Its been an exciting week for me. Deidre arrived safely from SA and immediately took to the foreign flavours and sounds. I had to adapt however, having another person on the bike and having to show Deidre how we would survive the small space for the next couple of weeks.
No time wasted we dropped all the stuff at the Hotel and headed for downtown Barcelona. We parked at the many motorbike parking spots and set off on foot…
First up, the beach!
Spain is scattered with small cafe’s everywhere. We stopped of every few KM to grab a beer/wine and some Tapas. The city is really old with many old monuments and old buildings stacked up next to each other. There is also a modern and very chic side to the city. New hotels and an impressive marina are stretched along the shoreline.
We ended our day with drinks on the beach and just relished the foreign places and prices. I mean 8.50EU for a beer is what I thought only movie starts paid.
We where both eager to get on the road as we are heading towards London to meet up with old friends. We only have a week to get there so we decided to see some more sites and then take the road NE towards France.
On our way out we spotted the sign Montserrat. Its a mountain just outside Barcelona and home to a beautiful monastery. We drove up the mountain and explored the sights. Quite impressive. Its was built a long time ago and was a place of worship and solitude. Thats all I can remember from the guide book I read in the shop.
After lunch on the bench, we decided to get some air through the jackets and headed towards France. So started our difficulty to get miles behind us. After about 150km we saw a sign showing a beach. I could feel Deidre move behind me and I took the offramp. We headed towards a small town by the name of Roses. After stopping and the super market and stocking up on some ready made pizzas, beer and wine we took on the forever battle to find a hotel at a decent price. One was found and we headed to the beach for a pizza and beer night on the beach.
The mornings are quite a difficult affair as we only get up at 9am and only hit the road after 11am. This is due to the late nights that we are enduring. Now I now what you think but its not quite the case. The sun only sets at 10pm. So you only want to go out after 11pm. Before you know its 2am and you are on your way to the hotel.
So after 11am we joined the motorway towards France. We were heading towards Nice… or so we thought. We paid and paid and paid the bloody tolls. Its really expensive here, something that through all my planning I wasnt prepared for. Our budget was way over for the day(as always) and we opted for a lunch in the park.
After 500 odd KM we pulled of at a gas station and asked the lady behind the counter where a good place to sleep will be. She advised us of a small town… Bandol.
We tried to find somewhere to stay for the night but it was just to expensive. So we headed off for Toulon and found a small hotel in the centre of town. It was a good option as I needed new tyres and there was a BMW dealer in Toulon.
Its quite shocking when you roll up to a town like this and see what the French rich and famous do with their money. For an average SA guy this is crazy! There are just yachts and sport cars parked and moored everywhere. Its cool to see, cool to experience but after not too long you want to get out there!
After almost french slapping the stupid waiter for not wanting to charge the coffee to my credit card(which was 8EU) we headed for Nice. We spent the night in a proper hostel and met some SA guys and got some cocktails in.
This morning we headed out to one of our highlites. Monaco.
Monaco is not what you expect… its more! Its clean, very congested and the feeling of money and wealth is eminent! Just a few minutes in town and the first Ferrari passed us, followed by the next. Then an Audi R8 driven by a guy that cannot be older than 12. Its Monaco and its the way its is here I guess!
After an hour or two we decided that we needed to get a move on as the snow was melting in the Alps! 🙂
What followed was the best riding day of my life. I cannot explain how awesome it was. The Alps is fantastic! Small narrow mountain roads, most of the time 2 cars cant pass each other at the same time and snow capped mountains!
So tomorrow we are of to somewhere in the Alps and then on to Paris!
Its times like these that I realise how blessed I am to be here. With Deidre, my Bike and snow capped mountains!
See you in Paris!
Le Sauze, Franch Alps