June 03, 2003 GMT
Bon Jour!

We are currently in CARCOSSONNE in the South of France. The weather has gone completey stupid and on Sunday reached 102f The oil temp gauge was reading 130c for most of the day, but the bike didn,t make the horrible rattly noise it usually makes when it,s overheating. The scenery and the hospitality in France has been fantastic. We stayed in a friends house for four days. These were the only days we,ve managed to stay within our budget, hopefully things will even out when we reach Eastern Europe and Asia.

Posted by Bob McDarby-Feast at 03:31 PM GMT
June 22, 2003 GMT
Italy Slovenia & Croatia

We've travelled through France, Italy, Slovenia and are now in Croatia.

France, as always, was fantastic. Each region is so different and we discover something new everytime we visit. On the way through, this time, the weather was unusally hot and in Avignon on one particular day the temperature reached 102f. The roads are empty and well surfaced and the campsites have had excellent facilities. The scenery is spectacular and the people very helpfull and friendly as we discovered on numerous occassions when lost or in need of some other asssistance. Half way through France Jules decided she'd had enough of carrying the rucksack and we decided to get a tank bag. We tried a couple of shops and the found out that 'Touratech' had a shop in 'Orange' near 'Avignon' where we were headed. The staff there were more than helpful and sorted out the correct bag to fit the 43ltr tank and fiited it for me. One of the guys there was the French importer for the company and told me that there was a 'Touratech' Travel Event and that there would be rideouts into the Alps, both on and off road and film shows about overland journeys by motorcycle. Unfortunately he didn't telll us where it was which was a shame as it sounded right up our street. The day after we were heading through small town in the French Alps, Chateaux Arnau, and Jules spotted the 'Touratech" van. The guy I'd seen the previous day was very pleased to see us and invited us to stay for the weekend. We had a great time. I took the GS off road for the first time and suprised at how well the big bike, especially with Jules on the back, coped with it. We saw places and rode on roads we wouldn't normally have done. We also met some great people, one of whom was Jurgen who had just ridden his GS from New Zealand. As great as France was we had now been there for a month and it was time to move on.

Italy was more of a blur than a visit and we rode through the Italian Alps and into Slovenia. The scenery here was as spectacular as anything we've seen in Switerland and Austria and most things were about half the price. A bikers paradise in more ways than one. The BM needed a service and we tracked down the BMW dealer in Ljubijiana. A full dealer service and two new tyres came to just under two hundred and sixty pounds sterling!! Lake Bled was stunning and we did a fantastic ride through the 'Julian Alps' to Kobarid. The route took us through stunning alpine scenery along a road with hundreds of sweeping and hairpin bends. Some of the roads in Slovenia are a bit on the rough side, but with loads of sweeping bends, ideal for big trailies.

We're currently in Split, Croatia on our way down to Dubrovik. The scenery here is typically mediterranian and the roads reasonable. The weather is even hotter, but at least we have an air conditioned room or the sea to cool off in.

We've finally ditched the tent and the sleeping bags as we didn't need them anymore and the weight on the bike unsettled the handling on the twisties. We'll probably be in Croatia for another week or so before heading back up through Slovenia and into Hungary.

Posted by Bob McDarby-Feast at 12:05 PM GMT

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