The closing scenes

Kurt.nzTravel

How does that old saying go? ‘What goes around comes around?’ And so it was that after years of hustling, bargaining, and taking advantage of vulnerable motorcycle sellers in New Zealand, the exact same thing happened to me in Holland. I sold my bike. But being in the precarious position of wanting to fly home, and selling just when winter’s about to start, I got cleaned out with a steel wire brush. Ok maybe not that bad but at least a plastic bristled brush. Putting it in perspective it was only a few hundred dollars loss which isn’t bad for 8,500 km and six months of use. But I’m comparing the deal to my three other bikes I’ve owned in NZ where I actually made a profit when I sold them again. Which is a decidedly better position to be … Read More

Saddle sores

Kurt.nzTravel

1140 km in 16 hours. Let me say that again. One thousand, one hundred and forty kilometres, in sixteen hours. That’s what it took me to ride to my holiday destination from Rotterdam right across France diagonally to the south west. Four fuel stops and a lunch break. Time of departure from Holland 3 am. Just call me crazy. I was past Paris by 9 am, enjoying the view of the Loire river and many chateaus by 1 pm (I stopped at a little town called Amboise for lunch), and I was in Parentis-en-Born by 7 pm. Talk about traffic though, it seems the whole of Europe was on the road heading on holiday. Lucky I was on a motorbike and could pass everyone. The courteousness was a pleasant surprise; most cars would see me coming up in their mirror … Read More

Am I not already on holiday?

Kurt.nzTravel

There’s a concept known to travellers that I’ll call ‘a holiday within a holiday’. In effect it’s based on the premise that after travelling for a while, being on the move and being a traveller becomes normal day to day life. It actually comes close to being your job. You commute to and from work, in this case place to place. You complete your daily tasks – sightseeing and experiencing the culture, and you write reports – blog or email. Even meeting new people is akin to building rapport with clients. The only differences between long term travelling and work, well major ones at least, are that its way more fun than most regular jobs, and you don’t get paid for it. Unless you’re a travel writer. Offers anyone? Therefore, you still need a break, or a holiday, from your … Read More

The last of the German speaking countries

Kurt.nzTravel

They say bad things happen in threes. Well, upon arrival back at Gomaringen in Germany I was a little surprised to find my bike was dead. Not only would it not start with the key but I pushed it up a hill about a hundred times to crash start it but no go. I figured out the battery was completely dead and beyond the chargeable stage. So, new battery. Then, after a ride through the Black Forest, my air vent cover came loose. I stopped on the motorway to get it and after about twenty cars the very last one ran it over and shattered it. Great, so new air vent cover. Then I found out Davids cousin had written off his Suzuki 750. Not a good week for motorbikes in that area. I just hope the three bad things … Read More

The old and the new

Kurt.nzTravel

Anyone who knows their New Zealand history knows that it was a Dutchman that was the first European to discover NZ. But did you know that he named it after an area in Holland? Well, not him but his cartographers anyway. I rode around Zeeland in the south of Holland, or Old Zeeland if you prefer, just to see whether it really is anything like my homeland. And it was! Take away the windmills, quaint villages, and people driving on the wrong side of the road and it could have been any beach on the Coromandel or Far North. There were white sand dunes, tufts of tussock grass, and waves. Of course the sea is a lot colder being the North Sea so I don’t think there’s any swimming between the flags here. There’s also the Dutch answer to tides … Read More

The long and the short of it…

Kurt.nzTravel

Here is a random fact. The Dutch overall are the tallest people in the world. The average height of a Dutchman is 6-foot 1 inch. So, this begs one question; where on earth did all those Dutch genes disappear on me? No, that wasn’t the question I was thinking of but is another side issue because of my mish mash of Dutch, Irish, and Polish blood. The real question is how come they make their houses and buildings so small? Seriously, tallest people in the world, smallest houses in the universe, I don’t quite see the connection. It’s not the citizens fault though; they do a fine job of expanding their living area into every imaginable space of land available to them. But they get such small plots of land. I guess the dykes and canals do take up a … Read More

Flying sardines and anti-jetlag

Kurt.nzTravel

Long haul flights are not fun. That may sound like the understatement of the trip, but it must be said just in case you think I’m the type of traveller who defines ‘well travelled’ as the most amount of miles covered in the shortest amount of time. Flying really is a means to an end, unless of course something interesting happens while on board. The only thing that could have interested me on this particular trip would have been us having to make an emergency landing, in which case that may have been the end, not the means. Alas, this journey really was uneventful. Auckland to Sydney was the first leg, and then I had a brief respite from my flying cell. I took a train into the centre of the city and saw the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, … Read More