To the Provence and back, a spring break trip

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

  1. KryzHatch

    KryzHatch Been here awhile Supporter

    Apr 10, 2012
    Stinking cheeses country or FRANCE
    Nice, epic and wet trip you have made. I like the "BACKROAD" way, when possible.
    Concerning prices in hotels and in campground, I have had 10 or more Euros on campground for a night, but never under 35 € on hotels. Not speaking of the outdoor feeling. Sometimes, reception in campground are café shop, and if you ask in the evening (not too late !) you can have croissants, or bread, in the morning.
    Noisy neighbors could also be find in hotels !
    juno and Bommes like this.
  2. Bommes

    Bommes Been here awhile

    Sep 2, 2013
    The Netherlands
    Day 6.
    Depart: Les îlots, Pouilly-sous-Charlieu
    Destination: Dienville
    Route: My route app link
    Distance: 307 km
    Campsite: Camping du Tertre

    300km and a bit to ride today, so again I can take it easy totday.
    I wake up round 4:30 am, go outside to take a leak and get back into bed to fall asleep again.
    Round 7 am I wake up again, that will do for tonight.
    I take a shower, here the hot water boiler is awake so I take my time.
    Back @ my tent I start packing, the sun is out so I can let my tent dry for a bit.


    I'm afraid this is going to be one of the last camping trips with this tent.
    The underside of my sleeping mattress is wet, well actually everything that was inside the tent is wet from the underside.
    That's not really promising for when it's actually going to rain while sleeping in this thing.


    Besides my tent there is a kids tractor, exactly like the one I had when I was a small Bommes/kid.
    Man I have fallen off that thing countless times, on the back of my head when I tried to tackle a way to steep hill somewhere.


    Todays route takes a right turn right out of the campsite, away from the village.
    So for now no bakery.
    I had some left over bread from the previous day so I ate that.

    To bad there are less twisty roads in the area , so for now it's straight ahead.
    After a 20 minute ride I find a supermarket and buy a baguette, a few cans of soda and a roll duct tape.
    The last one is for fixing my case on the back of my bike.
    Yesterday I saw that this Gedore tool case is not made for the way I'm using it now.
    To be honest it's holding up way longer then I anticipated.

    The road I'm riding on follow's a river, and when I see a small bridge to my left I stop for a bit and take some pictures.


    Some 5 minutes later I leave the main road to find my self on very very small and bumpy road.
    If this is a warning for the next 275 km's then I think I need more then one roll of duct tape.


    It's all okay, that small road was just one of the many detours.
    Think it has something to do with the difference between Google maps in Tyre and my Tomtom map.
    Round 11 am I start to get hungry, so in the next village I stop close to a river.


    I use the duct tape to fix my toolcase ? topbox and put on a sweater, feeling a bit cold.
    I put some Nutella on my baguette and mail some documents for our future house to the mortgage guy.


    What comes next are fields, empty roads and lot's of straight lines.
    I think I rode for a solid 10 minutes exactly straight ahead.
    Okay there are hills so the road drops and rises but non the less straight ahead.

    Again I leave the main road and yes finally.


    For a while it looks like it's going to rain again. But for now luck is on my side.



    Picture limit.. and for me time to walk my dog..
    Will continue later on.
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  3. juno

    juno Long timer

    Oct 22, 2014
    Keep them coming! It is too bad there was so much rain, it would have been a better trip for you!
    Bommes likes this.
  4. Bommes

    Bommes Been here awhile

    Sep 2, 2013
    The Netherlands
    I left it with that strange flamingo..
    My thoughts exactly... a flamingo on the side of the road.
    So I stop and make some pictures there.
    Turns out the village is filled with all sorts of animals in all sizes.
    But in the corner of my eye I see the sky turn dark again, and I so do not want to get rained on again.
    So no more stopping, race mode engaged...:pynd


    10 minutes of low flying later and there are still those darn dark clouds.
    Not again.
    Yep.. the sky opens up again, straight above me.
    Luckily the first time this trip.. [/sarcasm]
    I find my self a tree to hide under and spend the next 10 minutes fighting my rain suit, rubber boots and rubber gloves.
    I jump back on the bike and ride on through the rain... being and staying DRY

    5 minutes later the rain stops. :baldy !!

