Link 17: A Full Circle

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To be fair it isn’t exactly a circle, more of a weird loop with a Russian shaped dog leg thrown in for good measure. Regardless of it’s shape, we are back to the start. What an amazing 4 months it has been. I started this journey with Yogi at the beginning of May and if it wasn’t for this blog, there is no way I would be able to remember what we have done.

This week started in Russia with my last day in Moscow and the chance to meet up with Alex from my Russian biker gang. It was really great to see a familiar face and say a goodbye before I left. The following day I headed for the border, I made the decision that no matter what time I got there after the 650km ride I was going to cross it.

Pulling up to the border stopped to take a photo with the Russia sign that I had taken on my way in almost 2 months earlier with the Canadians. I felt such an immense sense of gratitude for the time I spent in there. It can be a rather boring and challenging place to ride but the people more than made up for that. I noticed the difference almost immediately after crossing back into Europe.

Thumbs up Russia, you have been amazing

Arriving about 4pm it was a relatively painless crossing, taking only 2 hours. However, an unfortunate incident during the crossing took a bit of the shine off. A Latvian couple parked next to me on their BMW1200 dropped it, onto of poor Yogi. He was now on the ground, stuck under 400kg. Snatching my passport back from the officer, I ran over and asked, hey do you need a hand? NO! He was more than a bit rude but after 2 seconds of not being able to budge his bike he conceded that in fact, yes, he did need help to lift it.

Hauling the giant bike off my poor little guy, he then proceeded to jump on and ride off. No help returned to me even though it was his fault. Not even a question if everything was ok on my bike. Fuming, and luckily with the help of another person I lifted Yogi to find that his already weakened handlebar had been badly bent.

Coming out of the border there was a large group of Harley riders, all German, who had stopped. I asked them if they were able to bend the bars back but it was decided that given it`s previous bends it would most likely break. I would have to ride it the way it was. They graciously let me ride out in front of their very noisy group so they could check it was safe and make sure I was ok!

The German bikers

With that mini drama behind us, Yogi and I set out to ride the remaining 2,500km back to the ferry for a Saturday crossing. The pair of us are feeling a bit worse for wear, no doubt Yogi more than I but he keeps ploughing on regardless. His chain has had a fair beating and just after coming into Germany I pulled into Honda to have it tightened one last time in the hope it would get us back. The local mechanic couldn`t believe where we had come from! Of course there was a photo 🙂

One last tighten before we make the ferry, almost there

I also took some repairs into my own hands, this time on my absolutely ruined wet weather gear. Knowing that I will buy some new gear in Canada it made no sense to replace it here with something cheap and keeping the budget in check is definitely important now we are back to paying $40 instead of $10 for a tank of fuel!

Worked perfectly, no more wet bum!

Our last night in Europe was spent in the Belgium city of Bruges. It was a great way to finish here on the continent. The streets are gorgeous and the city is built around a canal system reminiscent of Amsterdam. Desperate for some food that isn`t meat and potatoes I found a lovely little Thai restaurant and treated myself to a glass of wine. It has been more than 7,300km and 7 countries in the last two weeks to get here.

Pretty happy with myself after 25,000km

Gorgeous Bruges in Belgium

Riding up to the ferry, in France, this morning from Belgium I felt incredibly emotional. Although we have our Canada and USA leg of the trip to go, returning to England feels like the end of this journey. One I started right here at this very port, scared out of my wits. Terrified at the mere thought of even riding on to the ferry! Thinking back to that day, it was still very vivid and knowing how amazingly different I felt rolling up to the docks today was overwhelming. With absolute confidence and excitement we boarded, got strapped down and for the first time in more than 2.5 months, I saw the ocean!

The perfect day for sailing the channel

Standing out on the deck, sun on my face and breathing the sea air I was ecstatic. With a short ride once we were back in the UK to meet David and Elain, I had to keep reminding myself to slow down. I was absolutely busting to get there and see them both after all these months on the road. They saw me off after helping me get ready for it all, and knowing they were there to welcome me back was something I could not be more grateful for.

Elain me and David, super happy to be at my second home

Yogi will get a good make-over before his first ever flight this week to Vancouver. I will follow the Monday after and from there, we start again. So much planning to do this week to get organised, but I am beyond excited. I have so many amazing friends in Canada and America waiting for us, it is going to be a blast. I have set myself a pretty big challenge as well, but you will have to wait until next week to hear about it 🙂

Love Kylie and Yogi x

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