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Old 06-09-2011, 04:31 PM   #46
aukanmeister
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Happy birthday Darren!

Thanks for the update today!
Glad I don't have to review the footage from the bog

Happy birthday to Darren on his....29'th(and som months) birthday today!! (funny how you now can take rossi's bike and call it yours)

You guys have fun and stay safe!
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Old 06-09-2011, 10:53 PM   #47
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Smugglers Trail successfully traversed

I heard of the Smugglers Trail about two years ago after reading about it on the KTM Spain website. The trail winds it's way from Sort in Spain, through the Pyrenees into La Massana in Andorra.

Yesterday morning we had the good fortune of bumping into some UK dirt bike riders in Sort, who confirmed our sketchy directions and this boosted our confidence.

One of the issues that bothered me, was having another 'Cobberas Trail' incident, memories of a previous ride in the Australian southern alps where we got stuck for two days and needed assitance to extricate two bmw1200 GSs from the bottom of a steep valley. Here is a funny little reminder of that incident.



The report from the UK dirt riders was good in that it was all up hill and although a little muddy and rocky in places, if we got stuck we could turn around.

The track was an anticlimax in terms of technical difficulty but what it lost in that respect, it more than made up for in beauty. Here we were in the middle of the Pyrenees!



It was a little more technical than that, but I am having trouble uploading, so that will have to do at the moment.

Lots of horses roaming around.



It was no coincidence we stayed at La Massana, Andorra last night. Time to finally catch up with Padrino of the KTM Spain website, who has been a great supporter and motivator for me to do this trip.

He rocked up on his very well worn KTM950 Super Motard.



We shard a pizza.

Today is Darren's big day. Happy birthday Darren. I have absolutely no idea how old he is. I know it's less than 50! He's still in bed, so he must be rewarding himself with a sleep in.....again.

Bikes are going well, conditions have been good.

The weather reports have been very accurate. Light rain is expected on the first few hours of our journey into France and then it clears......I hope. Still looking for a pair of overboots as those Tech 7's are leaking like a sieve.

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Old 06-10-2011, 01:55 AM   #48
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Gee its green

Happy Birthday Dazzer!

I hope you wernt rewarding yourself in your tent that you share with Dave!

MM
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Old 06-10-2011, 04:56 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edog200 View Post
Today is Darren's big day. Happy birthday Darren. I have absolutely no idea how old he is. I know it's less than 50! He's still in bed, so he must be rewarding himself with a sleep in.....again.

You know what number Rossi use on his bike? Thats Dazzlers age...
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Old 06-10-2011, 10:15 PM   #50
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That's too funny! the only thing that stayed on the bike was him!
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Old 06-11-2011, 12:56 PM   #51
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Quote:
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Happy Birthday Dazzer!

I hope you wernt rewarding yourself in your tent that you share with Dave!

MM
There been no rewarding!

Now, again having difficulty uploading photos or video but here is an entry for Saturday 10 June. Then we'll catch up.


As has been the case since first entering Spain, the weather reports have been very accurate. We left La Massana, Andorra with overcast skies and we were both optimistic the weather would improve and ignored all the signs and once again didn’t prepare for wet weather.

Although Andorra is a very small principality, we did have some difficulty leaving that beautiful place due to the reluctance of Darren’s GPS to give us directions in a timely fashion. Being at the base of a valley floor in one of the most mountainous regions in Europe, compromises signals from satellites but it made for some interesting riding through Andorra Vella.

As we headed north east, with the ancient walled city of Carcassonne on our minds, the weather got progressively wetter and colder as we moved towards the Col de Chioula pass (1400 metres), that defines Andorra from France.

A ‘rain pants dance’, you know where you put your rain suit over your boots, made for some light entertainment and warmed us up. The remnants of snow were still to be seen, despite being in the height of the summer season.

The border guards didn’t seem too fussed and in fact we progressed past their post quicker than paying for the toll for the tunnel.

This trip is about keeping off the main roads as much as we can and we were successful again today in achieving that goal. We passed through some beautiful villages, with some not so beautiful locals that didn’t seem to like us, rumbling through narrow lanes with our Akropovics.

But Carcassonne was different. Getting lost a couple of times made for a number of very positive interactions with the locals, all too willing to help. The drivers were courteous and I stay in this city with a very strong view the French are a warm and friendly people, all too willing to help a stranger.

We are camping near the old Carcassonne city walls which are about a 15 minute walk away. At this stage I’ve only seen the city from the outside. The best way to describe it would be to think of the Disney Land Castle.
Can’t wait to walk in and explore this World Heritage Site tomorrow.
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Old 06-11-2011, 01:11 PM   #52
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Saturday 11 June

The weather has been great for us today. Darren has stopped farting first thing in the morning and I have taken over this role with great passion and dedication.

