Thursday, 30 September 2010

September 8th - Leaving England

September 8th - The leaving of England, and the "Fair weather brewer"

The alarm had been set for 6am, but of course the day didn't start then, no, it started at 4am. Remember I told you about the heavy rain, and the need to pee?

Well, peering out of the tent, it's wet, and only getting wetter...
Answering natures call, sees me in nothing but a pair of white boxers, and my Alpinestars, crossing the runway in the rain to relieve myself, much to the interest of some horses in a paddock in front of me.

During the night, I'd missed a text from Alan, letting me know that he'd finally made Portsmouth, and had found digs, and would see me on the ferry. So, now slightly damp from natures call, (the rain, I didn't pee on myself) I headed back to the tent to contemplate the day.

Darren was up at 6:30, followed by Shad at 7:30. In the meantime, I had been packing down the wet tent, and re-loading the bike with even wetter gear, now for the "fair weather brewer" bit

Darren, noticing no coleman burning away, with a morning offering atop it, started bemoaning the fact that yours truly was a "fair weather brewer", never mind the fact that everything was soaking wet, and such trivialities as tea was low down on the priority list. (wait until we're stuck on the high Atlas in a thunderstorm, I'd give him "Fair weather brewer"

We left the base at 8:00, and took the road to the ferry terminal, stopping off only at Asda, for some bits and bobs, and at this burger van Shad had been telling us about.

Well, lavish wasn't the word, it was like a tourbus for the rich and famous, gleaming white, decked out in stainless steel, and with what looked like it could have been sleeping quarters attached as well!

To say that the burgers were huge, is an understatement, they were 10" in circumference, and were served stuffed with not only breakfast, but lunch and supper too.
We ate in the rain, and made haste to meet the boat.
Boarding went without a hitch, and we were soon strapped down in the hold, and making our way to the upper decks, to rendezvous with Alan and Jason.

I must appologise for the lack of ferry pictures, but we were wet, the gear was wet, and we were more intent on drying out, and getting some grog inside to warm the proverbial cockles.

The 24 hours aboard Brittany's finest dragged, and the time was passed drinking beer and coke, eating dodgy ship food, and chatting to several passengers, who found us an either interesting, or bedraggled spectacle, not least of all, was "Harry the hatchet", an ageing bloke, off to Santander with his wife, to "scare the shit out of some people in the dark"... (his words)
Apparently he was from the Isle of Wight, and collects debt, as well as racing his Fazer around the globe.. likely, or unlikely, who knows?

The morning passed to afternoon, and then to evening, with us listening to the ragged ships entertainers, and later, nodding off in the seats. Alan, Jason, and Darren had cabins, all whom offered to share with us, but me an Shad took the manly route, roughing it on the floor, and recliners..

I nipped out on deck at around 11pm for a last cigarette, only to be accosted by a large Yorkshire lass whom I guess was somewhere in her middle to late 50's, who asked if I was alone.... (ooeerr)
When I replied that I was with some friends, she said that she knew I was with some "roughty, toughty bikers" but was I really alone... (this sounded scary, so I withdrew a little, as I didn't fancy the thought of having to excuse my way out of another cabin invite)

She proceeded to try and engage me with stories of her dead son, and John Gotti, whom she'd met in the States, and while describing a meeting with Gotti, recounted how he'd stroked her chin, obviously feeling obliged to stroke mine, to lend emphasis to the tale..

Strange, first Harry the Hatchet, Now the Black Widow..

I retired at this point to the relative safety of the recliner section, and sought out some much needed sleep..
I remember dozing off, with my boots off, listening to Crash Test Dummies, and seem to remember some dude sleeping next to me on the floor, with his face against my feet..

Fair play I thought, they'd been in my boots for around 15 hours though..

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