To the Provence and back, a spring break trip

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Bommes, Nov 3, 2020.

  1. Bommes

    Bommes Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Oddometer:
    188
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Being all locked up and reading all those great ride reports I started looking over the ones I wrote in the last years.
    I posted them all on a Dutch forum and most of them I translated and posted here as well.
    2020; Taking the new Guzzi for a spin,
    2019; Route Barée, 7 days through the alps
    and 2017 The hunt for Luigi and Jean-Pierre

    But this one I never came round to, so having some spare time and like I said being all inspired by all your great story's and adventures I thought lets get to it.

    The trip was made in May 2018 and the plan was a seven day ride, with just the first stretch of highway.
    The rest local roads, all the way to the south of France.
    Inspiration came from a 2 weekly motor magazine which had this route in one of the editions a year before.
    I saved the GPX file that came with that article thinking I would some day have the opportunity to ride it.
    The end of 2017 ended in a divorce, so spring 2018 was my time to take this trip.
    I have found a new love and in contrast to my ex wife, my new girlfriend only encouraged me to make these solo trips.
    So I did..

    Day 1
    Depart:
    Nuenen, The Netherlands
    Destination: Fresnes en Woëvre
    Route: My route app link
    Distance: 330km
    Campsite: Camping Base de Loisirs du Colvert

    This trip I was taking my Vespa again, but now not on the back of my campervan, actually had to sell that van due to a divorce.
    I am going to ride it all the way to the south of France via those brilliant local roads

    Before leaving I did some service, changed the oil + filter, checked and adjusted the valve clearance, changed the spark plug, cleaned and re greased the air filter and checked the drive belt and cleaned out the vario pulleys and clutch. The usual stuff, even fitted new front brake pads and a second hand used front fork because I suspected the old one to be a bit bend.
    Ever since I bought my (second hand) Vespa it had been pulling to the left.
    Tried all sorts of solutions, changed the tiers to different brands, tried all sorts of different pressures in there, changed the fork bearings, all of them (there are a lot in that ltille swingarm set up).
    Changed out the front shock for a better one, that started leaking after just 10.000km's so bought another one (different brand)
    But nothing helped.:(
    It kept steering to the left, so much that on the long rides it would really made my arms fatigue.
    During one trip I even attached a bungy cord to the belt around my waist and the other end on the right hand side of the handle bars.

    So I sourced a second hand fork, and swapped it out.

    IMG_20170910_144840.jpg

    Mounted my tomtom on the handlebars again with that a ugly piece of metal I had laying around, someday I will change that for a nice ramball thingy.

    IMG_20180519_090704.jpg

    Road the Vespa around the block for a test run and it was good to go.
    A few days later I loaded up all my gear said goodbye to my girlfriend who was going to Sicily with her mom for a short spring break .
    And rode off.. only to stop like 2 km's from my home to get a coffee, and fill up the tank.

    IMG_20180519_090714.jpg

    Yes all the gear has to come of.. next time I need to remember to fill her up before I load on all that gear.

    The Vespa failed..!! :muutt
    Completely packed I merged onto the highway and it maxed out at 100km /h.
    Holding back / stuttering.. Oh oo.. …
    Normally it would reach 120km'h easily.. wtf..:baldy

    Turned back home, I started tinkering and checking possibilities.
    Nothing found, changed out the the spark plug.No changes still stuttering @ WOT
    So I drove to the Vespa dealer, to have the ecu checked.

    IMG_20180519_111324.jpg

    They came up with a suspect: the ignition coil, I bought one and went back home.
    There I replaced that coil.
    But to my sadness it turned out not to be the coil.
    I was out of options.. I couldn't fix the problem. :(

    So after all that I pulled all my gear that was packed on the Vespa and put it on my Yammie.
    Besides my Vespa I also had a 99 Yamaha Fazer 600.

    Having some problems getting on all the luggage, the Fazer didn't have a topbox, neither was there a under seat storage like with the Vespa.
    So an old Gedore tool-case, some drilling and bolting later A make do topcase was constructed.
    In there all my clothes. On top of that a drybag with my sleeping bag and airmatras.
    A small backpack with some food, drinks and electronics.
    And the tent strapped to the back of my saddle.
    I parked it in front of my house, one final check and goooo :D

    IMG_20180519_143151.jpg

    So round 3:30 pm I finally started my planned 465km day ride.

    Back on to the highway, this time with that Fazer.
    This thing really goes when I want it to, so where possible I set the speed to a nice and steady 150km/h
    Wanting to make up some time my first stop was just south of Liege in Belgium, a good 2 hours ride from home.
    Filled up the tank there and climbed back on.
    Just one more stop to make some phone calls.
    My girl and I where in the process of buying a house, so calls had to be made.

