Look Mum, No Hands!

Trip Start Jul 02, 2013
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United Kingdom  , Scotland,
Thursday, August 1, 2013

Welcome back, You can also check out our little updates and photo's on our FACEBOOK page!

There is a certain age you hit when your facebook newsfeed is inundated with baby pictures. My anxieties about doing this trip were not the fact I still felt like a four year old attempting no training wheels on my motorbike, but that I had left it too late. Too late to have a youthful attitude on tour and too late to have a 'real' life at the end of it. Most of our friends are now nesting hens discussing interior decorations, while we have sold our belongings and stunted our career paths.

The moment when we left the cosmopolitan comforts of London my apprehension moved from a swirling feeling in my gut to a slight pain in my chest. We were immediately tested by stormy winds and pouring rain on the motorway; wearing nothing but jeans; going seventy miles an hour with almost zero visibility. What the hell are we doing? We should be cosying under a doona on the couch in our pyjamas with warm soup, flicking through the sperm donor catalogue. The budget of this trip is about that of IVF, a nursery reno, a fancy three wheeled pram and a deposit for a good school.

We were soon gliding through the sweeping turns of the Scottish country roads, surrounded by nothing but an abundance of lush green mountains amongst huge patches of still water…. barely a soul in sight. (Actually, this is quite concerning. I have seen 70% sheep, 20% dogs and 10% people, where are the population of Scotland hiding?) I have never seen such endless stunning nature. I was worry free and had nowhere to be. I didn’t have to drive the kids to tennis practice soon and I didn’t have to hurry to fit bath time in before bedtime. All I needed to worry about was where to sleep and what to eat.

Then something odd started to occur. Each time we passed another motorbike they would do a little nod or a little wave. As we passed more and more, I built up my confidence to let one hand off the handlebars to wave, like that four year old saying "Look Mum no hands". I was in. Who needs mothers group when you are in the motorbike touring club! Viewpoint parking spots became like pram filled Café’s. “Oh isn’t he cute, what is his name, how old is he?” – “Suzuki DRZ Supermoto, 400 cc”. “Oh you look tired, has it been a tough day with the little one” – “Yes we are, we’ve come all the way from St Andrew’s today”. “Are you local, does he go to playgroup round the corner” – “Australia, that campground the other side of town”. 

Another oddity was also occurring. By day we were carefree, zooming from village to village, taking in the scenery and breathing the open air like we needed it to survive. By night, like our friends in their cosy family homes, we were nesting. It starts by selecting a smallish town with a campground. On our way we stop to get food supplies (except the one time we didn’t and sat glaring at other campers like hungry wolves). We find a pitch and select the best facing tent position for sun, wind and privacy. We then proceed to place every item in it exact allocated spot. Riding jacket under the head of the mattress, tomorrows clothing lining the edges, bags under the motorbike cover.

This may seem like standard procedure, but I must add, our tent is the shape and size of Pavarotti’s coffin – everything needs a spot or you will be sleeping on it. We have almost perfected new lay-down techniques for changing outfits. Only one person may sit at a time, and should it rain (only most of the time so far), the entrance alcove has been converted to a storage unit. This said, we have now developed Tent Envy. Like newly wed expecting couples who need a bigger home with a yard, we wander through the camp ground saying “Oh, I like that one, it is tall and still only has two poles”. We are aware that a Mansion Motor-home is beyond our means, but it’s still nice to see such luxury. While they have their own water supply, electricity and a chemical toilet out the side, our latest luxury item is our three pronged foot high stools. Now we can both sit up and put our boots on. We have gone from privately reviewing coffee at various café’s to passionately comparing campground facilities. “This one has a bench in the shower cubical!”.

Neither of us can settle with a tin cup of red wine until this evening ritual is complete, giving us small habitual doses inside a giant anomalous state. Somehow in this enormous journey, in these endless spacious mountains we have created a little space called home for ourselves and our two motorised kids… It just happens to relocate each day.  
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Sarah on

I'm sitting at home with my feet up, baby finally asleep, dishwasher on and reading your blog I have travel envy ... I'm very happy to finally be a mummy but no matter what your predicament the grass is always greener. For now I shall live vicariously through your motorbike boots. Keep blogging

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