Monday 8 July 2024

Euro tour Part 4

We left Moreilles and headed North ish to Pete & Vicky's place which was only an hour away, we stopped often just to waste time which was fine, the usual hassle to find places that are in the back of beyond, GPS's aren't the answer to everything and neither is Google when coverage is sketchy but find it we Did. Pete and Vicky are well known in the Guzzi world, purveyors of second hand spares trading as Reeboot Guzzi, they also run a B&B in their restored farmhouse which is very impressive (In Google as Fortified Farm) and Vicky and Pete are excellent cooks so you never go hungry. Our friends Sue and Martin are regulars and they kept telling us to visit, just sorry we took so long to get there.

Its a very nice area to base yourself, they have rooms including a Dorm if that's your thing as well as camping and hookups for motorhomes. A great place for a small Rally or for anything really, I cant recommend it highly enough and they speak good English even though they are from Plymouth..

Two days there and a small run to Vouvant, a nice medieval City and worth a visit. The hospitality was first class and I wished I'd had the van so I could have stocked up with Guzzi bits!

Hanging around
Still hanging around (Brewing up tea)
Pete and Vicky's place
Nice building
Set for Dinner Al Fresco
Vouvant war memorial
The Keep which seems to be a bird house now
Castle walls
Fiona up the steps
Surrounded by a river
Cool old town
Ready to eat again
Bikes at rest
Fi at rest
Enjoying the company!

We left with the dark clouds forming which became heavy rain, Pete phoned us that night to ask how we got on, the weather never came to anything at their place but I'm glad to say we took the rain for them! Fiona had booked us into a Caravan in a campsite which was excellent with a view of a very swollen Loire, the sun came out when we arrived and that gave a chance to dry everything including the helmets which were soaking inside! The pain was made bearable by an excellent 6 Euro bottle of wine from the Camp shop! 


On the Thursday we set off for Caen, in fact past Caen to Ouistreham, it was busy around Caen but Ouistreham was quiet, a nice place to spend a day before we got the Ferry at 11.30pm on the Friday. There were a few groups of migrant youths going around which gave the place a bit of an edge but apart from a group trying to intimidate us which obviously failed it was OK.

Ferry docked at 6am in Portsmouth Saturday and we managed to get North of Birmingham before it was too busy eventually arriving at the Buccleuch Hotel in Moffat for our last night.

All good things come to an end and this was no exception, a wonderful trip and for us a lowly 2500 Miles, great times , great people, cant wait to start planning the next one .



Bloody wet
And the sun is out
River looked full
Wine and sunset
Ouistreham fishing boat
Fi sight seeing
Our neighbours
D Day celebrations
This couple had been down to Magny- Cours for a scooter rally
Weird 
Having a coffee
Getting dark as we queue for the boat
Parked in the Buccleuch
Heading home soon

Wednesday 3 July 2024

Euro Tour Part 3

So then we rocked up to a nice campsite to chill out for a few days, the weather was good but occasionally cold, being on the Atlantic coast it was to be expected. Rain was coming in on the Saturday and the temperature was getting cooler so we decided to make a move to a Chateau in  Moreilles just north of La Rochelle in a national park region. After 4 days camping and cooking for ourselves mainly it was a welcome respite from getting in and out of a tent, to get there we had to get a ferry to Royan just north of where we were, unlike Calmac the ferry was very efficient but it seems to go quite fast and there is no faffing about at the turnaround , they don't tie the bikes down and it was quite choppy so the deckhand said we should hold onto the bikes, Fi had to visit the facilities and meanwhile I was holding both bikes to stop them falling over, the ferry only takes around half an hour but I was very glad when we docked in Royan, the gangplank was moving when we got off, reminded me of the Ferry to Sicily! 

The Chateau was excellent, an old Abbey owned by an elderly French lady and her son, the service was great and the whole experience very French including candlelight dinner, we spent a wonderful two nights there and despite the rain managed a wee walk round the small village on the Sunday!

  

Deserted Beach (well almost)
Bikes at rest
Us at rest
Fiona getting organised
Ferry queue again
Fast Ferry, no Faffing
Very Cool Caravan (if there is such a thing...)
Sun came out so we brewed up a cuppa in this carpark
Part of the Chateau Garden
Parking under shelter
Cool, old cart in amongst the log shed
This was saved from when the monks lived here, we were told it was haunted but after some wine we slept well enough
The main building, we were in the servants quarters round the back as you would expect 
Note Waterproofs on at the gate
Church
We saw this all over France, seemingly its part of the farmers protest turning the signs upside down 

And thats all for just now, plenty more to come, just as well because the weather here isn't great for anything apart from growing weeds at the moment.......

Sunday 30 June 2024

Euro Tour part 2

 I was looking at the photos for this part of the trip and noticed how dull it was in retrospect, when we were there it seemed sunny all the time but the camera doesn't lie, so its not always sunny in Spain and France it would seem but in my head when I'm on holiday definitely. We left the campsite still smarting at paying almost 80 euros, like many Euro campsites you get charged per Vehicle and they make no differences between a motorcycle and a big 4x4 which seems pretty unfair (as does the Tax in the UK where bikes pay more than some cars!)  Anyhoo, onwards and upwards, we headed up into to the high Pyrenees going through a spectacular Gorge on the way to Castejon de Sos which was a very pretty town quite near the French Border. We had a couple of days here, mostly lazing around and listening to the TT on Manx radio, indeed Fiona was listening to a race coming through the Gorge and was keeping me updated , I did ask her to pay attention to the road and less attention to a road in the Isle of Man at the same time.


Ruined Castle
The Gorge
Castejon
Snow still on the hills
Very pretty
Nice
Their own TT race
Scary birds
A couple were riding this around the pyrenees, fair play
Main street
Sleepy street
Nice town with interesting views
Landscape
This Benelli was there for the whole time, local maybe?
Our new pal Miguel from Portugal

Although Google refused to route us north we were sure there was a pass into France judging by the amount of bikes heading both ways so we took a chance, nice road with hairpins after hairpins but nowhere to stop for a photo unfortunately and eventually we met the main road to France, stunning scenery but colder than it had been, we climbed and entered the tunnel just after a stunning waterfall and entered France a while later several degrees colder and a bit wetter. We stopped to put the waterproofs on in Montauban- de- Luchon  before heading over the small road that is the D51 towards Tarbes before heading on the small roads to Pau where we had a nice and cheap Hotel for the night, the following day heading north along the Atlantic coast east of Bordeaux to a campsite on the beach and that will be the end of part 2


Spectacular waterfall
waiting on Fi who was 1/4 of a mile back taking the photo of the waterfall
Time to put waterproofs on
Misty
On the D51, nice
empty apart from us and a few cyclists who by the way are well behaved unlike the muppets here 

Macdonalds for lunch
The church in Gan
opposite our digs in Gan ( Just south of Pau)
Lunchtime again
eating our Baguettes wondering if its going to rain