Sion’s Travels

 

A Sheep in Rome

It was a rainy afternoon at the beginning of October, Shaun was feeling a little glum, it was now nearly the end of the biking season, no more Wingdings, Treffens or weekends away!! The time when all his biking friends were now preparing for winter maintenance, with bikes all tucked up in garages.  Shaun was thinking about getting his winter fleece out of the cupboard, when his good friend Lynette said ” What about one more trip Shaun, not on the bikes though, but by plane?”  “Where” I asked, “How about Rome” she said.  “Where’s my sheep-pass!! Wait for me?” I said.

So there I was with my good friends Lynette & Ray, Sue & Ed, boarding the Easyjet plane in Bristol for my Roman holiday.  It was to be a sightseeing trip she said, I wasn’t quite sure what she meant by that!! Should I be worried, I thought.

We landed at Fiumicino airport with lightening flashing all around, and I don’t mean LED’s folks, the rain was fair tamping down, gosh I wished that I’d brought my waterproofs!!  We caught the bus into town, and then a taxi, Ray kindly put me into his rucksack in case they charged extra for baggage, “Who’s he calling baggage” I thought, “I could get offended”.

The hotel was very nice, I had my own little bed in Lynette & Rays room, but unfortunately they had to share the other one.  It was late but we managed to find an Irish pub (that’s new) that was still serving food, and I managed to find a seat on a sort of bike, not quite what I was used to mind.

Next day over breakfast we had a plan, today was Colloseum day!! “Right ” I thought, “is that a bike show?”  Wrong, it was a big round kind of building that was partly falling down, draughty and with no garden.  The humans seemed made up with it mind, bleating on about gladiators etc, and it was crowded, like Ponty market on a Saturday morning.  But I made the best of it, managed to get my ugly mug in a photo or two, and boy was I glad when someone mentioned coffee time!!  We found a little café overlooking the ruin, made the girls smile when I sat at the table, I could tell they thought I was cute, asking me where I was from etc.  Then we were off again, sightseeing, to a place called Foro Romano, the centre of power of the ancient world ( just like the AGM of the Goldwing club I thought). Once again there were ruins all around, I don’t think anybody here has a proper house, broken stones and statues everywhere.  I think I get the “sightseeing” bit now, looking at sights.  Gosh I slept like the proverbial log that night.

Next day and guess what – yeah we’re off again, this time to the Vatican City via the metro, back in the rucksack for me then, I know why they do this to me, so they can save on buying a ticket for me, see can’t pull the wool over my eyes folks, a sheep knows these things!!  Lynette did try to explain about the Vatican City and its importance, but I lost her at the gate, mind you I found her again in the gardens on the grass.  The tour guide explained to us what to look for before we went into the museum which was really helpful. So we then meandered through the museums looking at the art treasures, and the carpets on the walls (Sue said they were tapestry’s) following the crowds, all the way to the Sistine Chapel, then onto St Peter’s Basilica, both were beautiful and amazing. I get the impression that the humans were mighty impressed with all of this culture stuff, but me, I’m more of an out doorsy type of guy if you get my drift.  However I have come to the conclusion whoever owns this gaff must have plenty of Euro’s because its huge. Oh, and I forgot to mention that today was also Sue & Ed’s wedding anniversary Yippee.  Later we all went out for a super-duper meal, you’ll never guess where we ended up, at the café/restaurant overlooking that big round ruin, only now its all lit up in the dark, “What’s that all about!!” I ask.

Our last full day in Rome saw us doing our own thing, ticking off the “last of the boxes” the girls said.  More photos in the sunshine, I must be the most photographed sheep on the planet. Today we saw the fountains in Piazza Navona, then the Pantheon, stopped for lunch near by the Trevi fountain and then onto the Spanish Steps, I am going to be one weary littlt sheep at the end of this trip.

As I sit on the homeward flight, thinking about my Roman holiday, I’m a tired little sheep and my fleece will need a wash, but we have had quite a few laughs, and seen quite a few sights, I have had such a brill time with my human friends.

Psst I’ve heard a whisper about a “Christmas Bash” on the horizon, I wonder if this little sheep will get an invite, and so the adventure goes on …..


Bonjour a tous

Well there I was enjoying the sunshine when uncle Paul said come on we are going to France to the Treffin in Vendomme.

Not another one I said.

Off we went, I was stuffed into the smallest little box you ever did see! You Know, the one at the front under the handle bar. Our night crossing to St Malo, (that’s in France ewe know) was OK, but uncle Paul never took me out of my box. 

 Our first stop was a little village called Comberg where we met a lovely couple who has just set up a bikers B&B in an old farmhouse. After coffee it was on to Chateau Gontier for our first stop. It was a lovely hotel with a place for uncle Paul and uncle Jeff to park their bikes but Paul had a bit of difficulty on the gravel in the car park and got told off by Madame for using his vapour thing inside. It had a lovely pool and a gym and a sauna and a Jacuzzi and guess what, a sign that said NO SHEEP! And Paul didn’t bring his trunks!! (Well if I cant go in neither can he.)

