And again Walter and I convinced a new motorcycle friend to drive with us to the Pilgrims Rally. On Friday, 3 August, Walter Trappe (BMW F650GS), Günter Reuter (Honda CB600S), Wolfgang Daun (BMW R1200RT) Alois Klein (BMW R1100GS) Jürgen Krechel (BMW K100), and I Hans Mondorf (BMW K100RS) drove towards Calais. We had no problems on our ride to Purleigh.
After we arrived in the "New Hall Vineyards", the same procedure as every year started. First to register, then we set up the tents and after that into the fun with the Mayflowers and a cold beer.
On Saturday morning after a delicious English breakfast at the Scouts, we once again headed to the Ace Café. Every new rally participant who rides with us wants to go there once.
This year we were caught in a thunderstorm on the way to the Ace Café. When Günter parked his Honda CB600S in the parking lot, warm water ran down his radiator onto the floor. At first we thought a tube or the radiator itself was leaking. Since the motorcycle was standing on the side stand, we noticed after a short observation, that rainwater was slowly running down the radiator from the inside of the fairing. So all clear, no damage to the engine cooling. At the Ace Café was a Peugeot car show that day. Here we stopped for tea, coffee and cake.
After that we drove to Maldon. Down by the River Chelmer we watched the barges coming into port with the tide. When we wanted to drive back to Purleigh, the road was closed because the Maldon Carnival pageant was passing through town. So we were forced to watch it.
Back in the "New Hall Vineyards" we first enjoyed dinner at the Scouts and then we headed for the cozy part of the evening, in the barn with live music and a few pints of beer.
Sunday morning after the annual raffle and awards ceremony we said goodbye to the Mayflowers. This year Jürgen thought he would take a different route towards Dover. He convinced most of the participants to go to Dover after crossing the Thames via Rochester, Canterbury, Ramsgate and Deal.
While we were taking a short break at the country road a Mini Cooper with Red Bull advertising stopped next to us. Two lovely young ladies got out and each of us received a cold can of Red Bull for refreshment.
Arriving in St Margaret's Bay, a discussion began as to whether we should set up the tents at Hawthorn Farm Campsite & Holiday Park, like in previous years, or whether we should search for a hotel to rent. We voted democratically and the hotel won. After a short search we found what we were looking for in St Margaret's Holiday Park. In addition to the large caravans, there was also a hotel on the site. After moving into our rooms, we had dinner in the hotel's own restaurant and then ended the evening with a few pints at the bar.
Monday morning down to the ferry, of course not without our last English breakfast during the crossing.
From Calais our usual route home through France and Belgium. The outward and return journey went without technical problems.
- Hans Mondorf