Back to MAY, 2000

JUNE 1 England Cheltenham / Wyastone Hotel (53P)
Have dinner at the hotel

I want to watch TT motorbike race in Isle of Man. I came to London to make a reservation for ferry. I had thought it would be difficult to get a ticket at the spot.

I visited some travel agencies, any of which did not deal with it. Therefore I try calling some, but they were busy all the time. I was getting lazy to walk here and there in a crowd for the ticket. And I decided to head for Liverpool, which has the ferry port, and get the ticket there.

Running at full speed to the west, buying a map at a bookstore in Oxford, I arrived at Cheltenham, where I looked for accommodation. Because I wanted to do internet, I decided to stay at a hotel. Though the tourist information was already closed, fortunately, I found a copy on which some hotels available to stay tonight. I got it and call some. And I got a 53 pounds hotel.

This hotel is very good. There is a soft and fluffy bed, a big bathroom with a carpet. In the bathroom, there is a shampoo, a bathing gel, a shower cap, and a pretty soap. And in the room, there is even a trouser press and a drier. Furnishings are also great. People at the hotel are also very good. A family manages this hotel. The landlady is very cheerful and always keeps smiling with doing her work briskly.

JUNE 2 England Cheltenham / Wyastone Hotel (53P)

Cause I stayed up too late watching TV and making the webpage, I was still sleepy after getting up. The weather is still bad. This hotel is very comfortable and I like it. They all made me decide to stay here one more night.

You might imagine a solo journey is a lonely way. But actually, we have lots of chances to communicate others in youth hostels and camping sites. We speak to a next-bed backpacker soon or are spoken. It is fun, of course. But most tourists we see are strangers, and the language spoken is not our native language (except English-speaking people). It sometimes makes my brain tired; moreover, we must take care of our luggage when we stay in such accommodations. I think it is a good idea to stay at a good hotel when we feel tired and want to be alone. For me, this is the time.


The landlady told me that this is Spa Town. I got very glad to hear about it. It reminded me of a hot-spring bath. As you know, we have a lot of hot-springs in Japan and most Japanese love it very much. I am one of them, of course.

I headed for the "Spa place" cheerfully, and found it soon.
Going into the building, I looked for the entrance for the bath. But I could not find it. I asked a guy standing there where. He pointed toward the wall and "that's it".

I could not understand what he meant. There was no entrance there. And he continued "try drinking, good for your health!".  Me "??" I walked toward the wall, and I found a small water pump. Now I got everything. This spa is not for taking, but for drinking. What a big difference!
I tried drinking it. It tasted a bit salty. But it may be good for our health.

JUNE 3 England Liverpool / Dolby Hotel (34P)

Rainy Liverpool
I got the English weather at once.

When I left the hotel, it was still cloudy. But after a while, it began to drizzle. Then rained heavily soon. What is worse, terribly cold. My groves and shoes are dripping wet. The rain came in from the neck and I felt very unpleasant. A new map I bought the other day is already wet. My muscle is getting stiff. I headed for Liverpool as if I was a part of the bike.

Although rainy touring is terrible, I could earn longer distance than on good weather. Because I can not enjoy any beautiful view and take some pictures with some brakes. I would run toward the destination directly so that I take a hot shower or bath.
That's why I ran for more than 200km in quite short time, and I had reached Liverpool after 5:00.
Before I looked for accommodation, I went to the ferry terminal. I have to get a ticket for Isle of Man. Fortunately, I found the terminal soon.

There were too many motorbikes at the terminal. I was really afraid that I could get a ticket with such many riders, whose destination were of course Man. I asked some riders waiting for the ferry about the situation. But many of them were from abroad and didn’t know well. (of course I believe I was the farthest rider on the crowd !).

Anyway, I went to the ticketing office and asked about it to a lady. And she said I could get the next day's ticket. It was a happy miscalculation. Since I had not expected that I could get the ticket without on the stand-by list.
I bought a Liverpool ? Douglas, and a Douglas - Belfast ticket (140 for all). Then I began to look for accommodation.

JUNE 4 Isle of Man Douglas /Ferry terminal (free)

Just before the sailing

As the ferry was on 20:00, I wandered in the city. I went some places concerning the Beatles. After that I went to a pub and drank beer.
I had some beer even on the ferry.

Here in England, cigarettes are terribly expensive (a Marlboro Light is 4.3 pounds) but beer is comparatively cheep (we can get 1 pint from about 2 pounds). I prefer bitter one, which has dark brown colour, and savoury taste.

It was past 11:00 at night when we got to the island. It was already dark and cold. I thought that it would be very hard to find a camping site. That is why I slept at the ferry terminal. Some people were already sleeping.

I found a good space for sleeping by chance. In the playground for kids, there was a jungle gym. And at the bottom of which, there was a tunnel which just fit a person lying and sleeping.
I dragged my luggage into the tunnel. As some night watch men are patrolling around, we felt safe enough to sleep. It could be a instant "Capsule Hotel"”

JUNE 5 Isle of Man Douglas / Hackman's Home (Home Stay 16P)

At Ramsey corner

"Now it is time to wake up, guys. This is not a hotel!"
I woke up with a guard man's voice. Good sleep! He urged us to leave there but never forced. Some overnighters are still sleeping.
I packed quickly and "checked out" from the instant hotel.
And I called Yukky, who should have come here yesterday by air and stay with the Hackmans.

Yukky is a Japanese "writer and rider". She is active all over the world about motorbikes. She also has brilliant achievements as a rider, who handles a Kawasaki Ninja at will, for slender and mild looking. I don't know from where she draw such power out.

On the telephone, she said the house she is staying has an bed available. I hurried immediately to the house. It was near the ferry terminal. The host family is the Hackmans. Graeme and Sara, 2 kids, with a dog and a cat. They looks very friendly and served me breakfast.

Lady White and us

After breakfast, Yukky and I went to see the race. Today we went to Ramsey Corner, which is abut 20km from Douglas.
TT Road Race seems to be one of the most famous motorcycle race in the world. I don't know very much. It is unique that public roads are used for the race.
The race was delayed for thick fog. After 5 hour waiting in the cold air, the race started about 15:00 at last. Yukky went into the course and is taking pictures. She is as a press.
This is the first time for me to watch a bike race. It is very exciting! Today's final were 250cc, 400cc and side car.

After the race, we went to a old woman's house. Yukky has known her for a long time. She is called "Lady White" and she is a very famous woman. She had been a martial of TT for 40 years and was given MBE (decoration) from the Queen. She served us tea, some sandwiches, and some cake. She was very fine and lively for her age.   

Go to 6-10 JUNE , 2000