Day 21. Route

Today was  pretty much the last day of the trip, the destination for Marvin and myself was Rotterdam and the ferry. Just after breakfast Adam offered me a ride round the track in the Subaru, which I gladly accepted, it would be interesting to see the track and be able to discuss it with somebody who knows it. Mike got in the front seat, I got in the back and somebody else was there too, a friend of Adam's IIRC. Adam took us for a fairly gentle lap while talking us through the corners. There was an odd rattling noise on the Carussell but Adam said he thought it was a loose exhaust heat shield.
At the end of the lap I swapped places with the front seat passenger and used Adam's Yahreskart to get us through the barrier (the barrier control thingies are at the wrong side for Brit. cars, which must be a pain if you lack a passenger). At this point Adam became a bit concerned about the rattle, which had indeed got worse. He opened the bonnet and looked at the engine puzzledly. He could find no loose heat shield. I had a look and it didn't sound good. Certainly not good enough to lap the Ring with. I had no idea what the noise was. I  briefly considered big ends, but only because I play with an old fire engine which has a bit of a weakness in that area. We got the barrier attendant to open the barrier and gently reversed back through, then limped to the hotel. The noise got worse and worse, and Adam mentioned that the clutch had gone funny. Finally the engine just stopped and wouldn't restart. A bit of a worry, as it turned out that they had no European recovery on the car, and that the warranty had run out the week before.
After that we all dispersed our separate ways, marvin and I to Rotterdam and a ferry to Hull. Ian, Jeremy, Mike and Jim to Calais. Jeff was still in Austria, Crispin had ridden off in search of fun and fornication and Kevin and Liam had set off days before (and, incidentally, Kevin had crashed again in Budapest). Marvin wasn't dreadfully impressed when I didn't have enough cash to pay the hotel bill, and  had to scoot off to Adenau to the bank machine. When I got back only marvin was left, the bill was paid and we departed. It wasn't an exciting ride, though when we got to Holland the route seemed to get a little strange. We failed to notice any indication of the border, the only clue was that the road signs and number plates changed colour.
We crossed a river on another ferry, Marvin jolly kindly paying, in DM as we had no guilders. On one particularly non-level crossing my broken pannier rail got unhooked from the washers holding it in place necessitating a stop. As we got nearer Rotterdam there was no alternative to motorways, and we droned on through increasingly dull industrialisation to the port.
It went on and on, and on. The only highlight was a positively huge lift bridge which operated as we got there. It carried a 4 lane+reservation road and a railway, and let through a really rather big ship. We boarded the ferry without incident and strapped the bikes down with even less technical stuff than the Bilbao ferry, there were no cushions. We ate and retired to the bar where in time we got talking to a bunch of German motorcyclists heading out to tour Ireland. One of them was a very tall girl (also very attractive and very blonde). Marvin actually deployed his thermonuclear chatup line, then tried to recant it as she turned pink, presumably understanding some French as well as English. And so to bed.

As for the Subaru, it turned out that it was actually one day in warranty, and it got recovered. The fault turned out to be a big end failure and Subaru picked up all the bill. Adam and Amanda got back to Britain on their bikes.

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