This morning we visited the old walled city of Carcassonne. Sorry about the pic but that was the only one that uploaded.



Hope to post some video in the next couple of days.

We've continued to head east and arrived at a great camping ground a short distance from Uzes. We are now within striking distance of the Monaco raceway. .

Great weather for riding and at lunch whilst sitting on, not the most picturesque river bank, some quad riders visited us. Language was a barrier but we worked through that by using the universal language of motorcycling. They tell us the summer in France has been significantly cooler than normal..23 degrees c as opposed to the normal 30 degrees.

They told us they have lots of challenging dirt trails to ride.



We arrived at this camping ground around 6.30pm. Darren celebrated by sharing his Snickers Bar that had been in his tank bag in the summer sun. It had the consistency of a luke warm turd in a bag. I thanked him, smiled and put it in the tent to cool down. I've been munching on it whilst writing this post.

Darren was quick to crack out his camp fire and get cooking.



Whilst I went for a stroll to the river.

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Old 06-11-2011, 01:19 PM   #53
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Tomorrow there's a bit on.

Tomorrow we visit a Roman Aquaduct called Pont De Gard and then we continue heading toward Monaco. Darren is trying to find a route through one of the gorges in south eastern France.

Petrol usage continues to be a challenge on my bike. It has the fuel economy of a medium sized car. Today I found my self on a fast stretch of road, laying along the tank at 90 k's per hour praying I had another five k's in her. 220 k's is my record and I had a litre in the tank left. But I must concede when you open her up she goes like a Saturn 5 rocket.
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Old 06-11-2011, 01:22 PM   #54
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Forty Six.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aukanmeister View Post
You know what number Rossi use on his bike? Thats Dazzlers age...
46 it is!
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Old 06-12-2011, 04:23 AM   #55
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Have fun and look out for some duck sausage or confit du canard

Great food in that part of the word!

Seth and I did Morisett today... unbeleiveable rain. 4 meters of flood water in places and 1 meter over the dam wall at the lake ... incredible some of the tracks literally turned into rivers ....

Enjoy MM
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Old 06-12-2011, 05:11 AM   #56
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The castle

As i looked at the pic of the castle i was reminded of Monty Python and the Holy Grail ....I fart in your general direction .
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Old 06-12-2011, 12:47 PM   #57
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Great bit of riding today

9.25pm Sunday 12 June 2011

We are camped at the foothills of the Verdon Canyon about 2 and a half hours north west of Monaco. This is one hell of a campsite for 18 Euros! To my left, as I type this blog, is a thousand foot high vertical cliff face that stretches about kilometre and this is just the entree! The main meal is the canyon itself. About 20 paragliders have been hovering around this dramatic rock face and have just landed for supper.

We've had a ripper of a day. Beautiful sunshine for the visit to the Roman Aquaduct, Pont de Gard, built in 7 AD. Hopefully bandwidth will allow me to upload some photos shortly.

We are heading east through the back roads of southern France towards Monaco. The roads are excellent and there were tons of bikes out on the road today. I can't think of a better past time than winding your way through acres of lavender and wheat.

French drivers are very courteous to bike riders, most pulling to the right as you approach them from behind to let you pass. Language hasn't been a problem and we've managed to get what we've needed. The people have been warm and friendly and good humoured.

Mind you Darren nearly created a diplomatic incident when a German couple misinterpretted the word 'power' for 'towel'. Darren approached them and apologised for camping so close to their tent because we had a short power lead. The German couple thought Darren told them to take their towels off the line. Anyway all patched up.

Bandwidth is a challenge and I had hope to publish more photos and video, see how we go. Stand by.
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Old 06-12-2011, 01:44 PM   #58
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Some pics hot of the press!

One more shot of the walled city of Carcassonne.



The Pont de Guardan aquaduct, built by the Romans in 7AD to provide water to a nearby city.

[IMG]http://i925.photobuc

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Old 06-12-2011, 02:28 PM   #59
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one of the most gorgeous places on earth
thank you for that picture
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Old 06-12-2011, 10:25 PM   #60
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some pics were lost sorry about that

Some how some pics were lost so here they are.

The Pont de Gard, a Roman aqueduct constructed in 7AD provided water to a nearby city.



Going through the back roads had other benefits. We found this Auberge (roadside family restaurant?) jam packed with cars with French number plates and treated ourselves to a three course meal for 30 Euros each. It was worth every cent but not a lunch for the time poor. It was Sunday and everyone was relaxed, bathed in the dappled light of an elm tree, sipping wine. Dogs of varying sizes lay under their owner's seats, equally as chilled.

The duck was to die for, it wasn't chilled, it was beautifully cooked and presented and tasted as good as it looked.

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