    IMG_20180519_163316.jpg

    Spirits where up, sun was out, the Fazer rode fantastic..

    Belgium went by pretty fast and just before Luxembourg my pre made route made me exit the highway.
    Turned out there was a truckers bar right @ the exit so I had my self some diner there.

    IMG_20180519_185146.jpg

    A burger and some fries, oh and a well deserved beer..

    One more hour riding after that fast meal those 465km's turned out to be a tat bit optimistic.
    That Saturday I reached 330km to set up camp somewhere in the north of France.
    To be precise: Fresnes en Woëvre
    It was way past 8 pm so time to stop for today.

    I found a campsite with it's gates open and no one there to check in with..:hmmmmm
    So rode up the site, looked for a free spot, there where plenty, and started unpacking.
    It was almost 9 pm, time to pitch that tent.

    IMG_20180519_204354.jpg

    This old thing takes about 10 minutes of work, including inflating my sleeping mattress an rolling out my sleeping bag.

    IMG_20180519_211042.jpg

    Okay.. day 1 to an end.
    Not the way I planed it, but glad I had a second bike to fall back on.
    To bad I lost all that time today, to get round to riding all the day routes I pre made I have to some how make up for the 130km's lost today.
    #1
  2. Bommes

    Bommes Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Oddometer:
    188
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Day 2
    Depart:
    Fresnes en Woëvre
    Destination: Chanaz
    Route: My route app link
    Distance: 460km
    Campsite: Camping des Iles

    Started the day with a cold shower, not that I wanted to, but I think 6 a.m. is prior to the wake up time for the hot water boiler.. :nah
    Still no one @ the front desk on this campsite, so this will be a cheap night. Not only that I slept like a baby.
    So that shower.. well seeing I didn't pay for this night I will let that one slide.
    Wakes you up, not good for the mood though.

    Put all my gear back on the bike, ready to take off. Think it was like 8 am.

    IMG_20180520_081519.jpg

    In a straight line to the bakery..

    IMG_20180520_082433.jpg

    Croissant and a small baguette. The first one I eat on the doorstep of the bakery and off I ride.
    A small hour later I reach nine castles... or like the French say: Neufchateau
    Starting to get hungry and I'm starting to feel the need for coffee.
    Bike on the side of the road, stove on the sidewalk, coffee is brewing and the baguette with Nutella is very welcome.

    IMG_20180520_095943.jpg

    In the meantime the messages from my girlfriend are pouring in.
    She's on her way to Sicily with a stop over landing on Sardinia.
    While I'm eating my baguette they just landed on Sardinia.
    We sent a few pictures back and forth and talk a bit of small talk.

    IMG_20180520_094624.jpg
    I finish my coffee and get back on the Yammie.

    The first stretch of today's route are a bit larger roads, direction south.
    I ride through one village after the other.
    I know it's Sunday, but come on! where did all the people go??
    Completely deserted where ever I look.
    Plus side of that is that I can make up for some time, using a bit of Yammie's 95Bhp

    IMG_20180520_143157.jpg

    Somewhere I turn on to a very small side road and for almost an hour I keep following it, bouncing and swinging all over the place.
    What ever was not strapped on properly I sure lost by now.

    IMG_20180520_143327.jpg

    I make a quick stop @ a supermarket to buy something to drink and Boursin.
    The temperature is rising, I think I saw 25C on a sign some where.
    A few villages futher on I stop in front of a church and @ a local kebab shop with a owner who smells like a brewery, I buy a can of cola.
    He offers me some water, but if that is as clean as the rest of his shop I am glad I said no to that.

    To bad after riding a bit more the clouds are closing in..:(

    IMG_20180520_145829.jpg

    On to the next post, picture limit still 10..
    #2
    CA-Cincinnatus likes this.
  3. Bommes

    Bommes Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Oddometer:
    188
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Oh boy.. there is the rain.
    In front of me 3 other bikers and behind me there is one more.
    The 2 in front of me exit of the road into a parking space, and the one in left in front, me and the one behind me keep on riding.
    The soft rain stops.. a proper cloudburst, the riding speed is completely gone and the 3 of us keep paddling on.
    When the rain get company, hail and thunder I notice the one rider that was left behind me disappeared.
    The last one in front of me also stops some where, so only me left in this rain.
    Not long beyond that I can feel my balls, and everything else in that region, starting to get wet.
    I keep riding, into a village and I find an entrance into an apartments parking space where me and the bike can hide out for this downpour.

    IMG_20180520_152322.jpg
    Off with the helmet, jacket and while I'm at it off with the rest as well.
    Dry jeans, shirt and my rain pants.

    IMG_20180520_152338.jpg

    But the rain is still way to fierce so while I wait here I make myself a nice cup of coffee.
    This hide out is dry so let's stay and wait.

