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Old 04-15-2012, 05:13 AM   #16
Volker@Bandit
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Nice trip. Subscribed
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:44 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Loutre View Post
If you want to see more of france buy this book from Michelin. It's very well made with maps, informations about the spots, campings, hotels, restaurants etc etc and with roadbooks that you can DL on your GPS. it costs 16€ and is worth every penny
Thanks I'll look into that next time. You're the 2nd board member to recommend the Michelin maps and I noticed a lot of them in the service stations. Ingenious really Michelin encouraging me to burn my tires out faster
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Old 04-17-2012, 01:23 PM   #18
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Day V

The next morning I woke up at 0600 and was surprised to see the stars instead of the sun. I was up earlier than usual as did not want to miss my ferry to Corsica. I rode around Millau looking for an open boulangerie/pâtisserie or bar for the morning caffeine fix. I also tried McDonald's for the free WiFi and coffee but it didn't open until 0930 either (later I found ones that didn't open until 1100) I set my GPS for the Pont du Gard and rode off into the Gorges du Tarn. The GoPro didn't take many good pictures that day of the gorge due to the morning condensation on the lens and I was mostly blinded by the sunrise myself. As I climbed out of the gorge I went through a few small old tunnels and then found the best riding of the trip. It was just one of those narrow, technical, old-back-roads with no traffic complimented by a nice view of the distant mountains. I was just constantly turning/shifting/braking/accelerating and it was an all-around great ride. If I didn't have the ferry to catch, I would have ridden this road again for just for kicks.





Exploring the narrow streets of Millau would add the first character to my shiny panniers here:
























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Old 04-17-2012, 02:58 PM   #19
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I expected to see a monument worthy of the hands which had constructed it. This time the object surpassed my expectation, for the only time in my life. Only the Romans could have produced such an effect. The sight of this simple and noble work struck me all the more since it is in the middle of a wilderness where silence and solitude render the object more striking and the admiration more lively; for this so-called bridge was only an aqueduct.
By the time I got to Pont du Gard, I'd already seen so many random Roman ruins, churches and historical sites that it just looked like a larger-polished version. Except this time I had to pay the big €'s. It was still cool to see but I didn't stick around very long as there were several school tours of kids and the general long lineups noise and overpriced food etc (a contrast to the experience above). I took the autoroute down to Cannes and stopped on the coast for lunch and WiFi. The environment there was suddenly very different from what I'd seen to this point. I'd reached the Côte d'Azur. There were many scooters and motorbikes, all passing cars whenever they could almost like in Asia - sweet! I found a nice curvy road along the coast unlike anything I'd ridden before. Driving from Nice to Savona though blew my mind. Unfortunately the GoPro battery was dead and I was in a rush. Being an F1 fan, I still can't believe I bypassed Monaco ... but I had a ferry to catch. And the best was yet to come.














Can you guess what they blacked out here?

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Old 04-18-2012, 07:08 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by squawk77 View Post
The next morning I woke up at 0600 and was surprised to see the stars instead of the sun. I was up earlier than usual as did not want to miss my ferry to Corsica. I rode around Millau looking for an open boulangerie/pâtisserie or bar for the morning caffeine fix. I also tried McDonald's for the free WiFi and coffee but it didn't open until 0930 either (later I found ones that didn't open until 1100) I set my GPS for the Pont du Gard and rode off into the Gorges du Tarn. The GoPro didn't take many good pictures that day of the gorge due to the morning condensation on the lens and I was mostly blinded by the sunrise myself. As I climbed out of the gorge I went through a few small old tunnels and then found the best riding of the trip. It was just one of those narrow, technical, old-back-roads with no traffic complimented by a nice view of the distant mountains. I was just constantly turning/shifting/braking/accelerating and it was an all-around great ride. If I didn't have the ferry to catch, I would have ridden this road again for just for kicks.
The GOrges du Tarn is one of the best spots i've taken hollidays. If you love to do wild water kayak, thats one good spot to do it.
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Old 05-15-2012, 04:55 AM   #21
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Day VI

Progress on the updates has slowed a bit in the desert, but let's try this again.

In a single word, Corsica was mystical.. the entire time. I slept solid throughout the ferry ride and woke up around 7h as we prepared to dock in Bastia. The Corsica Ferries were a very nice experience and the price was very reasonable (in the off season anyways). The locals that I met in the lounge that morning would inadvertently change the course for the best day of this trip. Most important decisions for this vacation were made in near real time. All of the best rides were nearly skipped or discovered only after a change of course. The lack of research or expectation though would surely heighten my first experience in Corsica, and after riding the Côté d'Azur the day before it was a complete sensory overload. As the Paul Theroux quote goes "Tourists don't know where they've been, travelers don't know where they're going."

