I woke up slightly confused as it is day 3 of the trip but day 1 on the bikes. Clearly nothing to do with the wine and beer consumed last night. What’s that saying? “Grape or grain, but never the twain”. I’m not sure that is scientifically correct but I am a great believer in the other twain – namely Mark – who reportedly said “All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.” We had plenty of the former and not much of the latter – but start we must….
The usual befuddledry (is that a word?) commenced….Unpacking the van was easy – we simply laid out all of it’s contents in the car park. Deciding what to take and in which order to put it on took phaffing to a new level. (yes – phaffing is a word – defined as “Activity that looks (to the casual observer) like work (or another task) but is not really all that productive, and in fact may be time wasting”). For once this single adjective perfectly summed up our performance. Anyway if there was a degree in phaffing (possibly a PhD) we would have a double first.
Eventually we got on the bikes. But we needed petrol. Where could we find that in a sleepy French town on a Saturday morning? Correct – we couldn’t. So started an hour expedition along the coast to find a gas station. As you can see from the gps trace we went up and down the high street a number of times before we decided to head off down the coast
Eventually we found petrol in Port-Vendres.
So – fuelled up – all ready to go. Let’s hit the trail….. hold on a minute…..we just need the obligatory snap of the bikes dipping the front wheels in the Mediterranean sea.
We couldn’t quite get the bikes to the water’s edge because in the best traditions of Great British reservedness we didn’t know if motorbikes were actually allowed on the beach – and obviously we didn’t want to offend anyone – so we settled for a commemorative pose next to the children’s playground adjacent to the beach where if no one was looking we would have dipped the bike’s front wheel into the mighty Mediterranean.
Honour satisfied – at last – we were ready – lets get going.
We set off. I don’t know what happened but at the very first turn I took the wrong direction and 10 minutes later we are back at the start.
At last I sped off in the right direction – not least to get away from Dave’s chuckles which I could hear above the noise of both engines.
And boy – within 10 minutes we had fantastic views
…that’s right – we had to stop after about 10 minutes because we were both knackered. Must be all that excitement of making the start.
The rest of the day didn’t disappoint, the views were fantastic and the riding great. We did get a deluge of rain in the afternoon. This caused issues with the knobbly tires on the tarmac and concrete roads which were wet and slippery due to the rain and fallen moss. This photo doesn’t show the steepness of the road but it was treacherous.
We arrived at the digs looking only slightly like drowned rats.
Total mileage for the day 115 (including detours).