    IMG_20180520_154733.jpg

    My girl is online again so we chat a bit.
    I would loved to take her on this trip with me.
    Not in this rain and not on the back of this bike.
    But a nice big |Electra glide or something like that.
    I know it's my thing, these trips, the riding, days on end but I would love to share this feeling with her.

    Eventually the sky get's a bit lighter and the rain get's less.
    I put all my gear back on rain suit on top and I ride on.
    The next half hour it keeps raining, a light drizzle, but then it stops.
    The roads are still very quiet and I notice I'm actually riding precisely South.
    And like earlier this day, totally alone on the roads.
    The sky opens up, I stop to fill up with fuel and I strap all my wet gear on the back of my bike.
    Including my underpants.
    Using the wind and sun to let it all dry out.

    When I turn back onto the road, my navigation tells me that it's just 5 minutes riding left to the campsite..:hack
    Very useful action, all my wet gear on the back..
    @ the last intersection a traffic regulator tells me to stop....:muutt
    What's going on here..??
    After 5 minutes waiting in a traffic jam I see the reason.
    A road race with all sorts of motorbikes. The speeds are not there but it's a wierd collection of different bikes.
    Mopeds, scooters, racers and a mountain biker..:dirtdog
    After a 10 minute plus wait I get the go to ride on, take a right turn and 100 meters on I ride onto the campsite :baldy

    Again the front desk is closed so I just ride onto the site, I find just 2 empty spots, the first I see is fine by me so I park the bike.
    Open up a beer and start pitching my tent.

    IMG_20180520_185236.jpg

    A half hour working later I walk to the village

    IMG_20180520_190858.jpg

    and find my self a pizzeria.

    IMG_20180520_193603.jpg

    Beer and pizza.. yes holiday.. :clap:D:photog

    This was a cool day of riding, sun, rain and sun again, all sorts of roads and nice villages.
    Up until now the route is great, made for both easy riding and when you set your mind to it some proper WOT twisty's.
    And that rain.. well let's say it make for great story's.:doh

    Tomorrow further down south.
    Provence here I come.

    IMG_20180520_214055.jpg
    #3
    ubermick and juno like this.
  4. Bommes

    Bommes Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Oddometer:
    188
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Day 3...
    Depart: Camping des Iles
    Destination: Moustiers-Saint-Marie
    Route: My route app link
    Distance: 293 km
    Campsite: Camping Manaysse

    Last night it was party time next door,if I did the counting right there where 4 dudes there.
    It started yesterday evening with some music that sounded like a machine.
    Yes my age is acting up but come on.. ountz ountz ountz ounntz, for minutes on end. No variations, no singing, nothing ust ountz ountz ountz, etc etc.
    Meanwhile there where just talking but I was totally knackered so I fell asleep not short after.
    Round midnight I woke up again, all quiet outside my tent.
    But 1 hour later I got woken, they where back. With lot's of alcohol in their system, drunken man laughter and talking.
    Again I fell asleep, round 3:30 am I woke up briefly, they where still @ it.
    And when I finally woke up @ 6 am they where still having lots of fun.
    My next door neighbourg sure had enough of it and there where some French words coming from him.
    They sounded far from friendly and I heard something that sounded like a 6
    Silence.. quit effective swearing I must say.
    But I was awake..:hack

    Out of bed into the showers and packing my gear.

    IMG_20180521_080504.jpg

    The bike is a part time drying rack, but there is no sun so this is not working.

    IMG_20180521_075011.jpg

    Everything back on the back, time to roll.

    IMG_20180521_083632.jpg

    Those races I had to stop for yesterday are still going on today.
    Everywhere I hear engine's blasting and speakers blasting with commentary.
    I see no one racing but the vibe got to me so I open up the throttle.. :D

    IMG_20180521_085018.jpg

    In the next village I stop @ a bakery and order the regular.
    Croissant and a baguette, according to tradition the croissant I eat right away, the baguette ends up on my backpack with a bungy cord.

    The clouds are low today.

    IMG_20180521_104237.jpg

    Unlike yesterday, today I do stop regularly , stretch my legs, make some coffee on the side of the road.
    Or just a quick stop to take some pictures and have a look around.

    IMG_20180521_101949.jpg

    The new collar I bought doubles as a beenie but somehow this gives me a very sick look..

    IMG_20180521_114555.jpg

    Okay better just have a #badhairday

    The first stretch of this route was okay, lets say 15 minutes of fun.
    Then the endless line of villages, speedbumbs, roundabouts, trafficlights..
    I'm starting to get bored..