I headed north along the coast and stopped in a small marina town of Macinaggio. I finally had no timings in my head to meet, and it appeared that neither did anyone around me. The place was nearly deserted of tourists and locals were leisurely doing small chores around their shops. The basic morning routine in France was a bit awkward at first but by now I was culturally sorted out. I immediately spotted the local patisserie for a fresh chausson aux pommes and then made my way to the bar to order un gros café. In my experience, ordering a coffee in Europe will typically get you a thumbnail of pure caffeine. Ordering a large coffee or Americano though will get you about half the standard American mug of high quality caffeine. There's no need to mask its taste in Europe with any contaminants. I sat down by the marina to soak it all in. I had arrived at last.



First sight of Corsica from the ferry:











Macinaggio (spotting the morning patisserie and bar)






Corsica. At last!



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Old 05-15-2012, 05:36 AM   #22
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Day VI





They were ruining a perfectly fine road here...






















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Old 05-15-2012, 06:39 AM   #23
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Day VI

I came to an odd abandoned looking place with several workers dawned in white respirator suits. I decided to ride up a nearby gravel road to the cell tower for a better look. I crossed a pickup truck on the way up and the driver was also wearing a respirator mask and suit.. Before riding back down, I made 100% sure to disengage the ABS! (learned about that issue on flat ground luckily) At the bottom of the hill, I had a Mexican standoff with the unusual security party. I made my way to l'Ile Rouse and checked into a room for the night. Most of the restaurants and hotels were closed in Corsica so I was able to negotiate a much lower price. I walked down to the courtyard to get some local wine and food and watched the locals playing some unusual game of throwing small bowling balls at other balls in the sand.. Fairly quaint city in the off season.























Je ne comprends pas




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Old 05-15-2012, 11:01 AM   #24
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Day VI

L'Ile Rousse, Corse



















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Old 05-27-2012, 06:31 AM   #25
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A few pictures from the office. Looking down, wishing I could be exploring those roads









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Old 05-27-2012, 07:37 AM   #26
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Really nice pics and roads. The more I see the more ideas I get for my Europe trip.
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Old 07-05-2012, 06:42 AM   #27
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Day VII part 1

The next morning I continued south along the west coast expecting to see similar scenery as the day before. It turned out to be entirely different again and again. On this day I would drop my new bike for the first time and get rear ended in traffic, and still have one of the best days of the trip.











I thought I'd do a little exploring here and get a feel for the bike on an inclined loose rocky road. The chalenging part went fine, but then I dropped the bike on the flat part at the bottom The SW Motech crash bars did their job and I was able to confirm that I can actually pick the bike up fully loaded by myself.

























I stopped for gas in the middle of nowhere around noon and had a chat with the cashier. She claimed I was about to see the best part of Corsica and gave me some good info on places to see. I bought some Corsica decals to put on the panniers later and set the GoPro to video.

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Old 07-05-2012, 07:13 AM   #28
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Gof de Porto and Calanches de Piana

UNESCO description of the area

Quote:
This site lies on the central western coast of the island of Corsica. The natural reserve occupies the Scandola peninsula, an impressive, porphyritic rock mass. The site includes a coastline of astonishing beauty studded with offshore islets and sea pillars rising out of translucent waters. On the shore itself there are hidden coves and long beeches of fine sand, sea grottos and high cliffs of blood-red porphyry. The vegetation is an outstanding example of scrubland. This area, which includes the massif of Cinto and the valley of Fango, is part of a large geological complex that appears to have undergone two distinct cycles of volcanic activity in the Permian. Since then, the area has been subject to alternating cycles of erosion and rejuvenation. Geologically comprises porphyry, rhyoliths and basaltic pillars, which have all been considerably eroded by wave action. The jagged and sheer cliffs contain many grottos and are flanked by numerous stacks and almost inaccessible islets and coves, such as Tuara. The coastline is also noted for its red cliffs, some 900 m high, sand beaches, and headlands such as Cape Osani and the peninsula of Elbo.
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Old 07-05-2012, 01:10 PM   #29
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Day VII part 2





Stopped in a quiet town with a great view for lunch. Surprised there were no tourists here at all even though it was off season.


















I heard the drivers were bad in the Mediterranean. I never really had a problem, but this girl in an X3 did rear end me somehow.






Spent the night in Ajaccio, which I knew as the hometown of Alizée Jacotey (and Napolean Bonapart)


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Old 07-05-2012, 01:39 PM   #30
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This thread is great and relevant to my adventure riding interests. I'll be marking Corsica as a place to go when I do my trip

Can I ask what your budget for the whole trip was?
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