Monday, July 14, 2008

12th July – Sigean to St Hilaire de Court

Today stated out early as Roma and I got in a quick swim before starting to clean up the villa before departing. We left at 10.20 and got our full deposit back which was a relief. Roma brought me to the train station in Port la Nouvelle to get the train to Montpelier. Part of me was really looking forward to getting the bike back, while another part wanted to go straight home with Roma and the girls. The train to Montpelier was pleasant – I continued to read my book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I’m finding it very heavy going, but I’ll stick with it.

In Montpelier I got a taxi to Macadam Moto where I finally got to see my bike – I didn’t know whether to kick it or kiss it! I had a quick lunch in the small bar that is part of the dealership – nice idea. I was expecting a heavy bill for all the repairs – I was not disappointed (I won’t say what it was here). Finally, I set off – it was very hot (35 C) and I just wore my T-shirt. I felt good – I headed back into Montpelier and followed the signs north for Millau. Worryingly, the bike cut out in the middle of the road, but this did not happen again.

The heat did not last long and after about 50km I had to pull into a Service area to put on the wet gear. I had rain for the next 100km which coincided with fairly twisty motorway – I was doing less than 90kph for most of this. This is also viaduct country – there were loads of them as I rode through high elevation (1100m) country. One was a spectacular long one called “Viaduct de Millau” – the largest in the world (I think). The weather cleared up and but for a few more showers was OK for the rest of the day. I had more problems starting the bike on two occasions- it did not sound like the same problem as before, but I was worried nonetheless. This bike is going straight to Motorcycle City when I get home.

I arrived at my destination, Chateau de la Beuvrere in St Hilaire de Court near Vierzon at about 9.00pm. While the hotel is charming, it is very old and a bit run down. It is literally out in the middle of nowhere down a small lane outside the village. The restaurant was closed so I headed back into Vierzon for some Chinese food. I called Roma and she was just back from the Fu Moon Chinese take-away at home – they had a long delay at the airport in Carcassonne due to thunder storms.

Early start tomorrow as I have to get to Cherbourg by 12.00 to meet with Irish Consul to get my Emergency Passport.

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