Category: Summer

The traveling threesome of Pascal, Arja and Francois have just consolidated their committment to each other and formally recognised their long-term relationship, forged through inspirational travels across 37 countries and 4 continents by motorcycle. In the most romantic of settings nestled between the Alps and the Jura mountains on the shores of Lake Léman the couple exchanged vows inside the Medieval Castle of Nyon, the town which they now call their home away from home. The scenery breathtaking as it is, was made even more special by the inclusion of their famed motorcycle Francois. Francois has been instrumental in their travels around the world, having delivered them in safety through tumultuous regions of Kashmir, Pakistan, Algeria and Iran into the warm embrace of concerned family and friends.

Newly weds

The Newly weds Arja, Pascal and their motorcycle Francois in front of the Chateau of Nyon in Switzerland

Together they rejoice in their happiness and as they find their place in the world wherever it may be and we wish them all the best for their long and prosperous lives together.

Please join us in celebrating the union of Arja, Pascal & Francois and wish them a huge congratulations!!!


Dear Family, Friends and fellow riders,

We’ve some news that we’d like to share with you. As you may know, early last year I popped the question to Arja and she accepted! Last October as financés we left on our trip around the Mediterranean Sea and through North Africa, it was an immensely warm and fascinating experience. The joy of our ride and the need to keep warm returning to Europe in winter brought abouts, as per chance, the most incredible of journey’s we will experience yet. Yes we are expecting a little Gullvik/Bosshard quite soon! If we include our little meander of a ride from Australia to Norway in 2009 we have now covered a total of over 80,000kms of testing, bumpy and at times rough roads in the saddle together. Well it is time to hang up the gloves so to speak, and give the Riding2up blog a break for a little while at least, or until we can find room for a 3rd! It has been a long road full of challenges and obstacles and well in truth it’s not over yet, but rather just a change in direction. In light of this extraordinary event we have decided to tie the knot here in Switzerland by having a small family wedding celebration ahead of the birth of our child due end August. We would love to be able to share this very special event with you, but alas it will be small, intimate and understated. We will nevertheless look forward to celebrating in spirit with you and hopefully in person together some time down the track. We are extremely delighted and couldn’t be happier at this evolution in our lives. So far although very busy, Arja has been doing very well. I won’t say any more, albeit to tell you that we don’t know the sex, it will be a surprise!

For those of you perhaps inclined to send us something, please don’t, we have everything we need. Our motto, less is more, simple is better, is under strain already as we struggle with the accumulation of a lot of unnecessary belongings. Although parents far and wide I’m sure will tell us that accumulation of stuff is simply unavoidable.

With this I wish you our warm regards and look forward to sharing with you our new adventures.

Please keep in touch.

Pascal & Arja

Happy new parents to be, embrassing life to the fullest extent.

Dear Friends & Family,

With the onset of summer and fully out of hibernation, we’ve been taking the plung wherever and whenever we can, the past weekend was in Nice, but not before we got drenched on the way there and the way back. Going back a few weeks, we were asked by an acquaintance for an interview about our travels, of course as we love to talk about our trips and travels, we couldn’t refuse. If you’d like to read the whole article then it’s available in full here.

“… there are many things on the road that can’t be anticipated and no matter how much preparation you have, it won’t help.”

“The unconditional friendship and generosity of complete strangers has changed us in ways that we are still finding out even today.”

Read more from our interview with Antonis, from Bikers Time Magazine here.

We are also preparing for our big ‘Tour of the Med’ later in the year. More on that to come next time, but more recently we’ve been busy servicing Francois and conquoring the Alps, one pass at a time. The past long weekend we managed to fit in several mountain passes from Geneva down to Nice and back up again.

  • Col du Télégraph 1566m
  • Col du Galibier 2642m
  • Col du Lautaret 2057m
  • Col de la Bonette 2715m
  • Col de Vars 2108m
  • Col de la Cayolle 2326m
  • Col Turini 1604m
  • Col St Martin
  • Col Valberg

Take a look at the view of the alps from inside our helmet, and see what we see. We’re also improving our new blog all the time so check back again soon to see the latest changes and stories from the Northern hemisphere.

