Friday, 13 January 2017

169, wow!

Is it really that long since I posted anything? 345 to 169! You'd think I'd have had something to say in all that time, eh? Well, now I have.

The final piece of the accomodation jigsaw, was refitted into the puzzle a few weeks ago. This was a place I had booked for 2016 but who wouldn't let me rebook immediately, when I cancelled due to the heart attack. They said I had to wait till 'the fall'. Well I waited till just before Christmas but didn't hear back to my enquiry this time. As it happens though, the place is listed on Booking.com, so I booked it  through them.

Moving into the new year, my attention turned to the transport from Blighty to the continent and from Denmark to Norway. Grizzly took care of his sailing from/to the emerald isle, and I his usual accomodation along the M4, at Leigh Delamere services. I then booked our Eurotunnel crossings and the Fjordline fast ferry. That takes care of everything. Well, almost. Grizzly's passport expires in April, so he needs to get a new one sorted.

At present, I am still undecided as to whether I shall be selling the Sprint before the trip and if so, what shall take its place. I had a few test rides last year and was rather taken with the BMW K1600. I t would be great for this and future trips, I'm just not sure though, it would be as great for London commuting. There's still time to give it more thought before the riding season starts again. Trouble is, there seems to be a decreasing number of touring bikes available. Triumph have dropped both the Sprint and the Trophy. As far as they are concerned, we all want adventure or street style machines, so whatever I end up buying next, it won't be a Triumph.

Not much else to say at this point. Come back soon though, to check for an update.


Thursday, 21 July 2016

345 and counting!

Yes folks, it's only 345 days till the Wild Hogs take to the road on the 2017 Scandinavian Tour. Fingers crossed neither of us has an 11th hour medical emergency, this time round.

In my last post I mentioned about re-booking the hotels. I was able to re-date some and to re-book some others but there remains a number that are not yet taking bookings, so I shall have to keep a watchful eye on them over the coming months. I think I have made one change at the moment, that being our second night stay in Kolding, Denmark. I've managed to bag us something cheaper and a little closer to the town centre. There was nothing wrong with the previous selection at all and it was available to book again, but I took the opportunity to save a few kroner. Take care of the pennies and the pints will take care of themselves ;-)

I was able to re-date my Eurotunnel booking and transfer it to the car, so we shall be having a day trip across to France in September instead, a booze run basically.  Grizzly, spent a couple of days in Belgium to use his crossing and then stayed a couple of days with me. That gave us the opportunity to meet up with two of our Route 66 tour chums, Simon and Vivien. We had a nice few hours lunching and chatting at The Leather Bottle in Cobham, Kent. Grizzly had wanted to visit an old fashioned English pub. Not only does the Leather Bottle ( http://www.theleatherbottle.pub/index ) fit the bill, as an old English pub but it also has the added bonus of being featured in the Pickwick Papers. Indeed, Charles Dickens used to stay in one of the rooms. It was nice to see Simon and Viv again and a big surprise for Grizzly, as I'd kept the meeting a secret.

That's all for now. Come back again soon to see how I'm getting on with the re-planning.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Operation Cleanup

Cleaning up the mess that follows the cancellation of a trip, can be a real pain and quite fraught. I was lucky, we were lucky, I should say, that not too much was booked and paid for up front. The accommodation, most booked though Booking.com, could all be cancelled, without penalty. By the time I took a look at my bookings though, on the 27th, one had already passed its date and another had about 13 hours left. The latter, I cancelled straight away. The former would result in me having to pay NOK440 for late cancellation. Nothing ventured, etc, I emailed the property and explained the situation. Happily for me, they agreed to waive the fee and I was able to get that booking cancelled too.

My aim was, wherever possible, to re-date the bookings till next year, rather than cancel everything and have to start over. I've spent a lot of time choosing the accommodation and apart for a couple of compromises, that I won't re-book, I do still want to stay at them. The good thing is, that come 1st July, the 2017 July dates will be available on Booking.com, so I should be able to re-date the remaining hotels to next year. One, a camping site, have already re-booked me.

Aside from the accommodation, things like Eurotunnel, ferry crossing, etc, also have to be sorted. Grizzly is using his Eurotunnel crossing and I can re-date mine for sometime between now and October. The other stuff already paid for, I will just have to take a hit on, as with an excess (deductible) on the travel insurance policy, there is no point in trying to make a claim.

I'll be busy over the next day or to getting the accommodation re-dated but that won't take away the disappointment I shall feel when I wave Grizzly off on his short break, on Sunday morning.

I've made some changes to reflect the tour is now 2017 but I won't change this blog web address. Don't want to lose all my valuable readership, eh?

That's all for now.