vrijdag 17 augustus 2012

And so it begins...

...the final stretch of preparation for 2013!

Ofcourse, coming back from Britain the Alp needed some TLC - first off all, (almost the first thing I did upon arrival back, actually) the damage on the pannier rack needed to be checked and sorted out. Took the damaged half of the rack off, pannier off, and only the left panel was scratched somewhat. Just this week the rack's been welded, and I'll probably take the entire thing off altogether to respray it.

The bike got a well deserved bath last week and is now on its way to be serviced and get some fresh new rubber. I even needed to do some repairs on the camera - the battery retainerclip had broken off on the last day in the UK, but thanks to good service from the guys at Drift it's now sorted.

The Nolan was replaced as well, with a Shoei Neotec - in Britain, the Nolan took a bit more abuse than it could handle, making replacement necessary. I'll make sure to let this one last a bit longer, since the damn thing wasn't particularly cheap (mind you, its quality is a real improvement from what I'm used to... so I guess it's worth it).

Furthermore, I've put some more order into the chaos of my route for the trip to Greece - the way down still includes Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland and Italy as before, but the way back up will now go over the Balkan, through Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia and possibly Liechtenstein (Strangely enough I found out that Google Maps has yet to acknowledge the existence of roads in Bosnia - planning a route through it is impossible). Total length has become somewhat smaller - it's around 7000km (about 4400 miles) now.

I went with this route back because not only do many people I spoke with recommend this route back, but it also gives me unlimited time to spend in Greece; I noticed during the tour of Britain that there was always a certain pressure of getting somewhere on the date I had planned, as I knew there was another ferry waiting for me a few days on. This, in turn, made staying somewhere for longer than a night impossible... so instead of having to deal with this once again, I'm leaving the ferry back to Italy for what it is and take the road less traveled by.

Added bonus to this is that with this route, it's likely I'll do 13 countries (ta-daaaaa!) instead of 8... but ofcourse, it all depends on how immaculate my navigation is en-route. Day of departure is once again July 13th, and I plan to make it to Brindisi by the 22nd. Same timeframe as the GB-tour, less miles...and plenty of time to go by when I'm in Greece.

The pre-trip checklist is also taking shape. The previous one eventually spread over two sheets - I wonder how big this one will get?