You are invited to view Riding2up Adventurers’s photo album: Over the Alps to Nice

Monaco and Cote d'Azur Over the Alps to Nice – 6 Jun 2011by Riding2up AdventurersFrom Geneva over the alps to Nice we passed over 9 mountain passes and through gorges in the rain and snow.

View Album

Play slideshow

Best Regards,

Pascal & Arja

This day marks exactly one year since we arrived in Switzerland on our way through to Oslo and it has been a very busy year indeed. Now with both of us in gainful employment we are time-poor. But the up side is that we have more cash, yes, but also a place for visiting guests. This year we have been kept busy with travelling motorcyclists, from all corners of the world, with family and friends visiting us and it has given us the opportunity to get to know our temporary home even better. On September 4th we set off once again in search of new roads across the Alps, this time south into Italy we rode through the largest canton of Switzerland, Valais, over the Simplon pass (alt. 2008m) and into Italy.

Ferry crossing of Lago di Maggore in Northern Italy

We crossed over Lago Maggore one of the magnificant great lakes in the north of Italy and headed past Como and Verona towards Venice. Just before arriving in Venice we rode through the Riviera del Brenta, a quaint region with Victorian style houses and iron caste gates. All the buildings were painted with either a very tuscan terracotta or a pastel pink stonewash.

Is there anywhere like it in the world?

Venice. Is there anywhere like it in the world?

We joined the hoards of tourists and soaked up what we could of the Italian water born town with it’s cafés, churchs, art galleries and narrow streets and canals. With Francois looking forlorn as we left him parked amongst other bikes on entry to Venice we reluctantly made way to our apartment where Nick and Belinda were waiting with ice cold beer. What great friends, they certainly know how to cheer up a weary couple of travellers.

Beers in Venice

Enjoying a brew in the floating city of gondolas

After a few days in venice it was time to say good-bye to our dear friends and regain Francois who had been sitting out in the open for the past three days. It’s always the most apprehensive moment just before getting back to Francois after a few days for fear of him being vandalised, or worse stolen. Luckily all was in order and so we repacked the panniers and headed to Trieste and the very short Slovenian coastline. Well planned by the extraordinary co-pilot, we found a small but beautiful town pearched on a hilltop just over the border into Croatia. The town of Groznjan is a historic village now mostly for Tourism but also sells local produce from the region of Istra including the Istrian grappa flavoured with mistletoe, rose, honey or many more.

Groznjan Croatia
Arriving in the quaint little town of Grosjan nestled in the hills of northern Croatia

Istria is a surprising yet understated region that has many hidden treasures and some fantastic motorcycling. From Croatia we headed south along the coast road until Senj then headed inland towards Plitvicka Jezera National Park which is located near the border with Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Plitvicka Jezera NP

The simply stunning crystal blue pools of Plitvicka Jezera National Park

Don’t be fooled, as we were, by the clear blue skies that were traitors to what was to come. We spent the night under downpours that would contest the monsoons of asia, soaked like drowned rats we sort shelter in the camping site bar, cold and wet it was as long night. The next morning eager to make a quick departure before the rains came back we scouffed down bread and chocolate with coffee making hast to Ljubljana via Zagreb.

Ljubljana Centre

View of the Franciscan Monastery and Church of Annunciation in central Ljubljana

December 8 2008

After a slow morning we headed further into the  Cameron Highlands to Birchang in search of strawberry farms and the famous tea plantations. After wrestling Francois through the public holiday traffic (Muslim holiday Hajid) we only just saw the turnoff to Sungai Palas and Boh Tea estate. The steep narrow windy road was extremely picturesque and slippery due to the moss and leaves. Extra care was needed and the sounding of Francois’ horn on blind corners proved a cautious measure that paided off on several occasions. At the Boh tea house we were waved on by the security to continue past the parking lot directly up the hill to the café and lookout, this sort of treatment is common for motorcyclists in Malaysia and something that could be learnt in Australia.

