Report: France 2011 (Aug 6-14)
Well our foray abroad for 2011 went well, and again I have to say I was impressed, mind you it does not take much to impress me.
Saturday saw the gathering between various pick up points, before making our way to Portsmouth for the overnight ferry to Le Harve, this time avoiding the boring motorway. A stop, before boarding the boat, at the Ship and Castle public house was most welcome. What a great pub, lovely meal and a cracking mug of tea.
Having to put our clocks forward 1 hour saw us arrive in the daylight, expensive breakfast on ferry, before escaping the docks and heading towards the Loire Valley, via Anthony less direct route. Well you do not want the boring motorways, and the trip is part of the hols.
At this stage, whilst leaving the docks, Anthony legged it, but forgot the ones behind, who got stuck at the lights, then went the wrong way down the road, remember when leaving the docks, head for the underpasses, not over them. No lights, it’s quicker that way. Bills Satnav decided to obey his plotting and it took him on a circumference route to the Tancarville Bridge. They only had to wait ½ hr. They had a smoke break, what they moaning about.
The day turned out a bright, sunny day and a relaxing ride down to Gannay-sur-Loire, with still a few detours for lost soles. (Alan/Wendy, you will have to stop distracting him Wendy.) Andrew Wood enjoyed the burst of speed to look for you.
We arrived at the accommodation about 1800 after a long 300mile ride. Some great roads though and stunning scenery. The accommodation was excellent and once everybody settled in and freshened up, the complimentary bottle of wine was found and quickly changed for something more palatable. We did think about oiling the chains with it but ‘any port in a storm’ !!!!.
The evening meal was served and what a beautiful meal. Borsch, beetroot soup to you all non chefs, was excellent followed by a huge lasagne, which was quickly demolished, and for seconds, the table next door could not finish there’s, so over it came and, well what do RATS do best, Yes, Eat and Drink. After the girls had a quick bounce on the trampoline, (Don’t be rude now), it was time for a relaxing evening followed by a great lie in next day.
Monday was a day of rest, before some of them got itchy feet and set off up the road to the local supermarket to get some grub for the evening BBQ. Mike got himself a good deal on a can of Redex, sorry, value wine, the rest, well relaxed in the sun with a few beers. The BBq went well, not too much noise, just putting the world to rights, before the local dog decided to eat Andrew Wood Kebhab, stick and all. The bottle bin was starting to get full.
Tuesday saw a trip out around the local roads, including the France in bloom village, the local canal viaduct and locks, bit smaller than Llangollen before heading back to the accommodation for a trip out to the local canal restaurant and, yes more food and wine. Terry was impressed on the day with the size of the cows, that he decided to eat one that evening. Mike upset the owner by insisting on a ‘well done steak’ what was the translation ‘sole of shoe’ hehehe and everybody else got merry. Careful of the canal on the way home.
The couples left the lads to make there own way back via the local pub. Ask them yourselves, its not going into print.
Wednesday was a trip planned by Anthony called ‘fire and water’ This took us South, into the volcanic region where they bottle ‘Perrier’ and Volvic’ water then sell it at an exuberant price. The area was stunningly beautiful and I can highly recommend it. The roads through the gorges where excellent, a beautiful area to visit again.
Thursday was a relaxing day again and people went there own way. Some of the lads went into Decize. Looking around the town they came across a local guy who, it turned out, was Dutch but taught engineering in Cannock. Small world. He then showed them around the town, including his garden where, apparently, Caesar once stood 2000yrs ago. He did invite Terry to look at his cellar but, well it was like asking to look at his etchings.
The day was finished off with another great meal and a few more drinks before getting packed for Friday and the return journey.
Friday turned out to be a long day. 300mile ride led by Mike, before catching the fast ferry home, and then all going our own way after a blast up the motorway to Telford services. Great route in France Mike.
With any luck we may have convinced the others what a great bike Triumphs are and maybe they may think of getting one.
Participants:- Alan/Wendy Morgan-Jones(Sprint St1050), Edgar/Jan Jones (Trophy 1200), Bill/Pat Deacon(Tiger 1050ABS), Anthony Lovell(Daytona 955i), Andy Robinson(Daytona955i) and then the foreigners. Andrew Wood(Ducati ST4),Mike Thompson(BMW 1200GT) Terry Bennet (KTM)
More pictures can be seen at:-
http://picasaweb.google.com/northwalesRAT then click on either France2011 or Loire2011.