Wow this is the last Blog in this series after 6 months travels.
A lot of Bridge has gone under the Water! But let's finish off Scotland and heading down to Heathrow etc.
Here are a few night shots of Edinburgh, a beautiful city anytime of day, though the Royal Mile does have its rougher side (late nights Fri and Sat can be wild west-ish)
These sheep were such an unusual colour, they could have only just been dyed, not sure why and other flocks in the area were the same, maybe to find them in the snow which I understand is plentiful in the UK at the moment.
Just love the stone walls, must be backbreaking and take ages to build.
Megget Reservoir feeds Edinburgh
This is the only area of Britain where I saw circular stone walls which are sheep yards.
Lindisfarne is only accessable at low tide by a causeway and this was the way the monks also accessed it back in 640 AD and has also been visited by Vikings.
One of my fellow woofers who came down for the trip was a geo cacher, so we tracked down several of these hidden little caches. Since these GPS devices have come on the market, there are literally thousands of them hidden around the world and finding them has become an interesting hobby.
We also called onto Berwick on Tweed, Eyemouth and St Abbs.
The latest in tombstone etching, I wonder what I'll get put on mine.
This is St Abbs, with a roaring sea and a biting wind we headed back to Eyemouth to sample another Italian icecream shop. It was good but still no match for childhood memories and tastes.
It was getting rather cold in Scotland now and living in a caravan with a 2 bar heater was lo\sing its charms and anyway New Zealand was calling.
The morning of the off, I biked the 4 km to Traipran Law which is a commanding little hill overlooking East Linton and walked up. There used to be a settlement of people up here in Roman times and has quite a bit of folklore to it. I can understand why.
The green structure (which in a previous life was a mobile breast screening xray unit) is the kitchen/canteen with my abode just in front.
Here we are at Dunbar Station heading for York and the bike's new home!
York was having an arty time projecting light shows, this is actually on the outside ofYork Minster, very impressive.
I headed down to London on the Megabus which was a bus and train journey changing in the Midlands at this amazing station. I was struck by the view, knowing where I would be in a couple of days, back in rural Nelson.
I had high expectations for this trip. Iit was to be my first foray into busking from a bicycle, to meet the real people along the sides of the roads and little towns in UK, Ireland and Europe.This was my vibe as I left NZ.
This was the reality after only 4days biking.
Now reflecting upon my trip. I was ill prepared for cycling in UK conditions, ill prepared for finding busking locations and out of touch with the reality of biking and having enough energy to also busk. Once I was finally given permission to ride again 8 weeks after the operation, I had lost a lot of my fitness and desire to do what I came to the UK to do.
I did not get to Ireland or Europe.
On the plus side Christine and I had a great time getting around England and Scotland. I met lots of interesting people (in hospitals mainly) and found many spots we would like to return to, perhaps on another trip.
Would I do it all again? No bloody way. I've learnt a lot and would do it all very differently, though I'm still figuring out if I'm up to it.
My arrival in New Zealand was not without some drama. I had intended to open my saxophone case and play "Po Kare Kare Ana" once on NZ soil, however this was all curtailed when Customs asked for my ongoing ticket. I had left NZ on my British passport and didn't get it stamped upon leaving NZ, and therefore had to be given a one month visitor's visa.
Warm weather greeted me back in Nelson, but after only one week at home, I was involved in this three car crash (we were in the middle). I have no excuses, it was my fault, luckily no one was seriously injured, though there could have been deaths.
This has been a sobering trip and 2010 was an eventful year. I feel I have created my own luck or lack of it.
At the tender age of 60, I'd better mend my ways or I may not reach 65.
I started this trip with the memory of several friends who died prematurely, and this still happens daily to people we all know. I could have been this year one of those statistics (at least twice), or people very close to me.
I am in no position to give advice to anybody at the moment.
Thank you for following my blog.
Exercise your creativity at every opportunity and above all stay safe.