Aside – not only do motorcyclists get special treatment but they don’t pay tolls, parking and have the right to park on footpaths if the motorcycle parking (which is everywhere) is fully used. There are of course many more motorcycles here in Malaysia than Australia but the proportion is not as high as in other asian countries.

Pascal Filming

Pascal filming the locals harvesting tea from the undulating tea plantations

After the tea house we went to a strawberry farm and vegetable garden to look at the typical food of the region and how it’s grown. No real surprises except for the Malaysian apple (as it was called by our impromptue Bangladeshi tour guide) the size of an apple but in the shape of a roma tomato with a light green/yellow skin and light orange flesh which tasted more like a mini rock melon than an apple.

December 9 2008

Our alarm sounded at 5:30am intended to get us up and out the door for the sunrise over the highlands from Mt Birchang standing at 2018m. After a couple of false starts and a lot of difficulties in overcoming our laziness we made it out the door to a chilly morning. Halfway up the mountain we took a wrong turn and ended up following the muddy goat trail through tiny small farms until the road deteriorated so much we turned back, convinced that no tourist bus or 4WD would come this way, so back down we went still in pitch black and eager to find the right assending road before sunrise. We finally made it and joined five chinese tourists at the top of the lookout tower where it was a very cold and windy wait for the sunrise. The weather was more reminiscent of Europe than the tropics. It was well worth the cold early wakeup and the morning scenery is breathtaking. It fortunately is one of the few pockets of rainforest that hasn’t been cleared for palm tree or tea plantations.

Sign our petition against Palm Oil plantations that destroy rainforets.

After breakfast we checked out of Father’s Guesthouse and headed to Ipoh via the ‘new’ road which wasn’t marked on our map. It was a piece of motorcycling paradise lined by stunning views and cool tropical mountains the road was wide, in excellent condition and barely any traffic, except for the odd diesel truck or bus. I got covered in soot and when we stopped for lunch I wiped my face and all the black soot from the exhaust of the trucks came off on my hanky, disgusting!

Kuala Kangsar Mosque

The team infront of Kuala Kangsar Mosque in the Royal town

After lunch, we continued on our journey to Kuala Kangsar (the Royal town). We were both really hot and bothered so we crashed at the tourist information centre and enquired about accommodation for the night. A nice guy booked us a double room, but unsure about whether we wanted to stay, we headed out in search of the grand mosque. We took a happy snap of its golden domes and then drove down to the riverside for an afternoon seista. We ended up staying the night and found the town to be a very homely and friendly place to be away from the typical tourist traps of Malaysia.

Malaysian Customs

Thursday 27th November 2008

We commenced our journey leaving from Sydney, Australia on November 25 2008 and arriving in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The arrival of our motorcycle, a BMW  R1200GS, was delayed by the protests and blockade of airport in Bangkok (Francois was scheduled to fly with Thai Airways via Bangkok). So we have had our first surprise of our journey already, but have made the most of the delay, exploring both Kuala Lumpur and Melaka on foot.

Check back here regularly for updates on our adventure as we wait impatiently to get on our bike and start the first leg of our journey through Malaysia.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

We arrived back in Kuala Lumpur from Melacca (Melaka) today at around 12pm, as Francois is currently at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) being checked by Malaysian customs. We split paths at KL Sentral train station, with Arja going in search of accommodation for the night whilst Pascal headed to the office of our frieght forwarder in Subrang Jaya to hand them the carnet. Hopefully, once Francois is cleared through customs and we have acquired third-party insurance in order to drive on Malaysian roads, we will have the bike to commence our adventure! It is fitting to get Francois just before the wedding we are to attend this weekend, as it calls for a proper celebration!

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