We wanted to go on the little train but the nasty man said no sheep, so none of us went but we did go to a medieval (very old) village called Saint Suzanne that was very picturesque and had a huge castle. 

When we left Chateau Gontier, (there is no Chateau in Chateau Gontier by the way) Uncle Jeff made Paul go infront because he was worrying about driving on his own after the Treffin. All was well until we got to Thoree des Pins on the D306 about 10 miles from Le Lude. I shouted to Paul from my little box “you’ve gone the wrong way” but would he listen?  I could see Jeff and June stuck, trying to get onto the roundabout as we sailed on around, passed out sortir (that’s French for exit).

Paul tried to get back onto the roundabout but Jeff was gone. About 10 minutes later Jeff and June came back to the roundabout but by now Paul was down a side road and couldn’t get out, traffic was bad and the road was gravel. We could see Jeff and June going around and around the roundabout then disappear up the D306. ‘Follow him’ I said ‘Up the 306’ But Paul and Jeannette were worried, I could tell. His phone rang. OK he said follow the D306.

‘I told you that’ I said 30 minutes later we caught up with Jeff and June who were enjoying the sunshine in a lovely big layby with lots and lots of lovely grass for me. Jeff had to go behind a big tree for something, and as we got there June said ‘ Come on then let’s go.’

‘What about my grass?’

 We arrived at 5 Grande Rue, Le Lude, our second Hotel, what a fab place that was and cheap too!! It was only a three minute walk to a Chateau that had a real live Count and Countess living in it. NO SHEEP! That night I went to the restaurant with my mates Paul, Jeanette, June and Jeff, they had a lovely meal in a restaurant on the banks of Le Loir (not to be confused with the huge river La Loir). I knocked auntie June’s sun glasses into the river, she wasn’t pleased.

 Next day onto the Treffin at Vendomme,  Jeff June Paul and Jeanette said they never saw so many bikes and the odd trike. We were made very welcome by the man on the desk who gave us all a cold drink. In the night I was allowed to stay up late cos we were going on the light parade. It took nearly two hours to drive around Vendomme. It started at 10.30 pm and Jeff said we covered 37 miles. Gendarmes were at all the junctions to let us through and everyone smiled and waved t me, they all loved June’s flashing gloves!

 The Treffin was over it seemed just before it got started and Paul and Jeannette drove up to Caen to go home,  June and Jeff went south to find La Loir. They found it. The weather was so hot in Saumur Jeff and June ditched their motorcycle gear and drove around in shorts and T shirt. They went into this big house that made wine and June had to drink quite a bit because it was free and Jeff said he couldn’t get a crate of wine on the trike.  In Breze they had to stop because a bus driver stopped his bus and all the passengers watched as he  got out and came over to see Jeff’s trike, embarrassing!

 Then in Monserau Jeff had to use the first aid skills that he learnt with the South Wales Wings when a little boy fell off his pedal bike and cut his leg open. It looked really bad! The boy thought Jeff was a doctor but his teacher thought he should go to hospital to have his legs sown up and he callled an ambulance. Still that first aid kit came in handy.

 We had a smashing hotel by the sea in Pornic, the weather was getting hotter, 32 degrees today. But Jeff wasn’t allowed to go in the sea, it was full of the biggest jelly fish I ever saw.

 After that it was 10 days in Normandy before coming home. But before we did Jeff and June took me to a restaurant in a place called Vezin, its a funny place, next to a huge lake, everything was for sale, even the plates and knives and forks and tables and chairs and there was a lady cutting people’s hair for free too. I asked her to rinse out my fleece but she said NO SHEEP! Anyway after the meal we went outside to listen to the music and I wondered what those people with no clothes on were doing. I think Jeff said they were all Happies or Hippies or something like that. They were all smoking something that made all  the hippies very happies.

Thanks Paul, Jeannette, June and Jeff for three weeks in France.

Sion

 


