OK so, it has taken me a couple of weeks before starting to write this up... However, you all know which routes we took (mainly), what we brought with us and where we went - brilliant! Onwards...
Pyrenees: Day 1, Leaving England - 27th August 2013
As I ran out of time the night before, I had to finish packing and loading the bike the morning we were leaving. This was a slightly stressful time as we were meeting the other two at 10am at the Ace Cafe in London for breakfast. Once sorted, we set off to Sainsbury's in Dunstable and then whipped down the M1. We arrived only 6 minutes late - not bad!
Rob was already there, his GSXR looking very tidy with his lightly packed luggage (increased by the backpack he took on his back). As it was approaching 11 we started to worry about Casey as he hadn't turned up yet. Finally getting through to him on the phone, I realised he'd never been to the ace before and was a bit lost. A few phone calls later he turned up on his brother's GS sometime around 12. By this point the rest of us had already ordered and eaten our breakfast so after a few introductions and handshakes we set off for Portsmouth.
We arrived in Portsmouth early, so we stopped at the local Sainsbury's for water and a few other bits, filled the bikes up and headed down to the ferry. The ferry was loaded more than an hour before it was set to depart. Once on the ferry, Emma and I left the majority of our luggage secured to the bike via our pac-safe's, Casey in his panniers and Rob carried all of his up to the lounge. We hung about for a bit, waited for the cabins to be cleaned and then had a wander to see what there was to do.
Considering the reasonable price this return journey was costing us, there was a fair bit to do. There were 2 cinema screens, an indoor pool, small arcade, few bars, couple of restaurants and then the usual duty free shops that you would expect on most ferries. The four of us got something to eat and then Emma headed to the cabin whilst the guys went to see a film - The Lone Ranger.
At the end we headed to our cabins to sleep. The cabins themselves weren't too bad. They contained bunk beds, a wet room, a safe, a table bit and bits to hang your stuff up in. Obviously not a great deal of room sleeping wise, but functional. There were deluxe cabins available but no idea on the price of those....