VIA MEDITERRA - The journey around the Med with an HP2

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by kimangao, Oct 8, 2012.

  1. GSGIRL

    GSGIRL Neither here nor there

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    I'm a girl, I have an excuse to hate riding in sand :D What's yours?:rofl

    Since the Africa ride, I have also ridden New Zealand, Ireland and a ride thru Austria/Slovenia/Croatia. All without sand:lol3

    I am not sure where next but have become really interested in riding Newfoundland Canada and the western US. We'll see. The more I see Dirk's photos, the more I want to ride in the more exotic places. But I must become a better off road rider.
    #81
  2. Sylvia Stuurman

    Sylvia Stuurman Adventurer

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    This is great! The photo's, the whole idea of riding around the Mediterranean, and the observations you make.
    I loved the parallels, by the way!
    #82
  3. kimangao

    kimangao Been here awhile

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    Thank you very much Dave,
    the inspiration works vice-versa :-)
    Great idea btw to do a collection of all journeys. It's a long time since I was in NZ. Therefor I enjoed even more your pictures. I'll be following your collection.

    Cheers

    Dirk
    #83
  4. kimangao

    kimangao Been here awhile

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    I didn't mention a name, did I? :1drink
    #84
  5. kimangao

    kimangao Been here awhile

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    I pitch my tent back on the French side just next to Queribus, an amazing place you'll see a few pics later.

    For the first hours of this night I don't sleep at all. Queribus is in the Pays de Cathare, you remember, don't you?

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    Roughly 800 years ago the Cathares were a Christian community referring to the basic ideas of Christianity. Their movement became stronger over the years and they became dangerous the official church and especially the Pope. He, Pope Innocent III, then decided to fight the heretical Cathares and the only crusade against a Christian community and in Europe began.

    The Cathares had built or reinforced fortresses nearly impregnable. One of this fortresses is Queribus, another one Peyrepetuse. This is where I've spent some time in the night.

    Due to the long exposure time the stars appear as stripes.

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    In the morning I hiked to a little hill near my tent to see Queribus. In the background is Mt. Canigou (nearly 2800m). Queribus was really impregnable. Several month the Popes troops couldn't take Queribus. They famished it.

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    The town of Prades in front of Mt. Canigou. Doesn't seem to become too sunny today ...

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    Not far from Queribus is a little abbey, nestled in the hills near Narbonne. It was right here, where the troops leading Papal legate Arnaud Amaury was raised.

    Before attacking Beziers a soldier asked Amaury how to distinguish between Cathar enimies and Christians. He allegedly replied: "Kill them all. For the Lord knows them that are His."

    Beziers was sacked and the massacre was the biggest in the Middle Ages.

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    Nice place today, the Abbey.

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    Ok, today there was not much riding. And no riding pics. Instead I got to know Nada. She was having bike lessons and stayed in the same place as I did. With her instructor ... Honi soit qui mal y pense

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    I'm riding back along the coastline, this time east of Marseilles. (Still waiting for the white HP2 ...) On a hill above the sea two boys are showing interest in my camera gear. They play around with it and one of them askes me how he can a picture.

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    Well, not that easy for smokers :lol3

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    Now this is Cassis. Cassis is the origin of the Route des CrĂȘtes. Absolutely fantastic riding and scenery.

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    There we go ....

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    I've spent a lot of time on that road (back and forth, you know) and ...

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    ... I've found a brilliant place for a nice picture. Unfortunately there's a small parking space and a n italian mobile home is parked there. Right in the way where I'd like to take the picture. I keep on telling me "they'll move, they'll move". But they don't :becca


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    The sun has set, the f'n mobile home is still there. All over sudden, somebody opens the door. Obvisously the driver. He has a glass of red wine in his hands: "This is for you. And you must be hungry. Wouldn't you like to come in and join us for dinner?"

    What shall I say? It was a great evening inside the mobile home. :freaky
    I'll take the bloody picture tomorrow :D

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    #85
  6. GSGIRL

    GSGIRL Neither here nor there

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    Great Stuff!!!!!!
    #86
  7. kimangao

    kimangao Been here awhile

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    Dank je wel Sylvia :-)
    #87
  8. kimangao

    kimangao Been here awhile

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    My pleasure :D


    Dirk
    #88
  9. kimangao

    kimangao Been here awhile

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    Mates, I have to thank you all for your kind comments. Like I've tried to say to Kiwi Dave: Inspiration and motivation works for me vice-versa. So again, thank you, merci, efcharisto, danke ...

    Cheers

    Dirk
    #89
  10. kimangao

    kimangao Been here awhile

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    It is a bit of a hangover that wakes me up next morning. Farzin (iranian) and his wife Simona (italian) have fuddled me properly. The kids (iralian or itanian) insist on a "cool" picture before setting off. And I swear I'll never say a bad word about motor homes anymore.