    IMG_20180521_122153.jpg

    I pass through Gap .. mind the gap is echoing through my helmet :wings

    The village are less and less villages and the road starts to get more and more twisty.
    Up and down the hills.
    Time again to try and shave some excess rubber form the tires.
    I thought about putting this bike up for sale but I must admit, this is one nice piece of kit.

    IMG_20180521_122552.jpg

    Reasonably fast when you want it to be but also no complaints when you stick it in 5th and adapt a more cruising style of riding.
    I like it, but only my knees.. this thing is made for small Japanese people. ouch. :vardy

    Lot's of lakes today, all very blue, something to do with the minerals coming down from the mountains when the snow melts.

    IMG_20180521_125225.jpg

    On to the next post due to the picture limit.
    #4
    ubermick and juno like this.
  5. Bommes

    Bommes Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Oddometer:
    188
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Please do tell us more.. :photog

    Somewhere round 1 pm I stop for something to eat.
    A deserted restaurant with a "a vendre" (for sale) plate on the door has one table and 2 plastic chairs left on the deteriorating terrace.
    This will do just fine for me so I take a seat

    IMG_20180521_130700.jpg

    Legs up on the table, a baguette with some boursin and a can of cola.
    One after another bike passes, some take it easy but there are the few that look and sound like they are running from the law or something.

    IMG_20180521_130227.jpg

    After this lunch I continue my way down this mountain into the next town.
    On the outskirts of town there is a shop that catches my attention.

    IMG_20180521_135519.jpg

    Another half hour later it's there.... the Provence

    IMG_20180521_140645.jpg

    The Yammie keeps on rolling, not a beat off and with almost 74.000km's on the clock there is not much wrong with it.
    The more kilometres I ride the more I start to like this crazy little Red Japanese bike.

    My route end at Dinge-les-Bains where I had thought to stay for the night on a local campsite.
    It's just 4pm and somehow I don't like the vibe here.
    The rain has returned like 15 minutes ago so I all ready have my complete rain suit on.
    Sweat is pouring down my back.
    I mess around in my routes, ride back and forth through this town but the feeling is just not right.
    I turn the bike around, click back 3 gears, open the tapp and scare the hell out of my self.
    The front wheel rises.. :fpalm

    Moustier-Saint-Marie is set in the navi, another 45 minute riding, it;s raining and the fuel tank is almost empty.
    Let's fill it up and wait out the rain for a bit.

    IMG_20180521_163456.jpg

    Half an hour riding later with just a few drops of rain I arrive @ Moustiers-Saint-Marie.

    IMG_20180521_171629.jpg

    I ride onto the campsite, where I have been before. Years ago with my ex-wife and a couples of friends.
    A memory come back: From out of nowhere I had a terrific fight with the ex, Half the campsite must have heard it, those friends certainly. Their van was parked like 2 meters from ours..:bluduh

    Right after I check in the clouds open up.. seriously..:becca :devildog
    I walk around the campsite, helmet under my arm, not really knowing what to do with this rain.
    I find a little "shed" where the lawnmower is parked, I get my self a bottle of beer @ the reception and open up a bag of peanuts.

    IMG_20180521_173322.jpg

    Half an hour waiting later and another beer the rain has gone down a bit.
    But my tent did not pitch it self..:dirtdog
    I look around a bit more and find a place where there is a ping pong table and which is big enough to:

    IMG_20180521_191150.jpg

    The front desk is closing @ 8pm and won't be open until 9am, so for now this will do just fine.
    My camp is dry..
    After pitching the tent and putting on some different clothes I walk towards the village.
    Most of the restaurants seem to be closed but I see a sign pointing towards "Le da Vinci".
    Seems they could not make up their mind, French or Italian.. ??:loco

    There is one couple in side having their diner and the at first glance jovial looking waiter waves me inside.
    Not even with one foot inside he bites @ me telling me I need to sweep my feet.
    I obey and take a seat and before I can order something he puts some sort of amuse in front of me.
    Also he hands me the wine and regular menu.
    When I choose the 24 euro menu he gives me some sort of crap story that I cannot order that now.
    So .. I stand up and leave, I wont be yelled at for sweeping my feet, bye, and I will not be ripped off.
    It was way to busy in there anyway.. :rofl

    After some more strolling around I find 1 other place that is open with exactly 1 free table left.
    A place with a good French atmosphere, and a very nice waitress..:wink:
    I order my diner and some drinks.
    With no cell phone reception inside I start writing this report.

    Pasta and half a liter of wine..


    IMG_20180521_202800.jpg
    #5
    jasiu, xcsks and juno like this.
  6. Bommes

    Bommes Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Oddometer:
    188
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    When I finish my diner, and the wine

    IMG_20180521_202816.jpg

    I "walk" back to the campsite.
    In a shop I see a good brand of soap

    IMG_20180521_204235.jpg

    Actually I don't know if it's any good, but my first name is Marius.. :clap

    IMG_20180521_205340.jpg

    Once back @ the campsite I see something that makes me curse..

