Having finally found an internet connection...
This morning we went to work. Met up at Ashley's office and got onto the road at around 13:30. Caught the 3:50 shuttle to Calais - traveled chatting to another motorcyclist who was traveling for work. After Calais we drove down the motorway. The countryside gradually grew less English looking. Mostly the proportions of different types of trees. And the smell. The air got warmer and safter and wetter. We got the hang of how tolls are paid. This road has stopping places every 10 Km or so. Some have more facilities than others. Not all sell petrol. W got as far as St Quentin and here we stopped. We found a hotel (it does not have internet so this is being saved to stick to upload later) and Ashley is watching a Chinese martial arts movie dubbed into German as I type this. We had beer in the main square then food - very German food (very good) and more beer. He had Sauerkraut with bacon, sausage and duck. I had smoked pork with mayo, salad and chips. There was good mustard.
We didn't get rain on the bike but
it was raining very hard whilst we were eating.
Oh, there is porn on TV now - porn definitely has Nationality. This porn is very German. Then it went back to the Kung Fu.
Something I forgot to type yesterday. Picardy... War graves. Row upon upon row. Very depressing and thinking about that in today's weather - just how horrible it must have been.
Today was more of an adventure. It was raining. All day. And we had problems finding our way out of St Quentin. We drove round three times. We got cold and wet. Now we are in a hotel in Foret d'Orient - a National Park - in the middle of nowhere. It would be -pretty if it was not so uniformly grey. I am getting the hang of paying the road tolls and only walked straight into the barrier once. There is a lot of fellow feeling from most of the bikers we meet. Mostly wetness. It has been very rainy today.
I do like the very frequent rest places on the toll roads. We spent time in two of those today, drinking coffee and warming up. Most of the
waterproofing works though today most things got a bit damp. Ashley's boots and my gloves were the worst for not being waterproof. It took hours to dry out even what we were wearing.
We missed the intended village and ended up in a rather upmarket hotel/restaurant/bar/crazygolf complex. We had the cheapest set menu and couldn't finish it though we did manage the cheese and a bottle of the only house wine which was a very young rose. Champenois cooking is filling. No dessert for us!
It is still raining. We don't want to do any more epicly chilling rides so we may not continue on our preplanned itinerary. Even if it is fine tomorrow, Chamberry is far. Dijon is more realistic. Lyon at a stretch.
As to progress tomorrow. Word from other bikers, the weather is crap and staying crap. It might be dry in France Saturday morning, but that is about it, it is raining most places, raining in France, in northern Italy, in Greece as well. As matters stand Alpine passes are going to be very wet and cold, then factor in the wind chill on a bike. This is not good. The contingency plan
is Nice to Genoa, the coast road, more miles, but just possibly not so wet.
It really has been very wet today, it is bad when leathers get so wet you can wring water from them.
We are in Bourg en Bresse in a Best Western Hotel. With wi fi and Internet. We rode all day in constantly worsening weather. The brief glimpses of scenery we did get early on were spectacular but, towarrds the end, all we could see was roadspray. We stopped frequetly to warm up and dry out a bit. Rumour has it that this weather will ontinue. We don't really want to ride over the alps in this! We may hole up here for a while - see how it goes
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