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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by KryzHatch, Oct 25, 2016.
Should we worry about you, Kriz ?
No...To do this report will help me.
Few pics of my therapy...
Col Agnel and Col du Grand St. Bernard?
M5 Stuart tank from the Authion ?
Col D'AGNEL and Col du Gd ST BERNARD. (pic 5 and 6)
M5 STUART from AUTHION, up from Col de TURINI.( pic 1)
The three others are MONACO, a road upon VESUBIE valley and the Road to Col de la CAYOLLE from the south
Merveilleux! Plus! Plus!
Here's my contribution to your magnificent ride! Col d'Angel. I was there so early there was no one around when I reached the France / Italie sign, I turned the bike's motor off and coasted all the way down.
I generally use two camera.
One is an old and small one that I put inside the tank bag. When I come to a nice view I put the right signal, stop the bike, put on Neutral, then right feet on rear brake, open the tank bag, take the camera, take the most beautiful pic I ever took (At that moment !), put the camera back in the tank bag, close the tank bag, take off the right foot from rear brake, get on first gear, get a quick look in the mirror, put the left signal and leave the place, all that in sometimes less than twenty seconds.
PANASONIC LUMIX DMC TZ 3
The second camera is bigger, make more interesting pictures but is more fragile. So, it is in the top case, in a safe bag and need more times to be ready. I stop on parking, stop the engine, take off helmet and gloves, open the top case, open the safe bag, think how could I make the most beautiful pic, take it, discover the pic is not as beautiful as what I have in front of me...
FUJIFILM FINEPIX S 4600
The old one has sometimes battery problem,... more connection problem between the battery (I can charge it !) and the camera. So sometimes, no pic is possible. So when the "sometimes" become "Almost each time !" and finishes as "Every times !", I decided to put the big one in the tank bag in the safe bag. And when I forgot to put it in the safe bag, the tragedy happened : As a sort of revenge, the old one has hurt the screen of the big one, which is still working, but I can see 10, 20 % of my pic, and nothing about menu. So I have one camera working well...when she want and another one that may be doing a nice job, but like old cameras with films, I have to wait to see how magnificient my pictures are !
All my condolences for your screen, I hope it's worth to be fixed. Back in the days of silver halide photography, I never wanted to take my reflex with me on the bike, I was afraid to break it, so I had a crappy compact camera with me which was not doing the postcard quality the other did. Nowadays when I'm looking at those pictures, and even scan them (sometimes to post them on this forum), I really regret not having taken the risk to take it with me on the bike. Now at the digital era, it's just on a shelf collecting dust, and is completely useless. So don't have any regrets, it did its job, I just hope it can be fixed, so that you can go on pleasing us with your amazing pictures.
DAY ONE (August, the 17)
As there was a lot of kilometers to get to SOSPEL, where I ended my visit of Alps last year, I have decided to book a room in a hotel on the road, half way, in CARCASSONNE. And the purpose was to get there without taking tolls roads, via BERGERAC, CAHORS and CASTRES...A little less than 500 km and 07h30 by Google of nice and curvy roads. But things don't always goes the way you want...So the nice idea become impossible by leaving at 05.00 P.M. Motorway was the solution.
So I took the motorway in MIRAMBEAU, direction south to BORDEAUX on A 10 then I turned to the east on A62 to TOULOUSE, then A 61 to CARCASSONNE. I don't really remember where it was but at one moment, I though:
"Confortably sitting in your car, protected from the sun by the roof, protected from the heat of the end of afternoon with Air Conditionning, listening to your favorite playlist/radio station,, ...you would not have smell that nice fragrance coming from fields around you during those several kilometers".
Few minutes after 09.00 P.M, I enter the parking of the hôtel. Hôtel was full (...with me !)
486 kilometers, 21 € for tolls
DAY TWO (August, the 18)
Let's say the hotel was not really ON the road...But not that far...Not far enough to be quiet, indeed. Hotel was full...of spanish cyclists, with lorries following them. And it worth the price, I mean the low price...Toilets and shower are in the corridor. Walls are as thick as cigarette paper. BUT
...breakfast is nice...And no need to hurry to take down the tent and packed the bike.