    IMG_20180521_210438.jpg

    And not a light switch in sight, and I have the feeling this will be on until tomorrow morning.
    :(

    That shed with the lawnmower calls out to me..
    No light there, less in plain sight so with all my stuff I totter over there.
    Pick up my tent in one piece and without even falling once I manage to plant the ting right next to the mower. :D

    IMG_20180522_084832.jpg
    Pictures taken the next morning but just for the idea..
    IMG_20180522_084844.jpg

    I jump into the shower, and after that right into bed, where I continue to writhe my report but after like 5 minutes my eyes are to heavy.
    #6
    AMCQ46, StinkyCheese and juno like this.
  7. juno

    juno Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2014
    Oddometer:
    2,117
    Location:
    Jupiter
    Thanks for posting this. I have not been in Provence for over 20 years but it remains one of my favorite places!
    #7
    Bommes likes this.
  8. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    25,659
    Location:
    Burbank CA
    glad to see this one on the board. keep it coming!
    #8
    Bommes likes this.
  9. Bommes

    Bommes Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Oddometer:
    188
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Day 4.
    Depart: Moustiers-Saint-Marie, Camping Manaysse
    Destination: Vals-Les_Bains
    Route: My route app link
    Distance: 330km
    Campsite: Chambers d hôtes Ma Promesse

    Besides the normal awakenings I had a good night and I wake up round 8:30 am
    Those awake moment are due to the need to go to the toilet... yeah I'm getting older they seem to bee getting more frequent. :bluduh
    I take some pictures and gather my gear and start packing. I feel lousy, it's still raining.. darn it. :devildog

    IMG_20180522_085520.jpg

    Today I have a round trip planed through the Gorges du Vedron, think it's a 185 m ride.
    Ah well we shall see, I leave in good spirits :-)

    IMG_20180522_094705.jpg

    I ride to a village close by because I know there will be a supermarket, there I buy something to drink an new jar of Nutella.
    @ the local bakery I buy a baguette, but they are all out of croissants... :(
    So breakfast 2.0

    IMG_20180522_103035.jpg

    I get back on my Yammie and ride back towards the route and with every rain drop I start to feel more down.
    Damn this bloody rain.

    IMG_20180522_104242.jpg
    Let's get out of here, away from this Provence thing, there is only bad weather here, think those mountains make the clouds stay putt.
    Check Lac de Sainte Croix been there seen that.. :augie

    IMG_20180522_104252.jpg

    I hatch up a plan:
    First I find my way back to the end of yesterdays route, forget abouth this round trip and just start up the route for day 5.
    1 day ahead :D
    As usual that's where my planning stops, with out navigation I find my way back to the end of yesterdays route.
    Half way there I take break to take a piss.

    IMG_20180522_114249.jpg
    When off the bike I might as well have some breakfast.
    I mess around in the tomtom and load the day 5 route.
    Darn it that's like with in a 5 kilometres from where I started this morning.
    In the meantime it stopped with the drizzle, now again it's a proper cloudburst.
    Glad I don't get demotivated very quickly, at least not today. And yet again I head back towards Moustier-Saint-Marie.

    Just before the village (with in sight) I take a right turn and start to follow the day 5 route.
    The rain is still there, but by now a little bit less.
    My hands and feet are drenched but nothing I can do to solve that now.
    I stop to take some pictures, little bit of romance.

    IMG_20180522_111845_HDR.jpg

    I have some "making up" to do, yesterday was our 4 month anniversary and besides the fact I was thinking about that all week, put it in my agenda... the day it self it totally passed my mind.
    So I make that picture and write a nice message and send those to my girl.

    One after another village passes, and the rain stops.
    So I stop to squeeze out my socks.. never thought I would say that out load.. :evil
    I drink a can of cola and make a picture of my bike and of course give the traffic girl a sweet smile.
    Obviously school has started again. One after the other mother stops rights in front of me and kicks her kids out of their cars.
    IMG_20180522_132913.jpg

    What comes next is a very nice ride through almost deserted area,

    IMG_20180522_134931.jpg

    fields filled with very small lavender bushes.

    IMG_20180522_142509.jpg
    On with the next post. ..but first walk my dog and make some diner..
    #9
    AMCQ46, StinkyCheese, juno and 2 others like this.
  10. CA-Cincinnatus

    CA-Cincinnatus Semi-retired GI-Bill student, husband, GSD-host Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2013
    Oddometer:
    551
    Location:
    San Leandro, CA
    If you go west a bit, you can explore Languedoc, a slightly less touristy chunk of France. I'd even go so far as to suggest Beziers, Narbonne, Toulouse, and a fascinating little place called Nissan-lez-Enserune, an oppidum (ancient Celtic hill-town http://www.destination-languedoc.co.uk/articles/the-oppidum-d-enserune-586-2.html. Also, Agde is famous as one of the first non-Italian Roman ports, as well as having a nude beach.

