the wrong way.

We arrived in plenty of time, after encountering our one and only rainstorm on the trip (this was Wales after all)
The ferry trip was calm and we arrived in Rosslare early in the evening, where we had the most expensive fish and chip supper, before ensuring Luke's bike was parked at the top of a hill by the B&B.

We bombed off the next day, after Luke had bump started his bike down the hill, toward Cork, in the groove, 3 bikes abreast, eat your hearts out easyrider !

We stopped in Cork for our first pint of the black stuff (Beamish( and a spot of lunch. Then we headed South West towards Killarney along the coast road via Bantry, and eventually arrived at our base in Kenmare. The Kenmare Bay Hotel was perfect. Juts outside town, pool, jacussi, steam room and sauna, (and on a hill so Luke could sleep well knowing his bike would start) Just what we needed after a long ride. In the evening we went into town to a local Italian (very good) restaurant called Pergio's. Then topped it off with some guinness. The next day, we hit the road and did the ring of Kerry. A great coast road that loops around the Kerry peninsula.
Before getting back to Kenmare and then the ring of Baer..a fabulous find. We found the best pub in the world,
with the best mussels, murphys
and the best view
Then things got even better when we discovered the hidden gem of the Healy Pass.. a stunning road over the mountains that had awesome views and sweeping bends, perfect for bikes.
That day made my trip..and in the evening, we had dinner at The Lime Tree restaurant (very good) retired to a local pub where much Guiness was had to the sound of a local 3 piece band (1 x bass guitar and 2 x acoustic) who were fantastic.

Then, on Saturday, we headed back in one hit to the port of Wexford (a dump but with one gem , a great Indian restaurant called "Spice") before catching the early morning ferry from Rosslare back to Wales. In Wales we diverted over the Brecon Beacons to meet up with bike No.4 my brother in law Malcolm on his Harley Davidson,
and we had a leisurely ride back to Andover..we all arrived back tired, saddle sore but in good spirits. All in all, a good few days out for the boys, and yes, we did put the world right a few times in the pubs.

My impressions of Ireland..lovely people, lovely scenery, but EXPENSIVE..they have to cut their prices or they will begin to feel the pinch soon as people shy away becuase it costs so much for everything.

Posted by ackers888 12:55 Archived in Ireland Tagged motorcycle Comments (2)

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