    The sun breaks through the clouds and this time the inside of my rain suit is getting wet.. man that sun and my black rain suit are not a good combo.
    But I'm not getting fooled again, there is still some clouds in the sky above.



    I finally spot a small castle where I can park my bike in front of for a nice picture.


    I bouncy out if this village, darn cobble stone roads, let's hope the duck tape hold the case on the back together.
    The heat is getting to me, so I stop and take of my rain suit, boots and gloves.
    This sky looks promising.


    What follows are some nice curvy roads, todays route is not much of that.
    There is a lot of straight roads today.
    Did Napoleon divided some pieces of land here with a big ruler or what??

    I blast past some sort of abbey, hit the brakes and turn back.
    Some evidence I was there.
    Don't ask me where but I was there..:clap


    Nice surroundings here, grain fields, forests, good asphalt and the occasional bend in those roads.
    Oh and like before, empty, no people to be seen.


    I'm starting to get hungry, clock says 2 pm.
    I spot a nice place to take a break and put the bike on the kickstand.
    And make my self a sandwich and some coffee.



    Attachment limit.... NEXT..!!
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  5. Bommes

    Bommes Been here awhile

    Sep 2, 2013
    The Netherlands
    Just after taking off again I receive some messages coming from the mortgage guy .
    He needs my signature on a document.. TODAY.. !!
    I suggest that he signs it copying my signature.. but he wont ..:dirtdog
    So again I stop the bike, download some android app to draw on to pictures on to my phone.
    I take a screenshot of the document he want's signed, scribble my signature onto it and send the lot back to him.
    Don't ask me why but for some reason the app to digitally sign pdf documents just will not open the document he want's me to sign.


    Any way the spot I stopped turns out to be very beautiful.
    One of those old crumbled down walls, with behind that a grassy field with a wicked little castle.


    I get back onto my machine, and have a go at it.
    There's plenty of twisty's in the road.
    Like an hour riding later I enter the campsite.


    I build my campsite and finish the warm can of beer that was left in my luggage.
    I don't feel like going out for diner again.
    In the village next to the campsite there is nothing, not even internet reception on my phone.
    Google tells me there is a iIntermarche (French supermarket)...
    Ain't that strange.. writing this that got me thinking..
    There was no internet???
    So I get back on the bike and ride back and forth to the Intermarche.
    Got my self some pasta, some Pancetta and a pack of boursin.
    Can't make it any simpler now can I.
    Oh yeah and some beers.


    After my diner I take a shower (and once dressed again) and a small walk through the village.
    Having no internet sucks b#$%@, no way of even sending messages to my girlfriend.
    I miss her and there is not even a good way to reach her.
    Oh and my back hurts.. I'm having a big down moment... :(: :arg


    On the campsite I find a big swing.,.


    But one minute later I'm done playing.

    444km to go tomorrow .. no highways.. oi that still is a big ride.


    I miss my own bed and also my girlfriend, did I tell you that all ready?

    To be continued....
  6. Bommes

    Bommes Been here awhile

    Sep 2, 2013
    The Netherlands
    Day 7
    Destination: Eindhoven the Netherlands.
    Route: My route app link
    Distance: 463 km
    Campsite: home sweet home

    This trip's last day, day 7.
    I meant to arrive back home on Saturday, (today is Friday) but becuase of the rain I skipped the round trip in the Gorges du Verdon.

    Okay the start of the trip was a bit delayed and instead of the planned 550 km on the first day I had to stop after 330km.
    The day after I made up those lost kilometers.