    Further east, there's a phenomenal restaurant in Marseillan called La Table d'Emilie. Yeah, I know the area a bit. :D

    Great ride report, thanks for posting up!
    #10
    juno and Bommes like this.
  11. Bommes

    Bommes Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Oddometer:
    188
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Tanks @CA-Cincinnatus for your reply, your tips and the compliments.
    I like the Provence, well actualy not only the Provence.
    The mountains in that area in general are just brilliant.
    Compared to my flat homeland it's such a difference.

    I have a friend who likes beets, yeah go figure..
    but he likes them so much he always tells us, that when he dies, he want's t be buried under them.
    For me I feel that way about the Alpes, being France or Italian..
    I love it there, so when I go, burn my remains and just chuck the ashes down a mountain pass somewhere over there.

    Sorry takes a bit more time, back to work now.
    #11
    juno likes this.
  12. AdvNener

    AdvNener Long timer

    Joined:
    May 29, 2013
    Oddometer:
    2,313
    Location:
    Marseille, France
    Nice report, but not blessed with good weather :lol3

    Just a comment about the restaurant. It's pretty common to have the cheaper menus "for lunch only", so not available for dinner.
    #12
    Bommes likes this.
  13. Bommes

    Bommes Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Oddometer:
    188
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    I finished my diner, cleaned up my kitchen and made a small step for my feet.
    Because ever since I build my self a new desk here, that is just a tat bit to high, my back hurts like crazy.
    So lets hope rising my feet will help a bit.

    On with the report I left you guys in the lavender fields. :-)

    Other then the previous picture shows (straight roads) these backroads start to get more curvy and again there are some hills.
    The dark clouds look like they are following me so I keep the throttle twisted wide open.
    Sure makes a nice back drop for nice dramatic pictures.

    IMG_20180522_143332.jpg

    Unfortunately I'm not fast enough, the rain catches up with me and drops start to fall.
    So I stop for the gazillion time to put on my rain suit.

    IMG_20180522_145759.jpg

    I take some pictures and seem to be lucky again because my girlfriend is online again from Sicily.
    She sends me some nice selfies, so I make a few crazy faces and send them back to her.

    IMG_20180522_145930.jpg

    In front of me there is still some blue sky so I quickly get back on the bike and ride on.

    IMG_20180522_152355.jpg

    In a series of hairpins I see 2 bikes behind me, always nice, a chase game. :pynd
    On the other side of this hill in the right side of my eyes I see some serious black clouds.

    IMG_20180522_153432.jpg

    While i'm taking some pictures the first of the guys that was following me pulls up next to me.
    With a squeaky rear tires he slides to a halt.
    Turns out to be a German, he's bit on the heavy side (aren't they all, oi preconception, shame on me) but he's riding a Yamaha Super Tenere.
    No not one of those brand new ones but a 90's classic one.
    Oh man that still is one of my dreambikes, love it.
    We talk a bit and he tells me a bunch of people are having a gathering just south of valance and he asks me if I want to tag along. (never met the guy before, how nice is this).
    I nod friendly but actually I want to finish my route for today.
    Arrival time according to the tomtom is just short of 7pm so I want to press on.
    I thank him for his kindness and tell him my plans and he rides off.

    I get back on the Yammie and also continue my ride.
    But that dark sky seems to have caught up with me.
    I choose to wait out this one.

    IMG_20180522_155059.jpg

    IMG_20180522_155115.jpg

    Found myself a dry spot, time to eat and drink something.
    But this is taking up way to much time and it looks like it dried out a bit.

    IMG_20180522_160122.jpg

    I get back in the saddle and take my chances.
    What comes next must be the worse rain I have ever been in on a bike. :devildog

    I had like 20 meters visibility, with in like 2 minutes the water comes out of the top side of my hiking boots.
    My crotch is wetter than Pamela Anderson on that boat she was on once.. :splat
    I soldier on, not the time to stop, and to be honest this is kind of cool in a weird way.
    On the other side of this cloud burst, on the "flat lands" I stop to get some water out of my system.

    IMG_20180522_164803.jpg

    There is actually a puddle of water coming out of my shoos and my Alibaba Bluetooth headset redialed the last number out of it's own. :dirtdog
    Again the real estate broker.. that is like the second time in the last 3 days that I hear him in my helmet without wanting to dial him.
    Can't make a thing out of what he says, stupid Alibaba garbage.
    I apologies to him, disconnect and power down the headset.
    I squeeze the water out of my socks, put them, my soaked shoes and gloves back on.
    With my rain suit strapped to the back of my bike like a parachute I ride off.
    Use the wind to dry it all out.

