Day 101…London- Sounds like you from London?

Hello,

Our route over the last few days.
Auxerry to london

So after a hectic ride to reach London in time and a further insane week in London, I have at last made some time to keep the blog up to date. So here is the last week in London Town!

We woke to a cloudless sky, white snow capped mountains and the prospect of a good winding road all the way towards Paris. We loaded up and joined the road towards Grenoble leaving our awesome “I feel like a am on a ski holiday” hotel behind.

Le Sauze morning.
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Our hotel for the night.
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The road was fantastic. Good smooth tarmac, winding roads, tunnels cutting through the mountains and turquoise coloured lakes. We had about 1200km to go until London and only 2 days to do it in as we had to meet up with some friends.

The road from Le Sauze to Grenoble was a lot bigger, wider and busier than the one the previous day. We tried to stay on the more direct roads to safe some time. There where however a few times when I saw on the GPS that there was a mountain pass alternative to some of the tunnels. I took them.

En Route to Grenoble.
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Mountain pass alternatives.
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The passes where 1st gear hairpins and barely wide enough to accommodate the bike and the panniers. As you passed over these small mountains the view is absolutely breath-taking. We where however running out of time and would be short on daylight if we didn’t get a move on. It was lunch time and we had only done 100km. πŸ™‚

We got a move on and joined the more direct route from Grenoble towards Lyon. It was a wide and smooth road with great scenery. The wind turbines whirling away over the lush green countryside of eastern France. We still passed quite a few of the smaller villages and decided to stop for a coffee before we joined the motorway north.

Small villages.
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Coffee break.
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After our coffee break we joined the motorway and just enjoyed the French countryside.
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We stopped at a filling station about 200km before Paris in the middle of nowhere and decided to get something to eat while I filled up. Like all filling station here, you have to fill your own fuel and pay the fuel in store. Deidre found a small cafeteria that sold pre cooked food and we decided the make our own “boerewors” rolls. I have been dying for one the last couple of weeks. I ordered 4 small sausages, 1 bagguete and 1 plate of fries. I pushed my little tray towards the till and greeted “bonjour” and waited for the lady to give me my outstanding bill. She turned to me a said “46 Euro pleez”. I calmly said “Excuse me, how much?” I quickly converted the amount back into Rand and realised that it was 60$… I sarcastically said to her that her till must be broken and asked if she was sure that any person in the world would pay 60$ for 1 piece of bread, 4 SMALL sausages and a plate of cold chips. She just kept looking at me and shrugged her shoulders. I then simply looked back at her, shrugged my shoulders and said to her to take the tray and carefully place the sausages back where she found them because there is no F*#$ing way I was paying 60$ for 1 piece of bread, 4 SMALL sausages and a plate of chips. She understood and I walked towards the bike totally disgusted!

After the whole episode we decided to call it a day and find a Hotel in the small town of Auxerry. We drove around like always and couldn’t find anything for under 80 euro’s. It’s a joke some of these places, I probably wouldn’t stay there for free if I had a choice…

But Deidre found a small hotel, nice and in the middle of a vibrant square for only 45 euro’s. I excepted and parked for the night. We enjoyed the evening drinking wine and chatting till early hors of the morning.

Our little hotel. Its little but so were the rooms.
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The next morning was pretty uneventful. We decided to skip Paris and head straight for London as we couldn’t see Paris in only one day. We will do Paris on the way back from London.

We reach Calais so 500km later and opted for the ferry-boat across from Europe to Britain. It was 50 euros and would take 90min. Sweet!

When the time came to load, we got the bike on and enjoyed the sail across the english channel. I looked forward to driving on the correct side of the road and I reflected on the fact that in 132KM I would have been on my most Northern part of the trip, from here on is south all the way. Now the sun sets on my right, it comes up on my left and I will in a short time will be enjoying the warm waters of the Indian ocean, leaving the cold and dark Atlantic behind. I missed Africa!

The port
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For the 3rd time on this trip I had to strap him down.
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Crossing the English channel and leaving Europe behind!
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We arrived 90min later on mainland UK and hopped on the M-Something towards London. All of a sudden I forgot to drive on the left, I understood the signs and every time I read a road sign I thought I was British. (Try pronouncing Knightsbridge and using it in the following sentence: “O Darling, would you like to meet me for cream tea in Knightsbridge late afternoon at half six?”… see what I mean? All of a sudden you should like a Pom)

Anyways back to business. I entered the outskirts of London and had to enter this toll gate.
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Let me rephrase. I had to enter and exit this toll gate as fast as possible as it was peak rush hour friday afternoon. All the people use chips in their cars so that they don’t have to stop at the toll gate and simply drive through. So I always try to be quick so that I don’t cause a traffic jam… So what did I do? I took the car only, high-speed toll lane where only people with chips can enter. I am sure I made afternoon traffic report because when I looked back within a minute there must have been a 1km que just on one lane. I felt like a real “doos”…

I pressed info, waited for the guy to cross the highway and open the boom for me. It was so embarrassing!

So on we went and looked forward to the much-anticipated “braai” that I asked Reinhardt for.

Braai night in London
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It was a great reunion as I last saw Reinhardt about 3 years ago back in SA. We had quite a few beers and called it a night with a full itenary already in place by Reinhardt for the next week.

So day one we where off towards Epic forest. Had a cycle in the forest and enjoyed a great lunch at a small pub in the middle of the biggest city forest in the world.