    Just before 7 am my internal alarm clock wakes me up. Some 450 km's to go, no highways, tomtomt says 6 hours of riding.
    I try my luck with the mobile internet this morning but no luck.
    What ever.
    I grab my stuff together inside the tent, open the tents zipper and once outside make my self a cup of coffee.
    Good start of a day, extra strong coffee.
    Breakfast I will get @ the bakery I spotted yesterday evening during my after diner walk.


    5 minutes before 8 I'm all set to go..:-)

    I roll out of this campsite and into the village and just like almost every day so far I buy a croissant and a baguette.
    On the sidewalk in front of the bakery I eat my croissant.


    The baguette finds it's place on my backpack.
    Onto my bike and go.. !!
    Let's make sure this last day doesn't end with me getting of the bike before stopping it the usual way. :muutt
    Today it's even more riding in a straight line then yesterday..


    Every where I look there is grain, hills, grain silo's and straight roads.
    Today's weather is on my side, it's nice with my visor open, the cool morning air into my helmet.
    Most of the village's I ride through are nothing more then a bend in the road, 3 houses, a barn and just like all over here a monument for the first or second world war.

    One of the next villages a stop is a lot bigger and I see a "mini" Champs Élyées, in the middle of a roundabout.


    So I go round it 2 times and slam the Yammie on to the sidewalk in front of the thing.
    Shoot some pictures and I'm having fun. This weather, being on the road I love it.
    Live on a bike, I could get used to it.


    Okay my 41 year old body hurts, my neck and shoulders are stuck into a constant cramp/pain. And my behind.. let's just say that this soft Japanese excuse for a saddle is not doing it any good.
    On the other side my knees are holding up just fine. The first 2 days they where acting up but that narrow knee angle on this bike is not doing me much trouble any more.

    There is like a gazillion poppies here, so I stop to make some more pictures.
    I think poppies are the most beautiful wild flowers to see, a specially when there are fields like these filled with them.



    In one the next villages I stop to have fast bite of baguette, get some cash out of the wall and a short stroll over the local market. maybe I can find a nice shirt or skirt for my girl. But all I find is just not it.



    Yep the speedometer is kaput, so the tomtom is the one telling me how fast I'm going.
    What follows are more straight roads, and again i get bored. :shog


    you know what.. there is that attachment limit again.. :becca
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  7. Bommes

    Bommes Been here awhile

    Sep 2, 2013
    The Netherlands

    Again I stop to stretch my legs, move my back and get some blood into my butt.
    When I get of my bike I notice a sticker on my tank.
    I see it all the time, and every time I think its stupid thing but some how I registered it just now.


    I ride right though the middle of Dinant, Belgium, super busy.
    To my surprise there are a lot of drivers sticking to the far left of the one way lane through this town, with that blocking my option to overtake them.
    There is plenty of room, but no...
    And it's not that they didn't seen or heard me.
    Most of the car windows are wide open, and I can see them glaring @ me in their rearview mirrors. But they are not giving way.

    This in contrary to France, back there most of the drivers make way, move over to the far right side of the road. Sometimes they use their indicators to make clear they noticed me and I can pass them.
    Doesn't mater where, highways, local roads or even in the middle of villages.
    That's positive thing that stuck with me.
    And well after riding so many kilometers in Italy I'm not the one that listens to a no overtaking sign..:hair

    Using the advantage of the bike, overtaking when there is room.
    Sometimes I notice that I'm riding like a gamer, swerving from left to right, making my way to the front of the line @ a traffic light.
    I make sure my speeds are not way to high, okay most of the time a bit over the limit but I'm not that rider that blast through village's with 100+
    But where this riding style is normal in the south of Europe getting back to the Netherlands I have to tone that down a bit..:shog

    I follow the river "De Maas", nice surrounding, finally some bends in the road.
    My body is really starting to act up, so once again I stop, and lay down for a bit.
    Make my self a cup of coffee, eat a baguette.



    Yes my girl is online again, so we send some pictures back and forth.


