Category Archives: Travels

Holidays

Deals Gap – Dragons Tail TN.

To celebrate our birthdays this year, as we are in Gatlinburg Tennessee, we found out that we were near the famous “Deal Gaps” also called the “Dragons Tail”. So who are we to miss out on this golden opportunity of taming the famous  Dragon;).
For those who have not ridden the tail this ride is consists of 318 windy bends in 11 miles set high in the spectacular mountains of Tennessee. In the summer over a 1000 bikes a day will take this trip into the mountains. We set off from Gatlinburg early in the morning on a bright and clear sunny day, and made our was to Townsend on the 321 then crossed into the Foothills Parkway, where you literally ride along the top of the mountain, with awesome views stretching out form either side of you, ideal for a photo op;) At the end the road you hit the famous Route 129 turn left then after 3 miles you begin your descent through Deals Gap😀 With me on my Street bob I took a steady ride into the bends enjoying the luscious curves;) The sights are amazing, but you have to watch out for the rocket bikes coming upon fast, boys will be boys and play and they were having some serious fun;)  There are a few photographers on route who take photos of you as you ride the tail and you can pick these up online. I can honestly say this was a fabulous journey and I loved every minute. Once at the bottom you meet the Dragons Tail resort, where you pick up a few souvenirs and a excellent burger one of the best I’ve had i ages. There’s also the tree of shame for those who manage to wrap their bikes around a tree of two! and board of photos of gravel rash… On leaving the Dragons Tail we decided to head the other way towards “Hellsbender” another awesome bike ride on the way through to Cherokee, then back to Galinburg for a well earned Texas Streak;)
I have to mention all the roads round here in the Misty Mountains are full of step winding roads ideal for the explorer in you, I have never been anywhere like it the beauty is truly awesome.
We were egar to make our way home before the storm hit, reality of danger clearly hit home, when we came upon a fallen tree in the middle of the road with three people trapped inside. Thankfully while we were trapped there for two hours all three of them escaped with their lives and with their feeling all there body parts. We literally missed it by a minute, I’m so thankful that we not a minute sooner… What ever you do guys always ride safe…

Battling through the Snow to Brent Creek Gatlinburg…

On my previous blog I was bragging about the glorious sunshine of Daytona Beach!!! Well that will teach me… Day 2 of our journey was not too bad either, but day 3 we got caught in a rain storm after an hours riding through South Carolina, so we signed into a hotel for the night, to wait out the storm. Day 4 we woke bright and early as we had 250 miles to reach Brent Greek, by 8 am we were on the road once again. It was exceedingly cold and I for one wanted to turn back or at least rent a car… but that was not an option as we had no where to store the bikes. So we pressed forward stopping every 50 miles to warm our frozen hands… (Oh I wish we stayed in Daytona) well soon we had to stop every 20 miles as we climbed the smokey mountains, all the while I was thinking I’m Nuts, this is totally crazy!

The worst was yet to come, 50 miles to go we hit a snow storm in some fashion…not funny when your riding Harley’s into a blizzard of snow on the interstate, with the roads getting worse every minute. Well fare weather riders we are not!!! bring on the extreme….DOH! Well neither of us were at our happiest but we plodded on, after 20 miles of blizzard the skies started to clear and we left the maddening interstate behind us and took a well earned hot coffee break in a delightful cafe. The Lovely lady in the Pink hat soon had us smiling again with her welcoming comforting smile.
Thankfully no more interstate just windy country lanes, despite the ass biting cold and a feeling of, I want to go home our next part of the journey was totally 100% stunning. Like a snow scene out of the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe… the windy roads were covered in snow and icicles on the trees and plants. and the stream running along the road not quite frozen was magical, the countryside here is a sight to behold. 20 minutes we got to our destination, where we are to stay for the next two weeks. All I can say folks that’s a journey I never want to repeat again, but boy am I glad I did it because I can honestly say this is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. When I woke in the morning all I wanted to do is play snow angels 🙂 and I had the biggest smile on my face.
You know our journey the day before is just like life, sometimes we just have to go through so much emotional turmoil, but if we keep fighting and striving to reach our goals when we eventually get their it makes it all worth while, and sometimes the joy inside takes you to a special place of pure happiness, truly happy to be alive 😉

