3 Go 4th 2 France
8th June '08
Left home at 06.15 and filled up with fuel at Tesco's Lee Mill.
Almost straight onto the ferry and headed for the cabin which was close to the stairs for the garage. Had a walk round and bought 2 newspapers and Rich and I went to watch the film Jumpers, quite good.
Back to the cabin where we all had a snooze and then a cup of coffee for John n Rich and it was time to disembark.
Leaving Roscoff at 3.15pm we stopped at a sevice area at about 70 miles for a leg stretch before carrying on to refill with fuel near St Jouan de l'isle 114.4 miles from Tesco's. Carrying on to clear Rennes we stopped for a leg stretch at Le Gree before finishing at the B&B at 19.10.
Dinner in the BG was OK but not the best as John's steak was rough! Rich n I had profiteroles with extra chocolate and John had the apple tarte.
Route all sorted so an easy day tomorrow I hope. 222.2 from Ivybridge
Started on 1178 odo on bike. 1395 at hotel = 217
9th June
Monday Got up at 07.15 and had a nice brekkie. The hotel was very quiet last night but I forgot to take my nose stuff so apparently I snored! Left hotel at about 9am and got fuel in Saumur at the Leclerc. Carried on and stopped for lunch in Lussac at a small bar and then stopped at Bort-les-Orgues to admire the dam. This was after Richard had an emergency stop as the retaining spring on his centre stand broke and he had to zip tie the stand up! Several French bikers stopped and stared at my RC8. They were on there way back from the Catalunyan MotoGP.
We arrived at Les Planottes at 6pm ish and we have a large appartment with 2 double beds and 1 set of bunk beds. I'm in the main room as I snore and John's in with Richard 'cos he won't hear Richard f*rt! The maitre d' is preparing Tripoux for dinner????
Tripoux on toast topped with melted Cantal cheese was very nice. Ham - with excess fat - on the bone with a mess of dark lentils was a bit yucky but the cheese board followed by the tarte aux pommes and apple sorbet was tres bon! 317 miles today 1712 at hotel
10th Tuesday
A good nights sleep and a good (not as good as B&B) breakfast and after a quick bike dry it was off to Aurillac to see if we could get a new spring for Richard's centre stand. We filled up with fuel at the Geant and it was tres expensive at 1.536 euros per litre. Then it was the back road to St Flour via a detour 'cos of road rot but going through Vezac and Pierrefort. We parked in the church square and I went and asked where the Post Office was in the Tourist Info office. We'd already come past it and it was shut until 13.30hrs. We walked through the town and then rode to the Intermarche where the little bistro was unhappy about having bikers in so we went into the supermarket and had sandwiches, yogurts and some drink which probably turned out to be a lot cheaper!
The thunderstorm hit us whilst we were sitting under the small canopy so before leaving we put on our overtrousers. Then it was off to Dienne and up the Pas de Peyrol where the clouds moved in and out again very quickly. Richard climbed the Puy Mary whilst John and I had a hot drink in the little cafe/souvenir shop. Richard arrived and had a pineapple juice and then, with full wet weather gear on, we left for Salers where we got too hot and had to strip off. I rang Brenda with the new phone card and a voice said I had 150 mins calling that number! A slow walk around the town and some very nice bikkies (10 euros for 3) and then, without wet gear on we left to find the waterfall we saw on the way yesterday. We thought it was on the road before Mauriac but it was after Mauriac.
We had to get fuel in Mauriac and the Champion was shutting and didn't take our cards so a trip to the Intermarche got us fuelled at the 24/7 pump which did take our cards and gave a receipt - result. We got back to the hotel at 20.15 and after 10 min we were eating greek mushrooms in a very tomato'y sauce, followed by a puff pastry pie with a meat centre and creme fraiche sauce with lettuce. This was followed by a nice creme brulee. John and Richard finished the bottle of red wine they started last night and finished with a cup of coffee each. Back in the room typing this at 22.00. Mileage tonight 1902 = 190.
Weds 11th
Usual continental breakfast followed by a bike or 3 wash as they were very grubby after yesterday. Left at 09.17 and went to Laguiole via Espalion. Watched the making of the knives in the factory on the Aubrach road, then we went to the main shop and John bought a small knife and got his old one polished for free.
