Sunday, 28 October 2012


By Sanne

It was finally time to turn our heads north and return to my homeland: Denmark. I knew we were getting close from the increasing rain.
From the border I took the lead after declaring that I would get us there "no problems". Five minutes later we found ourselves riding around truck yards in an industrial area. We had come halfway around the world only to find ourselves lost in fricking Padborg! Anyway, we did manage to find our way out and followed the scenic route on quieter roads to my hometown of Haderslev. On the way I did something really silly which almost resulted in me coming off the bike. I applied the back breaks on top of a strip of white line that because of the rain was as slippery as ice. Instantly my rear tire skidded and my bike was all over the place. Luckily I managed to get it under control but it was probably the most out of control I have ever felt on the bike.

It was great seeing family and friends again and that's what we spent the whole time there doing. It ad been way too long since I had been back and for the first time I got to see my two little nieces Mia and Lea which was just wonderful. Unfortunately the weather was miserable the whole time we were there and it rained every single day so that kind of meant that we were a bit housebound.

The last month or so in Europe we had been pondering something... because we had travelled so slow we had arrived in Denmark a good few months later than we had initially planned. This meant that our original plan of shipping to Canada wasn't going to work. It was simply too late in the season and to make it to Alaska would be impossible as it would be winter when we got there. Our other option then was to ship to Argentina and do the Americas South to North as opposed to North to South. This would mean having to put the bikes on a ship for a one month journey across the Atlantic. This option was actually the go-ahead for a while and Mark then wanted to also go on the ship as a paying passenger. He initially looked into see if he could work on the ship however due to insurance and liability crap they don't allow this anymore. For the bikes it would cost 350 euros each which was pretty cheap but for Mark to go on it would cost 2,050 euros! Fair enough, this did include all your meals for an entire month but I would still have to pay for my flight to meet him in Argentina as there was no way in hell I was going to be stuck on a boat for a month!
In the end we decided it would be too costly and we couldn't be sure to hit Alaska in the right season this way either. Although we probably did have enough money to finish the trip we would have been absolutely broke by the time we got to Alaska and would have been forced to find work in the US or Canada and we didn't know how that would work.

In the end we made the tough decision to take a break in our trip and return to Australia to work. We had already been offered our old jobs back in Darwin where we worked for 6 weeks in the beginning of the trip.
We left our bikes in the basement of my parents home in Denmark, said our farewells and jumped on the plane to Oz! It wasn't an easy decision but the right one we believe. The money we will earn in Australia should hopefully be enough to see us through the rest of our trip. We plan on returning to Denmark in mid-2013. From here Handful of Throttle will continue with full power! This doesn't mean our blog will be on hold completely. We will keep on blogging about life back in Oz - although this inevitably won't be as exciting as riding through Balochistan we will try to keep you folks updated about life back in the grind...

One thing's for sure - we miss our bikes already.

We have arrived in the cold north!

With my very lovely and super sweet nieces - Mia and Lea

Lea being seduced by the ever-so alluring world of Barbie

Mark and Mia

So that's what we covered in 20 months

Our babies settling in for a long winter of hibernation

At the beach!

Me and my friend Louise (she gave birth 
to a healthy baby boy two days after we left for Oz)

Louise and Amaya considering a life on the road

There are some deers there somewhere...

A short break in between the never ending rain - sigh!

In the backyard of my parents' place - strangely the sun was making an appearance!

See you Denmark next year - please make the weather better this time!

Friday, 12 October 2012


By Mark

After leaving Prague we headed for Berlin where we were off to visit our good friend Frank. We were both quite excited to visit him, and were missing running into him on the road. We were also interested in visiting the city after a strange meeting from two American girls that we had met in Prague. After talking with the girls they had told us about their visit to Berlin and the differences between the east and the west. The had told us not to bother with the east and not to worry as they were sure our friend would live in the west so we would be ok. One of them even went on to tell us it took her two days to recover after her visit here. Well, I know they were from LA but come on, what planet really are they from! Oh that's right the centre of the universe if I remember hearing correctly...It just so happened that our friend lives on the east side and I would have to say that he lives in a really cool place, even with my dislike of big cities I could have easily have spent more time here, with plenty of cool bars and places to eat.

With plenty of history to the city we first took to it by foot to see why this place is meant to be like the slums, well we looked high and low and didn't find this hell on earth. We did come across part of the old wall with some great artwork painted on it. Where there is no wall there are now bricks laid into the ground where the wall once stood as a reminder to all.

