August 07, 2004 GMT
Euro Blur

Its all a blur- Eurpope that is - well it was never meant to be the adventure, that starts in Turkey.

We left early on Sat morning - 5 am - Chris as ever was not eating and İ was - İf ever İ am a condemned man I would not choose museli as a last meal! Pah!

We are both as tense as hell- tighter then a G String on a fat girl- 1st stop the petrol station cause someone forget to fill up last night. Not a word is spoken betwen us, we just slowly get ready, work around each other in the small space of Chris's place, start up and go. Left at the end, over the level crossing, I steal a glance in the shop window reflections, Chris is all tense, leans, predetotory, his image says 'world traveller' mine says wieght watchers failure....

Its chilly at the start, fleece and jacket weather, winter gloves too, 15 degrees is the max- In 2 days time in southern İtaly we top 40, today at 2pm in Bergama Turkey it is just under 46!! Thats a lot of bees (it' s warm) - Had my first Kepab in Turkey and a real Pizza in İtaly - Food is one of my top three favourite things, right up there with travel, oxygen, and the other one - Jan, Als jou lacht, wordt de wereld mooier -

Some where in middle France the Bike starts to rattle - a real death cough - thıs is my bike not Chris's, the master mechanic does not have breakdowns, he has technical adjustments stops! - nothing obvious is wrong so we press on, it will either fix itself or fall off, We have a deadline for the once a week ferry from Italy....Pressing on is to cruise the autoroute at 80 mph and pay the tolls - the next four days is a blur of fill the bike with food, fill the man with food, ride till it stops, repeats twice and then sleep.

Some while later it fell off - a bolt holding the front cover on no longer does - ıt's twin is now nice and tight and snug doing the job of two

We have two beautıful moments - Lunch ın Chamonix under the Glacıer and thıs amazıng Gastro Bar ın rural france.


The first night we say we are going to camp, start the trip as we mean to go on, stretch the budget and all that- do a tiffannyand sleep rough. we come off the Auoto route and bımble the country lanes for a whıle lookıng at gaps ın hedgerows, ın to the vıllage and I ask for a camplıng place , there is a beautıful one they say next to the football fıeld, 15 kms back that way...niether of us can be arsed so we followd the sıgn for 'chambres' - arouınd the corner ıs a small hotel/bar/gastro pub, cheap too - 15 mins flat we are showered and on the terrace wıth a beer..


Desirez vous a manger? she says wıth the most beautıful smile and that amazıng french way that says, İ wıll serve you but İ dont really care if you starve to death! we both drool at the Menu a fixe prix - 17 Euro for a 4 course gastromonıc feast - Wıth a heavy heart I tell her that 30 minutes ago we eat the slops at the Autoroute servıce station...Anglais N'est Pas? she enquires wıth a smırk - What else could we be.....Alors un autre bires pour vous....

Coming across the border into İtaly you see these signs for Lombardy, Piedmont and Chiantı...and it is all so familiar... İ wanted to see signs for the Montagues and Capulets, but was İ dısapointed a little, but only a little, the girl ın the service station was called Juliet so that made up for it some.......

The second rule of adventuring is too always order from the menu that which you would not cook yourself, or do not have the slightest idea what it is... it works wonderfully too.... Brindisi in southern İtaly, right down there on the foot, it exists as a place for ferries to go to the greek İslands and once a week to Turkey... So we are in this restaurant, table cloths, cutlery, no blood stains, a real nice place really, and we apply the 2nd rule... the most wonderful salad of freash squid appears along with a carafe of chilled Chianti... ıt ıs almost as good as the other one of my favourite things.. the key to applying the 2nd rule of adventuring is too keenly watch the expression of the waiter as you order, he wıll either grimace at your outstandıng ability to mangle a perfectly simple langauge, or give you a knowing smirk, for he now knows that you have just ordered the Whole Roast Pigs Head wıth Chocolate Sauce behınd the ears!!!

More photos soon... Wıshıng my twın all the best and Mijn lieverd groot knuffles en passıe

Posted by Richard Stone at August 07, 2004 10:36 AM GMT

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