Really, other than a feeling of disbelief that we actually completed the journey, all that was left to do was strip and wash the bikes. They collected so much salt that even my new-ish steed was looking the worse for wear. I had replaced as many of the stock fittings with stainless steel and titanium nuts and bolts but it was clear after the Elefant that I had missed out a lot - BMW really would show us more courtesy in being loyal customers of theirs if they used higher quality fittings on their otherwise Pretty Damn Good machines. Oh well, now's my chance to do it properly.

In the end, it took me a week to strip it down, wash all the salt off, double-check the electrics and rebuild it. Although I did install an alarm while I had it in bits (I can do electrics without too many problems and even basic mechanics is fine (hey, it's just meccano for grown-ups) but the internals of an engine are a real mystery to me - what IS TDC and why is it so important?) :-)

As for battle damage, I soon repaired the panniers with some new pop-rivets and the few minor scrapes on the crash bars were touched up with a quick splash of black hammerite. Sorted!

So, will I do it again? Umm, ask me in a few months! I am considering doing the Pinguinos, which is a Rally occurring in Spain and is roughly equivalent to the Elefant. I certainly don't want to 'fess up to being too old for this sort of thing. We'll see.






Otherwise known as "things I'd wish I'd known before I set off" - in no particular order…

that's it - game over!