We spent the following day out on the water on a small BBQ pontoon boat to celebrate Frank's birthday. It was cold and wet and were happy for the roll down curtain sides and of course the blankets. Feeling a bit under the weather I didn't drink and spent the day feeling pretty ordinary and dog tired after a late night and very little sleep. I did try to get a bit of shut eye but Stef felt that I should be socialising and proceeded to blow the emergency horn in my ear. Well, he should have never tried having a nap later in the afternoon and I soon got my revenge with the same wake up method. We then almost had a real problem on our hands when we went to pull up by the edge of the river for a quick toilet break in the bushes, we didn't make it and found ourselves stuck on the muddy bottom and going nowhere! Sanne managed to find some oars hidden away up the back and with some rocking and some muscle power we just manged to dislodge the boat and we headed for home.

We spent about four days in Berlin and had a great time with Frank and his friends and of course Stef who had come across from Hamburg. Luckily for us the weather held out for us one more time when we headed for Hamburg and to stay with Stef one last time before crossing to Denmark and finally making it to Sanne's family in Haderslev.

 Part of the wall

Lots of brilliant artwork on the wall

You can even do tours in an old East German Brabus B1000

My next ride!

The Birthday boy Frank

It wasn't the best of days to be out on the water

And yes it was cold...

That odd building is a boutique hotel

Oberbaum Bridge which once divided East and West Germany

The TV tower

We all traded the motorbikes in for a spot of cycling to do our sight seeing

All the cycling works up a thirst so a stop for a cold beer was in order

Sanne in front of Brandenburger Tor

The Reichstag

This is a memorial of the Holocaust

Checkpoint Charlie

A snack and a beer at one of the many cafes and bars in the east

Our last night in Germany was spent couch surfing in
Hamburg with Stef in his motorhome - in a carpark.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012


By Mark

Our ride from Vienna was not so terribly interesting but one we enjoyed all the same as the rain held off and we stayed dry for the trip. After leaving the city behind we made our way along the back roads which is pretty slow going and soon made for the decision of where to stay the night. After the luxury of apartments, and warm beds and showers the idea of camping was not so appealing especially with the turn in weather conditions. All the same we were going back to our cosy little living quarters, our 3 man tent!

We were first headed for the small town of Kutna Hora where there is a small church known as the the Bone Church. I first heard about this while watching the series 'Long Way Down' while dreaming away of our pending travels I always remembered their visit and with my morbid fascination with all things skulls I felt a real urge to check it out. After riding around the town we managed to find it. At first thrown off by how small it was I was happy to check it out, with only 30 minutes before closing we quickly had a look around. The design inside of the bones is amazing. There are approximately 40,000 bodies either buried in the surrounding cemetery or stacked up inside the church. The overcrowding came about in the 13th century when a local monk returned from a visit to Palestine with a pocketful of soil and sprinkled it around the church surrounds. The association with the holy land led to the overcrowding of this much sought after burial site. The excess remains led to them being stored inside the chapel. I was a little disappointed at first with the size of the church but I over came this after the reality of being in a place that 4 years earlier I really wanted to visit. After our quick visit it was time to find a place to camp.

After a cool night and a damp tent to pack up we were off for Prague, another place I have wanted to visit for many years. We rode into town with the thought of having to deal with terrible drivers but after India, all traffic is heaven. Only down side was the amount of traffic, the streets were not designed for so much traffic and my bike suffered again by boiling over after not being able to get enough air into her lungs.

With a quick visit to the information office we found out that there was not much cheap accommodation in town but we did however find something, over our measly budget but since we have saved so much on accommodation lately we decided to check into the Botel Racek. It is a floating hotel and with a secure carpark for the bikes. Just on the outskirts of the city centre but with a tram station close by we scored pretty well.

Getting into a city early is a big change for us so we made the most of it and started sightseeing, only problem was, if you want to call it a problem, that we were hungry and the weather was great, so we didn't do too much sightseeing unless you call going to different bars to sample the fine beers they have sightseeing! Boy do they have some good beers here. So we just ended up wandering around the streets that evening with big things planned for the following day. Sadly we awoke to shitty weather but that was not going to dampen our spirits and after jumping the tram and getting more free rides in and out of the city we set off to check out what Prague had on offer. We both loved walking around checking out the churches, no shortage of those in Europe and some other beautiful landmarks along with the usual tourist things. So we wound up the day in surprise surprise more bars sampling some fine beers. Sadly we had to leave the following day but Prague we will be back. Many more beers still to sample...

 The Bone Church

 All of the bones here are stacked with nothing holding any of them together

A beautiful chandelier

This was one of my favourite pieces

Town Hall, Prague

Our Botel for our short stay

Many of these shops around but after 11 deaths all hard alcohol is currently banned!

Some very brutal sculptures

One of many impressive lead light windows in this church

Chilling out taking in the the view over the city

Lost count at the amount of buskers

Charles Bridge

The main square

My favourite beer from a micro brewery, it was goooood!