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Old 01-06-2012, 10:42 PM
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Default Quick tour of France

Smutty and I just got back from 10 days in France. We took the Plymouth – Roscoff ferry and rode down to the “Kelt Old School Show” near Lorient. There were some very good bikes (and cars) on show. The weather was welcoming, the rain and fog reminded us of home.
I was surprised at how Celtic the Bretons are, bagpipes kilts and everything. But there was some good music as well. This was provided by a band called Eights, who played rhythm and blues and rock, with a brass section and a viola. Unusual but it works. They were having a lot of fun on stage and the audience soon joined in the fun.
The food was fairly good but not a lot of choice but the bogs were terrible. I’m a bit fussy where I stick my bare arse and therefore we pressed a local McDonalds into service. Well they sell sh1t to us!
As we left the rally the weather improved, and we rode on down to Saint Nazaire, along fenland roads. I wanted to see the U boat pens where during WW2 HMS Campbletown was turned into a bomb and they rammed to lock gates. The pens are awesome and contain a submarine museum all about the French Sous Marine, with no mention of who built the pens!
Next day and its sunny and hot we moved on to La Rochelle the scene of a siege which featured in the novel “The Three Musketeers”. Lots of ancient architecture, cos the RAF were too busy further north. We spotted an “Irish Pub” called Fitzgeralds, and decided to see what beer they sold, expecting the usual plastic paddy establishment. Imagine our delight when a genuine Irishman offered us free samples of Killkenny bitter. The menu consisted of pie and chips for 3 Euros. Heaven: Fortunately the hotel Ibis was only 20 yards away.
Next day we tracked over to Aubusson to stay with Martin and Vanessa who run a B&B aimed at bikers, it’s a business but they treat you like old friends. http://www.laroserouge.com/
As we went further south the terrain became hillier and the roads twistier, French roads are odd I discovered. You can be batting along a wide dual carriageway that goes into a medieval village with narrow cobbled streets or just turns into a farm track. Still we got a friendly wave for helping to herd some sheep along the road using the bikes. We used minor roads to avoid a motorway, from Aubusson to Millau, which was our base for the next 2 days.
Day one we crossed the Millau Bridge, then found our way down into the valley below it to truly appreciate the size of the thing. Then we did the Gorges du Tarn. It’s like Cheddar Gorge on steroids. The area is stunning with near vertical drops from the outside of the many hairpin bends. Then we rode up a nearby hill which provided gobsmacking views over the whole area and more hairpin bends than you can shake a stick at.
Day 2 we rode on down to the Le Cap D’Agde ignoring the nudist beach and keeping up the reputation of the English abroad rolled up our trousers and paddled in the Med.
We now needed to start going north so headed to Aurillac and found a hotel for the night. Unfortunately we picked a hotel in a trading estate and so saw little of the town.
We then rode back up to Martin and Vanessa’s where we were able to pick up our laundry (yes honestly) and scoff a wonderful homemade Chilli.
We went onwards once again to the town of Cholet. But the hotel was not doing evening meals because it was a bank holiday! So we tried to find a restaurant but they were all shut too. Except MacDs: Oh dear.
We had seen nothing of Lorient while at the rally so we headed back there. We had a look around the naval dockyard and the marina nearby. Seeing a queue of people waiting by a landing stage, we tried to make sense of the posters by the landing stage.....but failed. So when the boat came along we got aboard, we were impressed by the healthy sound of powerful engines and seats atop the cabin ideal for sightseeing. 15 minutes later we were back where we had started. It was a bus service! Still it only cost 30 cents, and we did get to see an old French destroyer of the Surcouf class which is now used as a breakwater. It is D624 Bouvet which took part in the farcical attempt to prevent President Nasser of Egypt from nationalising the Suez Canal.
We then wandered off in search of dinner and found a wonderful road; it was full of privately owned shops most of which sold musical instruments. Among the guitars many of which were Ibanez semi acoustics were Breton bagpipes and the bigger highland pipes, Celtic harps, Bombards and a violin with a brass horn like a gramophone instead of a body.
When we found a Chinese restaurant we just had to try ordering a Chinky in French of which I speak about six words. Lovely meal though.
Next day we wanted to get closer to Roscoff and so headed to Morlaix set in the bottom of a steep sided river gorge it is dominated by a huge railway viaduct over 60 metres high and also has a large marina which kept Smutty happy as he likes sailing boats.
We moved on to Roscoff and ended up surrounded by old Bentleys that had taken part in a rally. They ranged from a badge engineered Rolls Royce to an open bodied 1930 racing car, fabulous. And so we boarded the ferry and went home.
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Old 02-06-2012, 02:44 PM
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Looks like a lot of fun was had, Harry
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Old 02-06-2012, 04:41 PM
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sounds like fun.........

Just another 4 weeks before I`m blasting thru` isle de france heading south thru` the alps towards Nice and beyond
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Old 02-06-2012, 07:48 PM
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Saw this bike at the rally, it's a conversation piece.
The frame is three sheets of stainless bolted together
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:36 AM
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Bends could be interesting and traction control would come in handy.
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Old 07-06-2012, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Worjorj View Post
Bends could be interesting and traction control would come in handy.
I think it will handle better when they get the tyres on.

But I do wonder how bendy that frame will be.
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