Got fuel in Espalion and continued on to Millau where we had lunch at the same roadside cafe John and I isited last year. Then it started to rain and we clothed up and visited the Viaduc visitor centre. I bought Brenda a lighter. It had stopped raining when we set off to visit Roquefort but it started again before we got to the village. I went into the Tourist Office and got some pamphlets but it would appear that the Societe Caves won as it was more animated. It was 3 euros each to get in but it was worth it to see John and Richard's faces when they tasted the cheeses at the finish!
Back to Millau and on to the autoroute for a fast blast back to St Flour but speeding along dressed in the wet gear which causes a lot of drag cost us dearly and both John and I hit reserve and had to limp to the services. Richard was waiting for us at junction 29 and then he had to get fuel - his bike has a bigger tank. The road back was quite dry from Murat so I had quite a blast. Arrived back at 20.30 and went straight up for dinner. Tonight it was some horrble green crap (Spinach based) with Plums in for staters followed by Coq au Vin with real cockerel, the cheese board and finally a biscuit horn filled with chantilly cream, topped with 100s and 1000s and a scoop of raspberry sorbet. The pudding was nice at least. We also had a local delicacy of Birlou which is apples and chestnuts mixed with white wine. Not as good as Pineau!.
Mileage tonight 2184 = 282
12th Thursday
Had breakfast and paid the bill. Left at 09.17 for Chambery. Very foggy to Murat where the road we needed to take was shut so we detoured to St Flour to pick up the autoroute and head for Brioude. We stopped in a layby for a rest before having lunch in St Agreve at a litle cafe that gave us Thon salad, Richard ate mine, crepe with cheese and ham and ice cream desert. We got fuel in Puy en Velay and finally found the exit for Valence. It was cold in the mountains but warm in the lowlands.
Got to Chambery at 18.10 ish and we were surprised by the quality of the hotel as isn't the same layout as other B&B's. Walked into town and had a meal at the Vivaldi restaurant. I had the Mexicaine Pizza which was cheese, onion and chorizo on the ubiquitous cheese and bread base. I had profiteroles for pud but they weren't a match for the buffalo grill ones.
Back at the hotel I rang Brenda from the call box down the street but got eaten alive by the mossies so rang Kt n Mike from the hotel phone in the lobby. Did washing etc and went to bed at 11. Mileage 2434 = 250
Friday 13th?????
Opted for a walk to the Yamaha dealer and a ride this afternoon. Lovely breakfast though! Richard opted to stay and go back to town to get Sam a frock whilst John and I went for a spin clockwise around Lac du Bourget and up to Pont du Diable. The route round the West side of the lake is for trailies and the traffic back to Aix-les-Bains was horrendous. We started the ascent of the Col and found rain so, as we hadn't taken our wets, we headed back to the hotel.
There was a speed trap in Cusy but we were behind traffic so all was good. Got back to the hotel and it was fine all the way and we let a Harley rider carve up the traffic for us. Went to the Buffalo Grill 4 kms down the road from the hotel and Richard polished off a burger toute suite! John had the steak hache but wasn't impressed with it. The puddings were, waffle for Richard, apple tart n ice cream for John and coupe America for me. Back at the hotel some Harley jacketed t*t had taken our place so we're parked even further away from the room! It's now 22.20 and time for bed. Tomorrow is "see Italy" day. Forgot to say that I got to fill up at an automatic Esso station and got 14.26lts into a 14.5ltr tank! Mileage 2498 = 64.
Sat 14th June
Good breakfast and out to get Richard's centre stand spring and fuel. Then out to St Jean de Maurienne by which time the plan to cross the Col de Mont Cenis was in ruins as the Col wasn't open!