    IMG_20180522_173726.jpg

    What comes next is one of those moment all of us get when on the road.
    Times flies by, and it get later and later.
    The rain comes back, I'm getting cold and when I reach the end of this days route the place looks shit, deserted and grey.

    Picture limit.. on with the next one :muutt
    #13
    StinkyCheese and juno like this.
  14. Bommes

    Bommes Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Oddometer:
    188
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    I do a Google search for a bikers hotel nearby and find one.
    Half an hour back to where I came from, arrival 7:30 pm.
    That's doable so I put it in first and wack open the trottle.
    This time that doesn't scare me.. :ricky

    Some 20 minutes later I find my self @ the searched hotel, and yes my luck, totally booked full.
    Complet as they say here in France.
    The one across the street also. @$%^# (<--- and that even a "being nice" translation)

    Okay first something to eat, after that the rest.
    I saw a Quick somewhere (Mc Donalds kind of place) turn the bike around and ride back for 15 minutes.

    I gulped down a XXL menu with a cold beer.
    That last one they don't serve in the Netherlands, something to do with permits for alcohol.

    I open up booking.com and scroll past the cheap Ibis shit.
    I book a room @ a hotel some 5 km away, with breakfast and a closed off parking.
    Some 80 euro's are transferred from my Visa but I don't care.
    I want a warm and dry bed, I want luxury.

    What follows is 15 minutes of the same road where I have been twice this evening.
    Glad the rain has stopped.

    IMG_20180522_204445.jpg

    Oh yeah.. this sure beats a tent in the rain.
    In the bathroom there is this small electrical heating thing mounted on the wall.
    I stuff my shoes toiletpaper and plant them on that heater.
    Sock and gloves next to that and turn the thing on MAX.
    10 minutes later I have to open a window because the heat is doing my head in. :rofl

    IMG_20180522_204457.jpg

    I have not the clue how much kilometres I rode today, lot's of them have been back an forth for nothing.
    Again I'm wrecked, but I have one beer and some peanuts left in one of my bags.
    I lay down on the bed and on my phone start to write down some parts of this report.
    #14
    StinkyCheese, juno, 9w6vx and 2 others like this.
  15. Bommes

    Bommes Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Oddometer:
    188
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Day 5.
    Depart: labégude
    Destination: Pouilly-sous-Charlieu
    Route: My route app link
    Distance: 275 km
    Campsite: Les îlots

    After a night in a bed that was way to soft I wake up round 7am, and just stay in bed for a while.
    Little bit of yoga, Savasana, much more comfortable than on the little air mattress in my tent.

    I spend some time writing my travel report and round 8 I set my self down @ the breakfast table.

    IMG_20180523_075801.jpg

    Omg this is luxury, really good food, what a excess. Everything fresh and tastefull.
    This I like..

    IMG_20180523_080336.jpg

    After all this food I head back to my room, get my stuff together and take it all to my bike.
    I give the lady of the house a good by handshake and with my 5 words of French I thank her for the excellent room and breakfast and say goodbye.

    Yesterday I made my self a promise to take easy today.
    I want to go back to the bit bigger town wich I passed by 3 times yesterday evening.
    Aubenas, I want to get a souvenir for my girl.

    IMG_20180523_093902.jpg

    Round 9am I arrive in the centre of town but all shops won't open until 9:30.
    So I walk around a bit, get my self a good espresso and just in time find a toilet.
    That was real man coffee. My stepdad would say: once swallowed it sinks strait into your trousers.

    IMG_20180523_092423.jpg

    I take a look @ my route, 275 km to go today, even with hanging around here for a bit that's easily done.
    The shop I saw when walking around opens it's door and together with the shop owner I walk in.
    I saw a nice set of earrings in the window, so I want those.

    IMG_20180523_100840.jpg

    I jump on my bike, the sun is out, I feel like riding today.
    For a while I follow a river in a valley, kind of a transit route so the kilometres pass by fairly easy.
    Again, clouds... ggrr, but for now it's still dry.
    I turn on to a smaller road and all of a sudden I get bored again.

    IMG_20180523_100809.jpg

    I see some sort of statue and I take some pictures.

    IMG_20180523_101115.jpg

    The road rises out of the valley, the tar is dry and smooth.
    Spirits go up, so do the speeds.

    IMG_20180523_101653.jpg

    Spot the Yamaha

    IMG_20180523_103651.jpg

    IMG_20180523_103755.jpg

    ppsssttt... next post please..
    #15
    juno likes this.
  16. Bommes

    Bommes Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Oddometer:
    188
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Oh no.. not again, dark clouds .

