Corsica/Sardinia En Moto

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by squawk77, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. squawk77

    squawk77 Dreamer

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    611
    Location:
    Classified
    [​IMG]

    Making a space for my first ride report. I'll try to fill in the details later on from the desert after I can sift through all the pictures

    I've thoroughly enjoyed reading the amazing stories on this site now for a few years and this would be my first attempt to put the inspiration in motion. I picked up my new F800GS in mid March and rushed to get the initial break-in and service done in time for an April trip (ended up being pushed ahead to March!). As it is still a bit cold in Europe and not yet tourist season, I decided to head south to Corsica and possibly Sardinia. The extent of my planning was a handful of landmarks to orient myself - and that was it. Some of the best riding though by far came when it was least expected, or when I was making an unscheduled "detour" for some reason. All in all it was an amazing experience and with all I learned I expect it will get even better next time :1drink


    [​IMG]

    Previews

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. zadok

    zadok Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Oddometer:
    996
    Location:
    Western Australia
    Excellent!:clap Some magnificent roads there s77.:D
    Keep the pics coming.
    #2
  3. Loutre

    Loutre Cosmopolitan Adv

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3,883
    Location:
    :o)
    oh yeeah!! can't wait to see more of that bike! LOVE IT
    #3
  4. Gart

    Gart n00b

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    8
    Location:
    Metroplex, TX
    Very nice! Looked like it was a great ride.
    #4
  5. squawk77

    squawk77 Dreamer

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    611
    Location:
    Classified
    You and me both :freaky

    [​IMG]

    Day 1 got off to a rough start. I hadn't been home for a few weeks and the trip had to be moved ahead of schedule! On Friday evening I chased down the SW Motech crash bars I'd ordered online by showing up at the shipping warehouse and convincing some Germans to do something outside of the procedures. I really adore how efficient and orderly Germany is (especially the driving!) but if you've been to Germany you know that bending a rule is hard to do! This package would later save both sides of my bike from pavement in a single incident. I'd hoped to leave at some point on Saturday but I just had too many general loose ends and errands I wanted to tie up before leaving. The show stopper was that the 4GB premade OSM map I had downloaded would not fit on my 4GB card. In Europe I am hopeless without my GPS maps.. I figured it was best I at least do a test ride of my new mods/gear and leave bright and early the next day.

    The premade OSM Garmin files I found online were either too big (all of Europe) or too small for this trip (individual countries). I eventually found a super handy resource - Free customizable routable Garmin maps by Lambertus
    #5
  6. squawk77

    squawk77 Dreamer

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    611
    Location:
    Classified
    Sunday morning I was off with the intention of making up some lost time as I had already booked the ferry to Corsica. The GPS took me on an odd route until I got the settings sorted out, but I made it to Luxembourg for lunch. Lots of roundabouts (which I prefer!) small towns and decent country roads with very light traffic. A 3/4 tank of gas in France costs €20 ($26!) and a fresh baguette/drink costs €7. I was keen to try out my camping gear but it did get pretty cold at night. I've slept great on snow in -20 or so, but it's something about humidity/dew or ground that makes it feel cold just above the freezing temps. I was motivated to press further south.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Luxembourg:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Verdun
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #6
  7. squawk77

    squawk77 Dreamer

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    611
    Location:
    Classified
    The next morning I continued SW in the general direction of Rocamadour. Rode through a lot of quaint old renaissance era towns (I believe). It was interesting but got a pretty old (no pun) until I approached Clermont-Ferrand. The flat ground suddenly has a backdrop of volcanoes in the distance known as Chaîne des Puys with one that sticks out just 10kms outside the city (which I read now has a Roman temple, Puy de Dôme) The city has a very modern-Euro hybrid feel to it with bullet trains smooth pavement and a tall dark Gothic cathédrale jetting out above the lower light beige buildings. I'm only describing it because I have no picture to do it justice, and it was just one of those unexpected sights that fascinated me. I also had the best baguette sandwich ever there (never knew a sandwich could be so good with just meat/bread/butter and not drowned in sauce) The futuristic looking light-guided buses and speed trains are actually Canadian Bombardier, but I'd never seen them before

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. squawk77

    squawk77 Dreamer

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    611
    Location:
    Classified
    The next morning I set the GPS for Rocamadour, or so I thought. The coords I set must have been in minutes/seconds because I passed it and then doubled back after lunch. Not yet being tourist season, Rocamodour was quiet and peaceful but it is apparently one of the most visited sites in France. After that I set the GPS for Millau - site of the tallest bridge in the world. Doubling back for Rocamadour made it a long day. As I arrived in Millau people were base jumping into the gorge and I passed the LZ at the edge of town. The many camp grounds were closed (including the municipal one whatever that is) but I was happy to find a wild camp site in a meadow between the Tarn river and a steep cliff.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #8
  9. squawk77

    squawk77 Dreamer

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    611
    Location:
    Classified
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #9
  10. Jimdamit

    Jimdamit не стреляйте

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    43
    Location:
    Saint Paul, MN
    I'm following this report and looking for ideas. I am in Germany for the next 6 months and am trying to plan several trips for when my bike actually arrives. Looks like you had a great trip so far! :D
    I am looking forward to Corsica and Sardinia!
    #10
  11. squawk77

    squawk77 Dreamer

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    611
    Location:
    Classified
    I was enjoying myself up until this point, but the wow factor ramps up the next morning in the Gorge du Tarn/Verdun and Côte d'Azur. Corsica was just sensational the entire time. I had to avoid the alps because the roads are blocked with snow, but I think eastern France would have been great as well.
    #11
  12. Loutre

    Loutre Cosmopolitan Adv

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3,883
    Location:
    :o)
    Yeah eastern FR is very nice, Strasburg is beautiful and next to it you have les Vosges where you have nice curvy roads :D
    #12
  13. squawk77

    squawk77 Dreamer

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    611
    Location:
    Classified
    Ah man, I just missed both of those across the German border as I wanted to explore ex Cdn cold war bases. Next time
    #13
  14. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,521
    Location:
    Sterling, Virginia, USA
    Funny how that works out. :D
    #14
  15. Loutre

    Loutre Cosmopolitan Adv

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3,883
    Location:
    :o)
    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:

    http://www.viamichelin.fr/tpl/fr/ma...es-a-moto-2010-fichiers-GPS-a-telecharger.htm
    #15
  16. Volker@Bandit

    Volker@Bandit n00b

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2012
    Oddometer:
    6
    Nice trip. Subscribed:D
    #16
  17. squawk77

    squawk77 Dreamer

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    611
    Location:
    Classified
    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 :lol3
    #17
  18. squawk77

    squawk77 Dreamer

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    611
    Location:
    Classified
    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.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #18
  19. squawk77

    squawk77 Dreamer

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    611
    Location:
    Classified
    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 :waysad... but I had a ferry to catch. And the best was yet to come.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Can you guess what they blacked out here? :1drink

    [​IMG]
    #19
  20. Loutre

    Loutre Cosmopolitan Adv

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3,883
    Location:
    :o)
    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.
    #20