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Letters from the road
Tuesday, 15 November 2011
South Georgia
Topic: Antarctica

St Andrews Bay,South Georgia

   In 2006 Mick and I traveled to the Falklands,Sth Georgia, and Antarctica. For me the highlight was South Georgia, a place I had marveled at on the TV but never thought I would get to. Grivitken an old abandoned whaling Station and the great antarctic explorer Shackleton's last resting place, Saint Andrews Bay home to what seems like millions of King penguins, and Stromness Bay start of the Falklands war and place where the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition was rescued after 500 days at sea. This is probally the most spectacular place I have ever been. Click the pic.  007

Posted by bondrj at 11:31 PM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 14 February 2016 3:23 PM EADT
Sunday, 16 October 2011
I Got A Feeling
Topic: Europe


Andorra,Conch,Chamboard,Liore,Villers-Brettonough, Azincourt, Ypers,Belgian Beach,Brugge,Amsterdam,Red Light District,Vimmy,Patrick and Vanessa,Market, Piaf + Charlie,Lawn France,$15 of Wine. Click Pic for a bit of party time

Posted by bondrj at 7:28 AM NZT
Updated: Sunday, 14 February 2016 3:23 PM EADT
Sunday, 9 October 2011
The Australian Memorial at Villers Bretonneux.
Topic: Europe
Villers Bretonneux.

Posted by bondrj at 8:20 PM NZT
Updated: Sunday, 14 February 2016 3:24 PM EADT
Thursday, 6 October 2011
Don't Stop Here
Topic: Europe


         Andorra, you would die if you lived here. Thats $ 3 for a bottle of Vodka, $ 10 for a carton of cigarettes, you heard right, a carton. $60 for a Hotel room 4 star, with breakfast, then again we  didn't shop around, we just stopped in front of one that looked good.

Posted by bondrj at 4:29 AM NZT
Updated: Sunday, 14 February 2016 3:24 PM EADT
Tuesday, 4 October 2011
European Vacation The Sequel
Topic: Undefined



    The Griswold have embarked on there 2nd European vacation. Clark, Ellen, Rusty and Audrey have been joined by there newest arrival Hanna Banana. “It's all arranged” we have a new Renault to drive us and the brood around. A few relaxing days in Paris where they caught up with the Fatboys and then there off. Well almost, the landlady was late after telling them not to be. This resulted in a panicked rush to the train station, whilst paying a French taxi driver to go faster. Something the French aren't good at at the best of times. It was tight but they made the Eurostar and it was off to Geneva. A quick look around and it was into the brand new Renault for a drive across the mountains to Chamonix It was a beautiful day, the sun was shinning, the world was good, and the new Renault with 0 k'm on the clock made it about 30KM up the hills before the dash lit up and steam started coming out of the bonnet. After quick walk up the hill to get phone reception, and couple of expensive phone calls to the assist line in French which did not, the car had cooled down, so they decided to continue.The  thing want well for a while. Well not very long actually. More party lights, beeping sounds but no more steam. Is this a good thing? More French assistance.

       After a couple of hours a Tow Truck rolls up and puts the whole crew including car on the back. At least Hanna got some European driving time in. Next day the Renault is fixed, apparently it was a loose radiator hose. Wave goodbye to the nice Mechanic Kids. Around the Block Say hello to the nice Mechanic Kids. Nice Mechanic gets in, Drive around Block. Griswold’s get out. Back to Hotel. Next Day. Car is dead, Renault arranges hire car, Ellen has 400 euro taxi fare to pick up rent a car in next town, only to find out there is no car available in next town. Another relaxing night on the Ski Fields. Finally the rent a car mob comes good. Another taxi ride, Ellen returns triumphant. A Fiat bongo van perfect for the Grissies. They head off for a couple of days R and R with the Fatboys in Bourg d' Orisans. At last the Renault is fixed, besides the bongo van is meant to be in Italy for someone else. A quick drive to Chamonix where the new improve Renault is unveiled. Things improve from here. Audrey only opens the door on the motoryway once, and doesn’t even fall out. Rusty surprises the troupe by christening the Renault with a big chunder in the cab. At least they arrive in Italy for the next adventure. Aren’t holidays fun. Stay tuned for more.


Posted by bondrj at 1:53 AM NZT
Updated: Sunday, 14 February 2016 3:25 PM EADT
Friday, 30 September 2011
Still Shuffling
Topic: Europe


Coffee, swim, lunch (above), siesta, aperitifs, dinner, sleep. Repeat x 14. If stress persists see your accountant! Courtesy of Mick

Posted by bondrj at 4:54 AM NZT
Updated: Sunday, 14 February 2016 3:26 PM EADT
Sunday, 25 September 2011
Beach Life
Topic: Europe
Carla Mountjoi,Spain,2011

     We kept on driving south till the thermometer in the car hit 20 deg. After a beautiful week in France it's decided to turn a bit like Spring in Melbourne, and we could have stayed home for that. On the way down to my Cousins house in Spain the temp hit 28 Deg at one stage. That's a bit more like it. We arrived just as Brian and Pat where packing up, and after some quick instructions on how to run the place left to go shopping and to try out the local tucker.