    IMG_20180523_104751.jpg

    For now it's still dry though, and these roads.. pure heaven.
    Nice field of view, good asphalt, excellent curves, I love it.
    Just look @ it...:

    IMG_20180523_104923.jpg
    The dark cloud moves over to the side, that's good, but it leaking..
    Suit up !! Would Barney say.

    IMG_20180523_111157.jpg

    I follow the twisty's for a while and they take me to a bigger village.
    In front of me the sky has turned pitch black again.
    And both to my left and right there is almost simultaneity a thunder flash.
    Man... the rain drops are growing in size and I've had it.
    For now my hands and feet are still dry, and I want to keep them that way.

    IMG_20180523_120757.jpg

    I run in to a garden center, find my self a cheap pair of rubber boots a set of those extra warm socks and a pair of rubber gloves size xxl.
    40 euro's lighter I run outside and a cross the parking lot through the thunderstorm to find my refuge in a small porch behind a store.

    IMG_20180523_120819.jpg
    I put some Nutella on a baguette and put my new gear on and climb on my bike.

    IMG_20180523_134157.jpg

    With a smile from ear to ear I ride on, through this sh#$ weather.
    Dry and warm feet and hands.
    No one can touch me now, best 40 euro's ever spend.

    IMG_20180523_140652.jpg
    IMG_20180523_134129.jpg

    An hour later the sky opens up and i'm getting thirsty so I stop @ a gas station.
    The sun is make the most of it, I see 24 C on a sign somewhere.
    I take of my rain suit, eat a Mars bar and drink a cola.
    I send some text to my girl, she's @ the side of the pool in her hotel in Sicily and she sends me a bikini selfie..:raabia (not sharing it here..:smooch)

    IMG_20180523_145158.jpg

    Half an hour later I ride on again, only to stop again in 15 minutes.. rain..

    IMG_20180523_153907.jpg

    next post warning.
    #16
    AMCQ46, StinkyCheese and juno like this.
  17. Bommes

    Bommes Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Oddometer:
    188
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Shortly after it's dry again, but for now I keep my rain suit on.

    IMG_20180523_160321.jpg

    The route takes me past a reservoir and I take some pictures.
    Very nice place, lot's of boats in the marina and a bunch of water ski stuff.
    But there is no one on the water, all boats are in the dock.

    IMG_20180523_160836.jpg

    The temperature keeps rising and I'm getting close to the end of today's track.
    No way this is going to be thru, pitching my tent in the sunshine..

    IMG_20180523_171420.jpg

    Oh yeah.., I don;t regret the dissension to buy some cans of cold beer @ that gas station where I stopped.

    IMG_20180523_173151.jpg

    Finally a t-shirt and shorts..!! Summer.
    I text a bit with a few friends back home, drink a beer and eat some peanuts.
    Eventuality I go look for something to eat.
    While eating my diner I write my yesterdays ride report.
    Yet again a pizza and and a few beers.

    IMG_20180523_190643.jpg

    IMG_20180523_184357.jpg
    Oi the beers show in my face.. :photog:photog
    Back on the campsite laying in my tent I write the rest of yesterdays and today's report.
    Tomorrow I got a good 300 km's to go.

    IMG_20180523_204125.jpg

    If the weather stays like this evening I'm all in for that.
    And if it's rain again... I got my new boots and gloves.. let's have it..:clap
    #17
    StinkyCheese and juno like this.
  18. 9w6vx

    9w6vx Pergo et Perago

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2019
    Oddometer:
    125
    Location:
    BKI Sabah
    Nice..... thanks for sharing...........
    #18
    Bommes likes this.
  19. jwc

    jwc Ready to go Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    422
    Location:
    South Louisiana
    Thanks for the ride report. I’ll be following along.
    I was told staying in hostels is an economical way to find a good place to sleep while traveling. Or are they similar to your experience when camping with very noisy neighbors?
    #19
    Bommes likes this.
  20. Bommes

    Bommes Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Oddometer:
    188
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Thanks for the reply and compliment :-)
    Never stayed in hostels tbh.
    I prefer camping, like the outdoor feeling, sleeping in my tent.
    And of course the prices are even lower that hostels I think.
    In France for a night @ a camping they vary from 10 euro's up to maybe 20 in peak season.
    Okay you can even double that for some campsites but those are not the ones I go to.

    On my last trip (France TET, didn't write a report) I stayed in a bikers hotel.
    They have a campground, single rooms, and even a hostel like sleeping rooms with multiple bunk beds.
    I chose a single room because I don't like to share a room with strangers.
    Think I paid 45 Euro's including breakfast for 1 night.
    #20
    juno, yokesman, jwc and 1 other person like this.