Epic Forest
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That afternoon Reinhardt organised a braai with some local mates of his. It was a good evening and once again Reinhardt was on the braai and making sure that he showed the Aussies what a real braai looked like!

Good night
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After our goodnight, our hosts was keen to take us around London and show us some sights. First up was Camden Town, the heart of the Punk! I loved it. The streets are lined with food stalls, clothing markets and mohawks.

Camden Town
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Later the afternoon we enjoyed a local pub
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The next morning we where up early and joined the city of London on their very well-functioning underground train system. The Tube. Look, it bloody expensive, but I later found out that it is the easiest way into London. More on that later! So off we went on the 45min tube ride into London. First on the list was the London Eye.

Armed with our map book, tripadvisor app (best app I have ever had) and SA attitude we took on streets of London.

On our way
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On top the Eye
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After the Eye I stopped of at the Egypt embassy and Sudan embassy to see if they will give me a visa for my trip down. The answer was YES, the total paperwork: 1 Page and please come back in 2 days… Sweeeeeeet! How easy was that!!!!

Ok on we go, we walked past the Big Ben and House of Parliament.
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After some sights we where summoned to meet the hosts at Bodeans. They apparently have a burger that’s was voted number one sandwich in London! It turned out to be one of the best I ever had!

Pork fill Bun
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After filling up we headed towards Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus… Its not a Circus, its a roundabout with lots of shops and tourist!

We entered some huge toy stores and sport shops!
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Dinner was Mexican and a black cap was required
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So day 4 saw us heading of again into London and exploring the sights.
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The parks in London are very nice.
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I also took the bike in to London today to try to avoid the tube costs but the traffic and drama off finding parking had me sold on the tube.

Buckingham Palace
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Just everywhere
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London Gallery
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Bitish Museum
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Westminster Abbey
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We as South Africans like to complain. We have crime and and… But one thing we don’t have is good for nothing, useless youth that believe rich people are evil. So to state their case they protest in the streets…
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The next day was chilled checking out the home of cricket and the pub where Shakespeare had a few beers back in the day.

Lords
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We got these bikes that you can rent in London and drove all over. Also Tower bridge on our way to meet the hosts!
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The George inn. This building is old, look at how skewed the balcony is.
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The average pub in London after work
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The Covent Garden singer. He was really good!
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So as you can see we needed a break from this hectic schedule in London we opted for the v=cricket match in Cardiff between South Africa and West Indies.

Cardiff
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Champions Trophy Match
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The Game was rain delayed so we opted for the only thing you can do. Drink beer, the effects will start to show after 4 hours in the rain!
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We won that game. Thats all I need to say. We ran back 3km to catch the high speed train back to London. We made it just in the nick of time.

Today I just spent getting all the parts in order that I bought for the trip down Africa. I also have been given a new helmet by Nitro. I have always used Nitro products and absolutely love it! So Vicky from Nitro in England sent me a new one! Also… I got a brand new pair of boots from Motorcycle Superstore in the USA. Its comes at a good time as my helmet en boots are shot! Thanks Guys for you new gear!

So for know I am just waiting for the gear to arrive and then Deidre and I are off to Paris.

See you in Paris!

Cheers
Riaan
London, UK

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14 responses to “Day 101…London- Sounds like you from London?

  1. Wow….nearly 16,000 people have read your blog….what an achievement!!! Write a book it might be a BEST-SELLER!!! Was looking forward to a up-date and enjoyed your comments. We had a “lekker” laugh a couple of times. Drive safe and may God protect the two of you on the next part of your journey.

  2. Riaan Riaan Riaan, This blog was well worth waiting for.! Fantastic man! What an experience for you and D. LOvely couple and I can just see that you are enjoying every minute of it.

  3. Hi Riaan and Deidre, Pretty full on whistle tour of England. Looks like you are running on Redbull…..Enjoy mainland Europe. You won’t be disappointed. Sorry we did not get a chance to meet up. Safe onward journey.

  4. Dankie julle twee vir die lekker kuier. Dit was wonderlik om julle as gaste te ontvang. Alle voorspoed vir die pad voorentoe, ons dink aan julle en ons bid vir ‘n veilige, maar ook wonderlike trip. All the best, your ”hosts”. R&R

  5. Wat ‘n GROOT GROOT voorreg om in Afrika sowel as Europa fotos te he met jou 1200 BMW! Geniet elke oomblik nogsteeds, daar le nog baie kilos voor,baie wonderlike kilos! Eks seker lande soos Angola, Gaboen en die DRK voel baie baie ver terug! Mag die Almagtige Vader jou pad vorentoe gelyk maak, en weet dat Hy oor elke kilometer oor jou kyk! Dis wonderlik dat jy baie daarvan met jou meisie kan deel! Julle maak ons trots! Groete, vrede

      • Ek ken daardie gevoel om weer te wil terugkom op ons eie kontinent! Toe ek deur die midde-ooste gery het was dit nie naastenby so avontuurlustig soos Afrika nie! Geniet die laaste stuk van Europa, wees gereed vir baie pad blokkades in Egipte! Kyk of j by die paragtigge Rooi See kan uitkom,jy sal nie spyt wwes nie. Groete en sterkte!

  6. Wow Riaan, ek het nou elke report deurgelees en dis lekker om te sien hoe jy dit wat jy ervaar deurgee. Sterkte en voorspoed in dit wat voorle.

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