      There are 6 different types of supermarkets in town, and the food is good and cheep. We had the local Menu next door 10 euro for a 4 course meal with a carafe of wine, and some sparkling mineral water. Roses has about 200 little cafes all offering great meals. We have adapted ourselves to the local time. This means getting up at 9, breakfast, walk, swim, shower, Lunch(about 1), eat to much, siesta, TV, Dinner (about8.30), evening drinks,sleep. This is pretty much what the locals do to, every thing opens at 9 closes between 12.30 and 4, then stays open till 8.

      Brian’s house is in a National Park, just 2 minutes walk from the beach. It was owned by a Spanish family so it's pretty typical of the houses around here. Barbecue, veranda, well for water. The beach has a big caravan park and cabins for visitors. They have an all you can eat smorgasbord every night for 15 Euro, it includes as much red as you can drink in one and a half hours. After that there's a bar on the beach. Heaven! The house has two small problems. Ants and water. If you leave everything in the fridge the ants aren't a problem. It's been really dry around here, so the well level is really low. It,s 11 meters from the top to the water, and the pump struggles to lift it that high. Mick and I have been hauling water up in buckets but it's bloody hard work and you use a fair few buckets in a day. We went off and bought a couple of cheap mountain bikes at the local sports mall, and next door was a giant builders suppliers. After a bit of looking we found a cheap sump pump and brought it home. It wouldn’t pump the water high enough either. We tried to get it to siphon down the hill no luck. We where just about resigned to hauling water when we hit on the idea of using one pump to fill a bucket half way up the well to supply the house pump. A bit of rope, a few loose bits of stuff from around the house, and a bit of electricians magic, we now have automatic hassle free water. Mind you we still shower and swim at the beach, but it's now out of choice rather than necessity. Love to say more but I'm off for a siesta.

Click the pic above for more of  Carla Mountjoi or below for a short cilp of us on the beach.

Posted by bondrj at 12:43 AM NZT
Updated: Sunday, 14 February 2016 3:27 PM EADT
Monday, 19 September 2011
Mick Burger
Topic: Europe


At last something good was named after me!

Posted by bondrj at 9:13 AM NZT
Updated: Sunday, 14 February 2016 3:27 PM EADT
Sunday, 18 September 2011
The End
Topic: Europe



And so Fatboys 11 ends. We finished of with a couple of easy 700-900meter rides just to warm down before we returned the bikes. A heavy night of fine food and superb wines was had to finish the day off courtesy of Map boy. Thanks. I think!. We caught up with the mad Scot's who rode everything and proceeded to punish them with Calvados a local aperitif until the bar shut. Tecno boy is off to Prague to do what he does best. We dropped him off at the TGV, where he saw a good drug bust by 4 cops and experienced bad coffee. Map Boy went to buy a ticket to Paris to catch up with his wife and Nacho's but the machine wouldn’t accept any thing above a bog standard credit card. After all anyone in the station with only gold and platinum cards must have stolen them. The Butcher helped him out with his VicTeach card and eventually a First class ticket with all the extras was obtained. Tecno Boy having left, the 4 of us jumped in the car for a trip up Galbier. 100 KM of nuttiness with 2000 M of climbing. Not even Map Boy was keen for that one. Great views from the top of miles of valleys and Mt Blanc in the distance. A very Quite night. Where all up early the next morning for a quick clean of the house, then where off. Map Boy to the station. The Butcher, The Fashionista, and Happy feet to Valance to pick up Marie Ann. Thanks Guy,s.


Slacker Award ,The Butcher. Complained about hills, ate everything.

Polka Dot Jersey, Map Boy Rode every thing including Alp d' Huze to many times to remember.

Up and coming Rider, Award Tecno Boy. Will be unstoppable next time.

Down hill Award, Happy feet doesn’t know where the brakes are.

Best Dressed Award, The Fashionista of course. Wardrobe improved remarkably after he threw all his riding clothes in the bin, and picked up Tecno Boys discards.

 Click the pic


Posted by bondrj at 7:51 AM NZT
Updated: Sunday, 14 February 2016 3:28 PM EADT
Friday, 16 September 2011
French Roads
Topic: Europe

Fatboys11,2011,France,French Roads

   Gotta love the French, lots of holidays, great pasteries, cheep beer , attitude, and none of these silly safety things like gard rails you cant ride a bike over on the roads.

More pics of why the French drivers are like lemmings here

Posted by bondrj at 4:27 AM NZT
Updated: Sunday, 14 February 2016 3:28 PM EADT

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