HôteL FORMULE 1 CARCASSONNE ( They all look the same way ! Outside and Inside !)
At 08h30 a.m, back on A 61 to the East. Turned to the north on A 9 with more trafic (Motorway coming from SPAIN to North EUROPE And ITALY), but not really problem.
South of NIMES, I turned to the south east, with trafic jam on the other way, on A 54 to ARLES and SALON de PROVENCE to join A 7 and A 8 to the French Riviera. New trafic jam, always on the other way, due to accident. I then stop in a rest area to eat, chat a little with another rider, on a KAWASAKI, about carrying luggages on bike.
VENTABREN Sud rest area
You can see lots of cars on the other way, going slow if not stopped, because of the accident several kilometers away.
I came back on the road with lot of cars and trucks, but no problems. Lots of tolls where bikes pay less than cars.
But to stop and wait to pay 1,5 €, or even 0,90 €...
At one moment, I saw an AUDI S 4 on my mirrors, coming fast on the left lane, (I was also up to the speed limit ! ... Not that much, Officer !) discover there was a FERRARI GTC4 Lusso and another AUDI behind. They overtook me. Later I could see the two AUDIs in the distance, in front of me. But not the FERRARI ! The same for a CORVETTE C7, ROLLS ROYCE Wraith, another FERRARI, and a LAMBORGHINI Huracan that overtook me later.
North of MENTON, I took the D 2566 (Route des Grandes Alpes) to the north, to get to the campground I was last year. I stop before in SOSPEL, for food and water. And continue to the north. It was 04.00 P.M. The man at the campground 's office remember me ( And me of him !) He took my command of a croissant for the next morning.
My camp place (Sorry, they found me a place under the shadow, which has one bad point : Not good for picture...at that moment. I may have the idea to take one later...)
It was still over 30° at 06.00 P.M. So I came back to the Office/Bar/restaurant where they bring me a glass of a half liter of beer.
533 Kilometers for the day and 32 € in six tolls.
Just before arriving in SOSPEL, I choose to not take Col de CASTILLON.
DAY 3 August, the 19
First real day on "Route des Grandes Alpes", .. maybe more close to "Route des Grandes Alpes"
Woke up, shower and I ate the croissant I have command the preview day, with a big café and a glass of fruit juice, in the campground 's restaurant. I commanded my croissant for next day, most important thing for a good beginning ! Then down to SOSPEL to buy several things to eat and drink at midday, before going south to MENTON, on the coast, via the tunnel. And a nice bridge, which is also on the two old postcards I have put earlier (Post #61)
Lot of trafic jam before arriving on the coast, and also when I took East, to the border. It seems nobody is working in this area...On the other end, it is holiday period...And Saturday !
After the border, still lot of people, among those many migrants with or without suitcase.
I had planned to continue on the coast to SAN REMO, only 25 kilometers and half an hour away. But, half and hour later, I was still in VALLECROSIA, close to VENTIMIGLIA. So I decided to turned back to VENTIMIGLIA center.
So new trafic jam in the town of VENTIMIGLIA
and took North on S 20, following ROYA river valley toward TENDA Pass.
Back to FRANCE with gendarmes controling I was not carrying migrant person on my bike. (They stop me a half second !)
Gare de PIENE HAUTE With racks for rock falling protection.
In FONTAN, I turned to climb to SAORGE, stop to make pics.
Footpath to SAORGE.
D 6204 to the south, to VENTIMIGLIA.
D 6204 to Col de TENDE, to the north
Zut! I miss la belle france so much! Must. Go. Back. Soon.
That's uncredible ! When I saw in your previous post you were wandering in the Roya valley, I was wondering if quite by chance you would have a stop in Saorge. My parents had a friend who's living in this village. From Ventimiglia to Tende, it's a full chapter of my childhood that's popin'up with your photos.