    In the river in front of me there is a some sort of strange duck/goose with 4 small chicks under her wings.
    A bunch of other birds approach and the mother bird just sakes off...
    Leaving her chicks behind with out protection.
    What the heck is this.


    I get back on my bike, my plan is not to stop again.
    I just filled my tank so I sure can make it home now.

    The route send me onto all sorts of highways, I have no idea where I am.
    I ride into some road works, and have to decide left or right lane.
    Left the traffic is riding on, right is at a standstill, but the right lane has the exits off this highway.
    I make the wrong choice, the left lane. I miss my exit. The Tomtom recalculates and want's me to take the next exit, but that is also on the right lane. While I'm still stuck on the left one.
    The one behind that the same... and finally I can exit @ the 4th.
    I park the bike on the side of the road, check my route and set a marker a bit closer to home.

    It's clearly a Friday afternoon in this last piece of Belgium, the traffic is doing my head in.
    I ponder on though countless village's, try to over take where ever I can.
    The heat rises with every minute. My leather jacket is way to much for this kind of weather. Every zipper I can find is open but that doesn't help a bit.
    I stop @ a gas station for an ice cream and a can of Cola.

    Once back oh the bike I open the taps once again on the last stretch of road.
    And some where round 4pm I park my bike in front of my house.


    A good trip that's what it was.
    Okay a fair bit of straight roads.
    For those roads it was good that I was riding this Yammie.
    The Vespa just misses a bit of power on those faster roads where top speed comes in t play.

    This was my first trip on this bike and I liked it a lot.
    This old thing didn't miss a beat. I think this trip was just short of 3000 km's. Nice to have a bit more power then with the Vespa in the mountains and hills.
    Yeah I did miss my Vespa, the seating on that is way better then on this old Yamaha.


    I open a girls beer (okay Radler is not even beer) but after this day I don't care.
    I'm thirsty and I still have to go pick up my dog, and I think if I open up a beer now that said dog would be better suited to drive the car back home then me.
  8. jwc

    jwc Ready to go Supporter

    Jul 20, 2009
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    Thanks for posting, I enjoyed following along.
    Bommes likes this.
  9. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv Super Supporter

    Feb 20, 2007
    Burbank CA
    nice RR and keep us posted on the next one!

    CA-Cincinnatus and Bommes like this.
  10. AdvNener

    AdvNener Long timer

    May 29, 2013
    Marseille, France
    Very nice :clap

    Too bad you had to skip the Verdon...
    DSC01594.JPG DSC01595.JPG

    Not much fun under rain though...
  11. Shaggie

    Shaggie Unseen University Supporter

    Oct 12, 2005
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Bommes likes this.
  12. Bommes

    Bommes Been here awhile

    Sep 2, 2013
    The Netherlands
    Those Gorges du Verdon are a stunning place, went there on the honeymoon of my first marriage.
    (never thought I would say things like: "my first marriage" omg..)
    Here on this Continent they are the closest thing we get to what the people over in the states call the Grand Canyon.

    A year later my motor trip brought me to the exact same location.
    And I spend the night on the same campsite.
    In the exact same shed location due to, yet again, heavy rain...
    The next morning it was almost dry and the roads into the Gorges where fantastic.



    @Shaggie thanks for the compliment.. :-)
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  13. juno

    juno Long timer

    Oct 22, 2014
    Great ride report! Thanks for sharing. I am glad you are safely home for the holidays!
    Bommes likes this.
  14. StinkyCheese

    StinkyCheese Long timer Supporter

    Jun 6, 2008
    Las Cruces, NM
    Enjoyed your RR. Great pics and narrative. Cheers!
    Bommes likes this.
  15. Bommes

    Bommes Been here awhile

    Sep 2, 2013
    The Netherlands
    Thanks Juno, this was a report of a trip I did in 2018,So I sure am back safely for these holidays :dukegirl

    Mucho gracias Stinky .. :thumb