‘Ewe’ know who’s trip to the Highlands

“Hey Shaun, my woolly friend, we’re going to Scotland, do ewe want to come? said Lynette Pryor.  “Kelso” I said.  “No, higher” she replied.  “Shall I pack my fleece” I said.  “And your wellies” she joked.  So that’s how I came to be on board the Ruby Red trike one Saturday morning in June heading for Scotland with my buddies Lynette & Ray, Sue & Eddie.  Breaking the journey in Windermere, to give the humans a chance to stretch their legs for a few days!! Managed a run out on the Sunday, found a great little motor museum (Lakeland Motor Museum), which included the Campbell Bluebird replicas, the sign said “No Sheep Allowed” so guess who stayed with the trikes. Then we took the scenic ride back, through Hawkshead and Ambleside.
The next day saw us wing our way onwards and upwards to the West of Scotland, as Fort William was to be our baa-se for the next eight days. The journey was going to plan, and going well, until just outside of Glasgow when we developed a “technical hitch”, made it to the nearest services, where over coffee we were able to make contact with Scottish club members (putting to good use our club directory which Ray had in his topbox) Duncan and Jamie, (but hey that’s another story).  Arriving a little later than planned, our hosts Sue & Andy, welcomed us into their home overlooking Loch Linnhe – Wow what a view for this “sheep’s eyes”!!! Plans were made by everyone for some good days out, on and off the trikes.
This little lamb was included in everything the humans had planned – I visited Eilean Donan Castle and went across the Skye bridge, I gamboled in the grass overlooking Glenuig Bay, they took me on a train over the “Harry Potter” Viaduct to Mallaig.  I searched for “Nessie” at Loch Ness and Urquchart castle ( that Sue reckons she saw it, but I think it might have been the gin from the night before), looked for fish at Pitlockry Hydro. This little lamb got to ponder by Neptune’s Steps and rode in a gondola up Aonach Mor which is in the same mountain range as Ben Nevis ( Lynette very kindly puts me in her helmet so that I can see). I had my photo taken with the Commando Statue at Spean Bridge, saw red deer and “hairy coo’s” in the Cairngorms, scottish sheep with black faces, must be related on my mothers side!!!
We sampled the eateries and pubs that Fort William had to offer, I drew a line at the “haggis” mind, enough to make my fleece curl!!
I needed my wellies on most days, and my fleece was damp round the edges too, but still we went riding them trikes.
All too soon I was told ” Shaun, pack up your fleece” we’re going home, to Wales.  Aah well now I’m home, with the photos to prove that I did indeed do all those things on my Scottish adventure.  Time to wash my fleece, clean my wellies, till the next big ride out.

 Sion’s trip to Malta with Lynnette and Ray Prior.


 

January 2017

Uncle Bob took me to see the Pot Noodle Lady, in
Blackwood. I just could not resist diving in.

Careful Sion, It’s Lamb and Mint!


December 2016

Shaun’s New Year

“What you doing for New Year, Shaun?” they said. “Why?” I said.
“Do you fancy Reykjavik, Iceland?” they said.  “Ewe joking” I said.
“New Year Fireworks” they said.  “Wait for me” I said, “Where’s my fleece?”.
That’s how come I came to the land of long nights and short days, with my pals Sue & Ed, Lynette & Ray from South Wales Wings.  The land of changeable weather, rain, snow and sunshine, (where’s those thermals, good job I brought my fleece).
“What we going to do?” I said.  “Ah we have plans” they said. “Do ewe like boats?”.
So we did a midnight boat ride – chasing the Northern Lights – we caught them in the end, albeit faintly,we’ve still a few days to go.  Next day we then did the Whale watching on a very rough sea – sheep and boats are not a good idea, was very nearly sheep-sick folks – once again they stuffed me into a fluorescent orange “onesie” to keep me warm, I kept telling them I had a fleece!!  Mind you, them whales must have had a day off, they were nowhere to be seen, ha that’s wildlife for ewe.
Then there were the fireworks, baa-rking mad they were, nonstop for 3 hours, nearly drove a sheep mad, I should have been scared but somebody kindly tucked me inside their coat to keep me safe.  Up on the hill by the church, best view someone said, and while we were waiting we caught our second glimpse of those elusive lights again – then the fireworks were all around us, penned in we were, people flocking from everywhere – no health & safety here folks – best fireworks ever someone said, then we trundled home in the snow, early on New Years Day – 2017 had begun.
Sunnday, New Year’s Day saw us take the road out of town, heading for The Golden Circle, visiting Pingvellir, Geysir and Gullfoss, in the National Park.  Really cold today folks, but the scenery was worth the visit.  First stop is Pingvellir where the pulling apart of the teutonic plates is clearly visible, and has caused depressions in the ground that have become lakes, this area is also where the North Atlantic Ridge rises above sea level.  It was mentioned that earthquakes occur frequently, the latest being 4 on the rictur scale, within the days that we had been in Iceland.  The next stop was Geysir, where geysers are visible, see the pools bubbling before they explode into the air as steam, won’t see that in Taff’s Well.  Then onto Gullfoss falls, these were amazing, creating sculptures where the water spray has frozen.  Mind ewe, as a sheep I was a little disappointed, I think they had hid all the grass under the snow!!

Let’s not forget all the other bits, like museums, shops and “happy hour” (whatever that was), oh and coffee stops.  Also in my role as ambassador for SWW, I made some Icelandic friends, a very nice Viking Troll, a white bear, and a puffin,

I do have the photo’s to prove this.  Also for the brave, ewe can feast on fermented shark, minky whale and roasted puffin, whilst for the fainthearted there’s always hot-dogs, noodles and fish & chips.  All too soon it was time to pack my fleece and say goodbye to Reykjavik, head to the airport for Bristol and South Wales.

“Did ewe have a good time Shaun?” they said.  “Ewe bet” I said.  “Where next …..?” I said.
“Shhh, it’s a secret, wait and see” they said.
 Penned by Shaun the Sheep, with a little help from his friends

 

 


July 2016

Sion visits Thiepval Memorial, Northern France

Sion paying his Respect with us at the Somme centenary parades, the Thiepval Memorial & Memetz wood, May they all Rest in Peace, very touching


April 2016

Sion set off with June and Jeff on a cruise aboard the Caribbean Princess and he was so excited. Visiting Lisbon, La Rochelle and Gernsey.