July 26, 2009 GMT
Back in France

Day 17 - 27/06/09

Day 18 28/06/09 ok so after a couple of beers we had a great nights sleep, we were up reasonably early, (well early for us) and were ready to head off to the Verdon Gorge. The roads seemed to be pretty good but as they were very up and down and twisty it took us a lot longer than expected to get there. In fact it took us a day longer. It felt like we had done a lot miles but we had hardly covered any. Oh well maybe tomorrow will prove to be a better day for riding. We put our faith in the GPS and let it guide us through the fantastic roads. For once the GPS seemed to have got it right. We found a camp site that was open, being a Sunday always a bit hit and miss. The receptionist was very nice and very helpful. Although the camp site was open nothing else was. Lucky we had already bought our dinner. The day was very uneventful and so was the evening so we went to bed pretty early still recovering from our full day in Barcelona.

Day 19 29/06/09
Today we were finally going to make it to the Verdon gorge. The roads were still very twisty but the views were amazing. We continued to follow the GPS until we could see the signs for the Gorge. We had spotted a few campsites along the way so we had no worries there. The day was reasonably hot but we kept going until we got there and decided to take the full road to the gorge first to have a look and to then come back to find a camp site. Thankfully the petrol light came on and we turned back, I was glad of this because all I wanted to do was to get off the bike I was feeling a little sore and I had the start of a migraine. Not very pleasant with a helmet on. We turned around and made our way back to the petrol station and then on to one of the camp sites we had previously seen reasonably close to the gorge. We set up camp as usual and sat in the sun for a while. The clouds started to slowly creep up on us while we were washing our clothes and about half an hour after hanging them out on our home made clothes line the heavens opened and the storm began it lasted for quite a while. We found a small break in the rain and headed for shelter to make our dinner. That seemed to be all we could do until the rain stopped. And it didnít and neither did the storm, there was amazing rainbows though.

Nice huh !

Even better when the clouds clear.

Day 20 30/06/09
Well the rain finally gave up, we didnít hear it though as we were sound asleep when it did. As soon as we got up we put all our still wet clothes back on the washing line and had to hope and pray that they would all dry in two and a half hours. Today was a slow day not only did we have to wait for the washing to dry we had to find the nearest village for the cash machine. The village wasnít that far away and it was a very pleasant. It was quite small, on the side of a steep hill which made it eventful turning around the bike on one way streets (donít ask why I was turning on a way street) with an audience of the shop owners and a very bemused looking police man. We just smiled politely and headed on our way. We finally found the cash machine, to only find that it was not available for another ten French minutes, so we had a little walk around. We eventually got our money and headed back to the camp site as it was nearing check out time.
We packed, paid and left headed for the gorge. The road was amazing and the views were breath taking. Although it looked like we were getting further away from the water at the bottom of gorge. We came to a village and a map so we decided to stop for a little break as the temperature was being to rise rather quickly. Studying the map for a little while, we thought that we couldnít get to the bottom from this route and decided to turn around and go back and find the right way to the gorge. We made it eventually, even if a little longer than it should have been. Again it was amazing, I keep saying it because I canít find the words to describe it. You will see for your selves the beauty of it from the photos. We parked the bike and headed down to the water.

The Verdon Gorge

Jo, Me & the Divvy at the waters edge.

Day 21 01/07/09
As the GPS seemed to help the day before we put our trust in it again and found what we thought was a municipal campsite and off we went. The scenery along the way was stunning to say the least twist after twist, rock walls giving way to tree lined hills and back again. The roads and drivers on the other hand were a little less than desired. When I wasnít dodging front wheel sized pot holes and loose chunks of road, I was getting a little too close for comfort to the rock wall to avoid being squashed by the oncoming traffic.

We rounded a corner at a very reasonable speed and meet a very nice French lady coming directly at us. Although I could have stopped but I rightly or wrongly choose to try and move out of her way (as far right as possible) the end result is in the photo below. The pannier very gently kissed the rock wall between us and the 20 meter drop down to the river. The sound and the surprise that accompanied it was far worse than the actual damage. We stopped soon after to have a look and no less than 10 seconds later a giant tour bus came around the corner with no room to spare. Lucky us !

The gorgeous country side continued and all was well until a GPS guided detour down a farm lane, a front end slide and the discovery that we had asked the GPS to take us to a church not a campsite. About an hour later we rolled into a campsite near a big dam which had itís own pizza restaurant and bar. Unfortunately it decided to pee down just as we were setting up our tent but on the plus side it stopped soon after.

Posted by Rob Mott at July 26, 2009 02:06 PM GMT

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