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    The Itanians have left the place and I'm still there admiring that incredible coastline.

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    ... and I finally get the picture I've wanted 12hours ago :lol3

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    The Route des CrĂȘtes winds on top of that red cliff for decent 15kms :rayof

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    Natural harbour design.

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    I turn inland to one of the most spectacular places in France. Les Gorges du Verdon, the Verdon Canyon. On the way I pass several of these mobile-home parkings. I'm happy that it is still March and all of them remain in their position. Once they're unleashed proper riding becomes a nightmare in some spots. I'm not sure if I can keep the promise I made to Farzin and Simona ... oh, I'm sure I can't :D

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    Closer to the canyon the villages turn out to be as beautiful as you would expect them to be in a holiday catalogue.

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    There are two roads follwing the canyon. Whichever I take: This is one of the places where I can't decide: Ride or take a pic. Most time I do both enjoying a good road twice. :lol3

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    I've made this one a bit larger. And yes, there's a bike in the picture. :nod

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    The Verdon leaves the canyon into magnificent Lac de Sainte Croix. On the shore of the lake a friend of a friend runs a little restaurant, Bernhard. He's just arrived with his ancient 2CV from picking fresh herbs in the nearby forest.

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    Bernhards restaurant is so small that the kitchen offers space for max 2 persons to work. And for his guests, well there's no space at all inside. So everyone sits outside on a little terrace admiring the splendid scenery.

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    Almost ready to be eaten ... Bernhard has been working as a cook in a pub for ages. A few years ago he realised his dream of his own restaurant at Lac de Sainte Croix. I want to know if he has ever regretted. he replies with a big grin: "Man, don't you see? I live in paradise!" How many can claim that?

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    Ok, lunchtime! :D

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    Not to be misunderstood: This is not a RRR (RestaurantRideReport) :lol3 But somehow I have to waste my time waiting for the other bike. Can't take long ....
    #90
  11. kktos

    kktos on a bright side of life

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    yeah....:D
    I think it's quite clear now that you're what the frenchmen called a "gourmand"
    :evil
    #91
  12. kimangao

    kimangao Been here awhile

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    If I get it right, a gourmand likes the quantity and the gourmet the quality.
    So how could I become a gour :huh... err what? Ah, gourmand. As you see, in Bernhards place I have a slice of bread with a nice topping. That's more gourmet style isn't it? Ok, there was Marseilles. But I still plea unguilty. I'd asked for a soup. Who knows that those folks show up with an eight course meal? :lol3
    #92
  13. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

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    I am enjoying your RR tremendously! Thanks for taking the time to make the beautiful photos and write such a good tale. It's okay by me if there are a few food diversions sprinkled throughout. They have some value....I know now to be careful when attempting to order something simple, like a bowl of soup, in a Michelin-starred restaurant in France! If I recall correctly there is, near Gorge du Verdon, a village...Moustiers-St. Marie....behind which is a path that leads up to a vantage point that allows an expansive view across the relatively flat farmland to the S-SW. Thanks again for taking us along with you!:clap:clap
    #93
  14. Coots

    Coots That's what she said

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    Kimangao,

    Totally loving your report and pictures, thank you so much for sharing your journey. One question though, what was up with Nada (gal learning to ride)? How come there was not more pics???:cry

    Keep posting, we will keep reading.
    #94
  15. kimangao

    kimangao Been here awhile

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    Yes man, you're right. A fantastic spot in a magnificent area. Unfortunately I didn't take any pic from up there. Next time :lol3
    Thank you for your kind words and hope you enjoy the next chapters.

    Dirk
    #95
  16. kimangao

    kimangao Been here awhile

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    Hi Coots,
    what shall I say? Her riding instructor was trying to give her proper instructions ... :lol3

    Cheers

    Dirk
    #96
  17. Edder B

    Edder B Meister Poser

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    Hallo Dirk,

    I love your report so far and you haven't even started the trip yet. So far I'm learning to take more time on my trips and smell the roses. I'll never be such a good photographer, but if I take enough, one has to at least come out.

    Love the Altstadt in Duesseldorf. How I miss Gatzweiler's Alt.
    #97
  18. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Oops, I meant to sticky this thread when you started it... :gerg. the pics are pure eye candy! thanks again for the continued updates :thumb
    #98
  19. Bogfarth

    Bogfarth Fridge Magnet Safety Tester

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    :drif

    :lurk
    #99
  20. kktos

    kktos on a bright side of life

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    Oh yeah ! What a nice city indeed ! And I love the beer too :D