Edit Blog Post
Published: September 19th 2021
Anyway the clouds of yesterday were gone, clear blue skies and top notch landscape, endless going up and down and curves galore, the Pyrenees are definitely a hidden gem, more people on bicycles than motorbikes which probably is because parts of Tour the France does the same ups and downs that I did.
It got warm, 30C something and I was rather worse for wear as I got to Narbonne, park the bike, get a shower and get some beer, I also got a decent steak dinner.
The hotel had no staff= no 10 E breakfast and the bakers had not yet made sandwiches, two pieces of nuked veggie pizza some water and a coffee got me on the road.
Lovely, overcast no sun, good riding weather, well that did not last very long, to soon the sun came out with a vengeance and the temps rose to 35C, not so much fun.
Decent riding as I headed for the Alps, many roundabouts later and cubic meters of sweat I had enough and stopped is some little village or other, got a room, parked the bike, well you know the rest.
I had a chat with
an English couple who bought a house in these necks of the woods some 30 years ago, after brexit they can only stay for 90 days and have to leave the EU for 90 days before they can come back, Brexit did not work for every one.
The next was La gorge de Verdon, one of the bigger canyons in the whole world, dwarfed only by the Grand Canyon and El canyon del Cobre in Mexico, I went there about 10 years ago and it was time to visit again especially as I was passing by anyway.
Nature certainly has a way of making truly magnificent things, I made a little fuckup with my route, who’s surprised, and had to backtrack and so I hit some road over a pass where I definitely would take a RV or a caravan, very narrow and very steep.
As previously mentioned yours truly has become somewhat of a chicken so easy does it, the temperature chose to hit a new high, 36 C, so I was really sweating away.
As you all know I’m keen ornithologist and the advantage with the hot weather is that the female birds tend
to shed most of their plumage and wander about almost with bare a few feathers and that’s a thing to behold for a keen eye and the French birds does it with a certain aplomb
The goal was to get to Barcelonnette and stay there for some R&R and and couple of passes, I’ve been here before and it’s a nice little town with some nice passes around, getting up to Col de La Bonnet was like Swedish midsummer, 8 C at about 9-ish in the morning, very refreshing and of course plenty of people on bikes sweating their way up hill.
They zip down with total abandon and I bet that the local hospital is kept busy, road rash and broken limbs. I checked one with the GPS and he was doing 71 km downhill
La Route Des Grandes Alpes and Route Napoleon, names that fit well between your tongue and palate, what France lacks on one side, it is made up for on this side.
I took a short break, ie a coffee and spoke to some bikers and funnily enough they could hear that I’d learned my French i the south, donkeys years
ago and it’s still there.
My short day trip turned into a good 200 km, about 6 hours, many of the high roads are not very good and quite narrow and us chickens we go slow, bikes, motorbikes, cars, RVs coming up and down.
I must say that 99 % of the drivers are very considerate to bikers, when possible the pull over and let us pass, I pull over for other motorbikes.
Tomorrow is the first day of going home, the first 350 km or so will be along La Grand Route Des Alpes, been there done that but i like the mountains , good riding and crisp air, I got about 2000 km to cover before I arrive at the manor, for that stretch I’d change the bike for a car in an instant.
As long as it doesn’t rain all will be well, if and when it rains I’ll be stopping as soon as the sun starts to set.
Rain and darkness is definitely a no no
The day was a good one, nice passes and just a few drops of rain, switch backs and rain is not a good combo.
Goodbye for this time Alps.
The rest is just riding it out which i did and the mountains faded away and I ended up in some crummy hotel just outside Evian on Lac Leman, as breakfast was to be served at 8 in the morning it was not for me, going home or rather the ride back is always not as much fun as going out there into the big unknown, so I left just after 6 o’clock and bought a sandwich in bakery along the road and just hit it.
The weather just as the last time I went this way was foul, cold with low clouds and speeding is to put it it mildly not cheap in Switzerland and being cheap I did not want to pay for a year just to use the motorway for half a day. As I got lower the weather got better and somehow the sat nav decide that the best route would be via France and then Germany, the weather went from miserable to bright and sunny and the idea was to go up central Krautland without hitting any motorways at all.
The going was good
and in the end it was a combo of baboon’s arse and the sun setting, I stopped in Wertheim in Frankia in nice German heartland had a very good dinner to compensate for a crappy breakfast and ditto lunch.
After almost13 hrs on the bike and little food I slept like a baby.
A nice hearty German breakfast and I headed north towards my neck of the woods.
Just set some goal on the sat nav and then theres’ some road block due some road work and a deviation that you don’t know about until you are turning into that road, back track and the sat nav goes bonkers as you’re going in the wrong direction, so the intended route becomes moot,
It had rained over night but it soon cleared up and was nice for quite a while, however dark skies were lurking at the horizon and my plan was to put my water proof gloves on and maybe the rain jacket asap.
I hadn’t said Jehova, but suddenly it hit me like the wrath of an angry God’s fist, not fisting mind you, the rain came down like some Asian deluge
and some very strong wind gusts almost blew me of the road and I could hardly see anything, scary it was and no verge and nowhere to stop.
I slowed down to a crawl and went on, some km later the way a petrol station where I took refuge, after having battened down the hatches an made everything water proof-ish ie closing all the vents on my gear and putting on water proof gloves I kept on going and soon it stopped to rain, but I kept on with the rain gear, an endless combo of German villages got to just south of Lubeck when enough was enough, a hearty German dinner with meat and roasted potatoes and some plonk put me back into the land of the living.
The rest is Hitting the motorways up to Puttgarden, wait for the ferry, more motorways through Denmark, a spot of undersea driving, with the help of a tunnel, a bridge and I was back in Sweden
Tot: 0.031s; Tpl: 0.02s; cc: 10; qc: 20; dbt: 0.0043s; 1; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.2mb