We bought the GSX1400 in 2007 and this was our first trip abroad with it. Before this, the furthest we had been was a weekend in Essex to see family, about 300 miles away, so it was quite exciting. We went with another couple on a BMW F800ST.
The ferry from Weymouth to St Malo stopped at Jersey and Guernsey on the way, which I didn't realise when I booked and an hour late due to technical problems, we arrived at St Malo. We then had a 175mile ride
to our first b&b near Chinon.
The b&b was lovely - really friendly people, nice rural location, great place to chill out. We spent two nights there, then did the longest ride of the holiday (500km) down to the next b&b in the Central Massif. It took us 10 hours to travel down, needless to say we were all a bit tired by the end. We passed some wonderful scenery though, and going over the mountain with the narrow windy roads, snow and peering at sheer drops was a bit scary, but an amazing experience.
The second b&b looked like a haunted house, very high ceilings and clanking wooden
floors. The food was excellent - 15 euros for a home cooked 4 course meal with wine in the evening was an added bonus. The only downside was that the heating wasn't on in the rooms and at 800m, it was rather bracing, but the beds were comfy and once warmed up, the quilts kept us warm for the two nights we were there.
From there we went through the Gorge du Tarn - a mini Grand Canyon and it was by this point we started to notice the disadvantage we had on motorbikes over people that hired cars
, gravel. Everywhere we pulled in - laybys, car parks, etc were coated with the stuff, which makes it extremely easy to drop your bike as it is so slippery, especially when fully laden with luggage.
We then stayed for one night in a charming b&b about an hour from Albi. Again, out in the countryside, it was lovely and they were very helpful people. A quick excursion into Albi, then off the the medieval village of Puycelsi for two nights.
The medieval village of Puycelsi is just like going back in time with its narrow streets and old buildings.
the church is a must visit though. We stayed at the only b&b there, Chez Delpine
. The outside was lovely and it had a swimming pool, but we had a couple of issues with the wiring inside and the things she charges for - breakfast was 8 euros per person per day, so we used the kitchenette that came with our room, only to find she charged 20 euros for cleaning when we got the bill, which was a nice surprise.
Onwards then to Tulle for the next two nights in a French 15th Century Manor House which has been totally renovated by the present owners. On their advice, we went out to Gimel and had a walk round the waterfall.
Lion St Angiers was next on the agenda, a charming traditional cottage in a rural setting. Home made crepes, jam and bread for breakfast, absolutely delicious.
The last stop before we got the ferry from Cherbourg was at Hameau St John, near Tourlaville. Not very touristy, we managed to find a restaurant - which turned out to be good value, in the end. It was handy for the ferry port in Cherbourg though, only a 15 minute
All in all it was a great holiday, if you want to see a lot of places, this is the way to do it. We did around 1800 miles. The downsides are that its quite an expensive way to do it and you have to continually be phoning ahead to find a b&b. The Sawday Guide was excellent on the whole for this. Next time though, we will probably rent a Jite and visit the area more thoroughly. It would also be nice to to unpack and pack so much as well
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