Back in the USA and back on the Harleys :)

After our very long day of flying from Manila to Orlando we finally arrived safely and on time in Orlando Airport. In total we’ve been travelling none stop for 32 hours, crossing the international dateline and going back in time… that’s a weird experience I can tell you, but no doubt my honey will sum up the whole the experience in pristine detail for you 😉 Here are some figures for you, I was up 9 hours before we flew… and we landed at 12 midday after 32 hours of transport and then was up for a further 8 hours so that’s 49 hours with a few hours shut eye on the plane and I was ready for some ZZZZZZZZZ’s 😉 Well no rest for the wicked, after departing Orlando airport in the hire car we went to sort the Harley’s out and get them ready for our next journey to Tennessee. To our suprise Gary fired up the Fatboy and it started straight away, and so did my Streetbob, what a welcome relief from having to charge the batteries up, so we signed into to the hotel and repacked for our journey the next day.

By 11 am the next morning we hit the road and headed off to Daytona for a spot of lunch. Here’s a couple of photos of Gary enjoying a well earned Guinness me with a bottle of bud. For those that don’t know it’s Daytona Bike Week starting Friday and already the bikes have started to arrive, sadly Gary and I won’t be part of it as we’ll be in Tennessee, but it was sure great to get a feel for the up and coming bike fun. We’re both so happy to be back here in the States and on the Harley’s, sun oh happy sunshine…

Day Trip to Tagaytay Philippines.

After nearly spending two months here in the Manila, we made it out for a trip into the Country. Our Journey began by bus to the city of Tagaytay. Tagaytay is famous, for Taal Lake and Volcano. The City is built right next the the Volcano. In the first Picture below you can see the islands, The whole lake you can see is the mouth of the volcano itself. To the right of the photo you can see a smaller volcano but this is only a small part of the major one it is sat in.
Down below in the lake are fish farms and smaller settlements. From where we were standing their are many beautiful restaurants for you to spend watching the beautiful sunsets.

When we first arrived at Tagaytay we stopped off at Sonja’s gardens where we walked around to see the beautiful gardens filled with amazing flowers which I have never seen before. It was here we stopped for a bite of lunch, which was a set menu with three courses and drinks. I highly recommend going there, its an experience well worth a visit. The last photo is Gary and I taking time out for a sweet kiss this was taken at Sonya’s Garden, in one of the many relaxing spots, where you can chill and wind down from the stressful week 🙂

Golden hills.

Another trip we took was a visit to the tea plantation and spice plantations. On our way up to the tea plantations we stopped to see the rubber tree fields and watch the local worker in extracting the rubber from the trees. In the first photo you can see him cutting the tree, and the trickle of rubber coming from the tree. Our next stop was Ruby’s spice plantation, here we stopped to see all kind of spice that were grown in these parts. All spice, ginger, african ginger, nutmeg,turmeric(used as an antiseptic to mosquito bites), Chillies, lime, cocoa, cloves, pepper and coffee to name a few.  we were lucky enough to be served lunch and meet the 84 year old Ruby, who was a complete darling, an amazingly interesting and insightful lady and will surely touch your heart with her passion and knowledge for life. Who also work with Mother Terassa. This was very profound for me as my own Nan passed away a few days before at the grand old age of 86. I will so miss her, she was the most inspiring person I had in my life, especially after losing my own mum 11 years ago.

The second photo is the river  on the way up to the tea plantation. The views are amazing and they will take your breath away. To get to the plantation you will zig zag your way up through the mountain passing through the rain forest and if you’re lucky you might see the wild monkeys, tigers, elephants. Once up at the top of the mountain you will see the tea plantation factory. Here there is a restaurant where you can sample the local brew. This is one of the rare places where they roll the tea leaves instead of crushing them, which makes for a stronger tasting tea.