We detoured up the Galibier and saw lots of snow. There was a Scots cyclist at the top who said he owned an RC8 which he was using for track days! Down to the Lauteret where we had lunch and then through Briancon and into Italy where we took a wrong turn and ended up on the autostrada where it cost us 4.7 euros! We descended into Susa for fuel and Richard decided to get some space and ride without us. We met him at the entrance to the a/strada and got our wets from him - mine fit in my expanded tank bag, but made it difficult to see the satnav - and met again at the tunnel where it cst 21 euros to go through at 40mph! It was hot and fume ridden and I was glad to be out in France. John and I stopped in St jean de Maurienne for coffee and met a m/bike rider who was carting a photographer of the Dauphine Librere - a cycle race - about. He brought me up to speed with the race and it finishes in Grenoble tomorrow. Back at the hotel we regrouped and went to the BG where we had the worst service we have ever suffered. The meal took an hour to arrive and then it was sans sauce. By the time the sauce arrived Richard and I had finished our meal! John's steak was blue not "a point" and we just couldn't wait any longer to get pud so we left! Tomorrow we are going to Alpe d'Huez and Bourg d'Oisans.....I hope? Mileage 2735 = 237
Sunday 15th
Left at 09.30 and headed out to Uriage les Bains. I seemed to pull ahead and waited at the entrance to Uriage and then we regrouped. We stopped for coffee and then made our way to ascend a very deserted Alpe d'Huez. It was cold and deserted at the top so we went back down the other route from the top to Bourg d'Oisins and had Croque Monsieur at the cafe near the bike shop. Then a quick weather check and it was up and over the Col du Glandon where John got cold and said he wanted to head straight back. I explained that we were headed straight back and we descended to a very hot Ste Marie de Cuines where we had another coffee. We then went to the closed Opinel museum - closed on fetes days - it was Father's day today - and Sundays. There was a cat in a flower pot though!
Back at the hotel we decided to go to the Vivaldi retsaurant but it was shut so we sauntered to a Pizzaria and had a fabulous meal with hand made puds. John was stuffed and couldn't manage a pud! They're shut on Mondays though!!! Mileage 2905 = 170
16th Monday
Pouring with rain so a walk into the town and a bus ride out to opposite the Buffalo Grill for a look at a closed Dafy Moto (Motorbike Accessory shop) and back into town. The rain started off light but got more heavy as the day wore on. Richard wanted to go back to Dafy at 2pm but I went off to the hotel with John. Then I changed my mind and decided to go to Dafy only to find the bus couldn't split a 20 Euro note! So, back to the hotel then. Richard turned up later and we all walked, very soggily, back to Vivaldi's where John and I had the Lasagne. Bak in the hotel we set John's satnav and it made the route 10 miles shorter than my Garmin! No miles today.
17th Tuesday
A 9am start from the hotel saw us take the motorway to Lyons and the straightest route through the City I could find to exit at Tassin-de-la-Demi-Lune and on to Roanne over a brilliant twisty, deserted, well surfaced road. I nearly managed to get rid of my remaining chicken strips in the damp!
Stopping in Chablet for food and a leg stretch we then split up at Chateroux as I wanted to get a move on and visit the Dafy Moto shop in Tours which probably shut at 6pm. I arrived at 16.50 and had a look around. The shop is similar to a Hein Gericke/J&S Accessories shop in the UK but with better stuff and more of it. I managed to get the sweat shirt Richard was after so it was worth the sprint to the shop.
Richard and John turned up at the B&B Hotel at 17.44 and at about 7pm we all walked to the nearby Buffalo Grill for our last meal of the holiday in France. Mileage at Tours 3234 = 329 3503
18th Wednesday
Leaving at 7am we set off to get to Roscoff and the ferry some 280 miles distant. Stopping in Argentre-du-Plessis for fuel (where I managed to drop my bike sideways whilst turning round - no damage as the luggage took the hit) and again on the N12 West of Rennes, we made it to Morlaix to try and find some pressies to take back. Other than Celtic crap there wasn't much to choose from so I'm afraid all Brenda got was the lighter form The Viaduc de Millau. Then it was straight to the MacD's for a last lunch and off to catch the ferry via the Supermarche to make a last ditch attempt at pressy buying.
Arriving at the Ferry Port at 1pm we settled down to wait for the ferry.
Arriving in Plymouth at 20.40 saw me trying to find my passport and holding everybody up. That'll teach us to sign the agreement allowing free passage between EU states!
Got back to a wet Ivybridge at 21.10. Holiday over for another year.
Mileage at finish 284 for the day and 3787 for the trip.