Page 3 of Orson Travel Blog Posts

Europe » France » Languedoc-Roussillon May 23rd 2008

From Nimes, I headed north to the Gorges de l’Ardeche. This is an impressive gorge created by the Ardeche River cutting through limestone rock. The road along the river is quite scenic, but not a place you want to try to get a knee down. I can see why the south of France is so popular as it's dotted with scenic villages and farmhouses. I continued west to the Gorges du Tarn. While not as famous as the Gorges de l’Ardeche, I thought the Gorges du Tarn was just as impressive if not moreso.... read more
The Gorges de l’Ardeche
Hillside Village
Picturesque Farmhouse

Europe » France » Languedoc-Roussillon May 21st 2008

After an almost 7 month separation, team orson was able to reunite for a three week tour of France. The trip began with a one day layover in Amsterdam, where I took the time to browse the shops and visit the Van Gogh museum. This would come to have later repercussions on my trip. The next day, I flew into Bologna and hopped on a train to team orson world headquarters at Moto Guareschi in Parma. One day later I was packed and on the road. Not wanting to delay, I made the tough decision to slab it to France under clear blue skies. Not such a hard decision though as the Autostrada passes through the Maritime Alps to get to France. Along the Autostrada, they have electronic message boards used to flash warnings to motorists ... read more

Africa » Reunion » Reunion April 3rd 2008

On the sixth and last day, I returned the bike to Herve, but not before checking out some of the Creole architecture in Saint Dennis. I had a great time riding through some amazing scenery. While the roads may not have been up to the standards of the French roads on the continent, the scenery more than made up for any deficiencies. The little beemer again proved to be a perfect bike for riding tight island roads. Hopefully I’ll be able to test the new BMW 800 GS soon. I would have to grade Reunion as a solid A as a touring destination. Friendly people, challenging roads, good food, and stunning scenery. Recap: Time: 6 days Distance: approximately 1000 km Gendarme sightings: 2 (both times on motorbikes, both times going faster than me). Puckers: 0 Bee ... read more

Africa » Reunion » Reunion April 2nd 2008

Day 5, my last full day on the island. I returned to the coast from the Cilaos caldera, enjoying the twisty, mountain roads, before turning north and heading towards Saint Dennis along the west coast. I stopped at a Creole barbeque for lunch. The food was a mixture of French, Indian and Malaysian. Boy, did I eat on this trip! Some of the meals had 6 courses. Only the French could invent a mini dessert placed between the apperitif and the main course. A small portion of coconut ice cream swimming in a bath of…you guessed it…more rum.... read more
Back To The Coast
Mountain Road

Africa » Reunion » Reunion April 1st 2008

This afternoon I took the torturous road back up towards the Cirque de Cilaos. The weather was spectacular and I took full advantage of the opportunity to take more pictures. I returned to the same hotel that I stayed in a few days ago.... read more

Africa » Reunion » Reunion April 1st 2008

I head back towards the coast, exploring interesting roads as I go. Sugarcane is a major crop here and the sugarcane fields stretched as far as the eye could see. All the signs in towns were in French and few people spoke any English, putting my high school French to the test. In the town of Saint Andre, I came upon a Hindu temple and my brain did a backflip. It had to take a few seconds to figure out where I was. The South Pacific? India? France?…oh right, I’m on Reunion Island. It was a strange place in that way. The people were a mixture of French, African, Indian, Malaysian and Chinese. I have to say, I never encountered any of the French gruffness that sometimes seems prevalent on the continent. Everyone I came across ... read more

Africa » Reunion » Reunion April 1st 2008

Day 4, the skies were clear and I took a look around the town. Hell-Bourg has been called one of the most scenic French villages and rightly so. The Creole architecture of main street with the Piton des Neiges providing a stunning backdrop. ... read more
Reunion Dawn

Africa » Reunion » Reunion March 31st 2008

Today, I awoke to the sound of the pitter patter of raindrops on my window. I decided to tough it out and head for the coast, hoping to find better weather. It was a 1 hour slog thru a misting rain back down to the coast, but fortunately, the weather began to improve. I headed south along the shore towards the island’s remaining active volcano, the Piton de la Fournaise. Unfortunately, team orson’s photographer decided to store his camera in the front pocket of his jacket during the rain, and the camera started to malfunction. I honestly don’t know why we keep the idiot around. So, there are no pictures of steam arising from the lava fields on the south coast of the island. Fortunately for team orson’s photographer, the sun began to work its charms ... read more
Lava Field
Banana Trees
Cirque de Salazie

Africa » Reunion » Reunion March 30th 2008

Today, I set about exploring the narrow roads inside the Cilaos caldera. By noonish, the clouds had descended again, and I began to feel rain drops. In the interest of staying dry, I cut short the explorations and made my way back to the hotel for more rhum. While reading my guide book, I noticed a section that mentioned,”Avoid travelling to the cirques during times of typhoons, as frequent landslides occur from the excessive rainfalls, causing the towns to be sealed off for days.” A little too late for that now! Reunion Island is known for its prodigious amounts of rainfall, holding world records for 12 hours, 24 hours, 1 week, 1 month, and 1 year totals. ... read more
Mountain Road

Africa » Reunion » Reunion March 29th 2008

Recently, a co-worker of mine had talked about living on Mauritius, an island in the Indian Ocean. Intrigued, I decided to do some research on the subject. I googled a map of Mauritius, when I noticed another island nearby. I discovered that it was Reunion Island. Why hadn’t I noticed it before? I had read vague references to Reunion, but had never paid it close attention. Why was Mauritius relatively well-known and Reunion under a veil? The reason is that it is a French possession. It is a French overseas Department just like French Surinam in South America. Reunion is a volcanic island that has been compared to the big island of Hawaii. Apparently, the French don’t appear too keen on sharing their version of Hawaii with the English speaking world, thus they have thrown a ... read more

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