Back in the days, close to Breil/Roya, there was a big boulder in the river that was painted in pink, they made an eye and a ear with black paint, and when driving along the Roya, people had the illusion to see an enormous pig bathing into the river. Dunno if it's still there (the boulder yes for sure, but painted as a pig is less sure).
I hope you went to Casterine and "la Vallée des Merveilles", it's a must see.
Wow, it's a long time I say I'd like to go back there on a bike, but now I've seen your photos, I realy have to.
While taking those pics, a group of bikes passes me and I wave them. I should not have done that ( Not waving them!..Stopping there !) Later when arriving in SAORGE, there was a nice parking for bikes...Full with the motorcycles seen a few minute before ! So I keep on climbing, turned back because you can't go through SAORGE, and find a place to park the Bandit, near the top of the village.
The good new for me was visiting was easy because I was going down to see the village. The bad one, the bike was still on the top of the village, so the return...with the heat, the equipement,...
SAORGE Main street ( You can't go through SAORGE, as you can see !)
So, after liters of sweat, I came back to the bike, sit there to watch the nice panorama on ROYA river before getting back on the bike to continue in the bottom of the valley in Gorges de BERGUES toward TENDE.
I took a road to the East, the D 43 to La BRIGUE, and continue to MORIGNOLE, then turned back.
Pont de MORIGNOLE
Back on the D 6204, I continue to the north, arrive to the trafic light when it turn to Green and came under the mountain in tunnel de TENDE, to do several kilometers on the Italian side, to LIMONE – PIEMONTE, as investigation for the future ride. Then back to the tunnel.
As I was expecting for a big queue, I was slowering down before each turn in the last kilometers to the tunnel. So I was happy to get to the trafic light in third position.
...Until I saw the countdown to the green at the trafic light. Tunnel in under re - construction, so one lane trafic.
Here, I had stop, taken off my helmet, and the gloves before taking the pic...And still twenty two minutes of wait. Cars came behind me, bikes came next to me, others bikes came next to the first car. And after almost ten minutes, cars coming the other way exited the tunnel. After four/five minutes, it was the end of cars coming off the tunnel. And after ten more long minutes, engines were on since a minute, the countdown arrive to "0" and we enter the tunnel. Ten minutes later, I was near the opposite trafic light, continue down to TENDE.
In BREIL Sur ROYA, I took the D 2204 toward SOSPEL, by Col de BROUIS(879 m).
Turns on D 2204
passes the road to OLIVETTE SAN MICHELE, with Gendarmes watching for migrants, stops in SOSPEL for shopping and a bier. And get back to my tent.
207 Kilometers for the day.
Thank you for reading
Thanks for another merveilleux update!
Oh yes, many thanks, especially for the pictures of Saorge ... Chance is uncredible but you took one of them nearly under the balcony of my parent's friend and another one in the street where is the entry door of the house ! Yes Saorge is built on such a steep ground that many streets are suddenly turning into stairs, even passing under some upper houses like under tunnels. Most of the houses have their entry door at the level of the street and (even considering having a flat floor all through the house) have their back windows or balcony 30 or 40 m high above the back street.
What a great adventure land it was then for a 10 year old kid.
I wonder if it's still legal today to skip the Tenda tunnel by the pass. Technically it's possible, it's partially asphalted (at the beginning) and I could do it with the Electra even on the gravel part, but the only pictures I can find on google street views are dating from 2010, there's a speed limit sign (20) and a weight limit sign (3.5T), nothing else, dunno about the italian slope. And nowadays with the green activists ...
Back in the days, my father did it with his 504 Pigeot !
It is, see here (sorry, only in German). I've last been there in 2013, back then the Italian ramp was asphalt almost to the top, the French ramp was gravel in the upper two thirds. Both ramps were barely maintained, and iirc the turnoffs were not signposted. If you go up, take the short ride from the summit of Col de Tende to Fort Central, the view is breathtaking.
Danke schön Hansen !
I really should dig more the web to see if we have such sites in french ...