By Brest in Brittany I realised nearly 10,000 km of mainly mountain riding had taken its toll on the front tyre
The left hand side had totally worn out.
But it was holiday time in France.
The Moto Guzzi dealer was shut for holidays.
The big parts store had a tyre but the mechanic was on holidays.
I was searching my phone to find another store
Then divine intervention
This young lady comes out of the store and says “follow me”
Who was I to argue as she climbed onto he Kwaka 1000.
She let me around the back streets of Brest to the Kawasaki dealer
The only shop that was open over the holiday period.
It was kisses all around. A bit of quick French I didn’t understand
Then I was told to take the bike into the workshop and choose the tyre I wanted.
Had to have the pirelli angel to match the divine intervention
Piece of fence chain
Nicely sharpened by being dragged behind a wedding car
Then fallen off on the road to await its victim
The mighty breva II
The sharpened chain slashed the tyre and flew up breaking the rear lens and numberplate cover
The plug that couldn’t last the distance
Need for rescue
Wow now wasn’t that wise to buy European recovery insurance.
Pete and Vikki, fellow guzzista who run a BnB in France
Pete also runs
Reboot Guzzi Spares
So wonderful Carole Nash agreed to put me in a hotel for the night and transport myself and the mighty breva the 200 odd km to Pete and Vikki’s
Which was my intended destination.
Pete had a near new tyre off a breva in his shed and a lens in stock.
So the next day the might breva was ready to roll. But I was not ready to leave Vikki’s fabulous food and the fantastic company quite yet.
Pete and Vikki’s BnB
One of the reasons you own a Guzzi was encapsulated in Pete’s words when I thanked him for all his help.
“well we are all part of the Guzzi family.”
As it turned out another guzzista from Melbourne arrived that night. 15,000 from home in the middle of France I was drinking red wine with a bloke that lives just the other end of Melbourne from me.
Its a small but special guzzi world.
But not a drop to drink
So it was set camp
And taste the fine wine and unique blend of French and Bavarian cuisine.
In the wonderful medieval charm of Riquewihr, in the Alsace
La Grappe D’or
The Rhone Alps
Sweltering in the heat of the Midi Pyrenees
The monoliths around Grenoble loom large on the skyscape
Past mini gorges
Memories of events never to be repeated
Over high passes
Toward the the highest peak in wester Europe.
The road winds on
To Mount Blanc
Mont Blanc from Chamonix
I must admit to being a bit disappointed by Mont Blanc.
Surrounded by resorts and the massive road infrastructure for the tunnel.
Little did I know at the time, over the border in Italy there was paradise.
A hot run across the Spanish border
Roads lined this plane trees in the Midi Pyrenees
And on to Carcassonne
Relic of the Cathar Dream
Survivor of the
Bastion of the past
Standing on the hill
Survivor of centuries
Weathered wall the keepers of secrets through the ages
The ancient citadel on the hill
The citadel dressed up for the Tour d’ France
It well hold its secrets to the sun sets over it for the last time.
Following the race route
Up and down
Round and round
Towns and villages
Snakes the Tour d’ France course
Through little villages where the French traditional food culture thrives
In the village of Arreau Christmas tree cake
Rich almond batter
Still baked in the traditional way
Over the open fire
Pretty little villages
Full of life and joie de vivre
Pic du Midi
Climb the Col du Tourmalet
In the high Pyrenees
A hard climb for the mighty breva
Let alone a Tour d’ France rider
And above it all the Pic du Midi.
Obsevatory in the sky.
Up where the eagles fly
A birds eye view from the sky
France wins and Cauterets celebrates
In a quite valley
In the Pyrenees
A few sort miles from Spain
Over the Pont d’ Espagna
Bringing joy and beauty
On the bridge to Spain
In the Haute Pyrenees
And in bars in Cauterets the faithful watch the world cup being won
And the Gendarme too sounded the victory siren
In Cauterets when France won the World Cup.
Basking by the Atlantic
Bay of Biscay
Big waves rolling in
But still a fishers town at heart
At sunset with the view over Milady Beach
Biarritz can be tuely seductive
Dordogne Riders had lured me to the Vezere Valley
St Leon sur Vezere a beautiful Village in the Dordogne Region of Southern France
St Leon sur Vezere
Camped on the edge of the river
St Leon sur Vezere Municipal Camp site
Amongst significant historic and prehistoric sites
Grote de Rouffignac
Maison Forte de Reignac
Maison Forte de Reignac
and Chateau de Losse
The Mighty Breva 11
But southern France is also about the beautiful villages
The continuation of the wonderful biker culture that exists in Europe. *
With the Dordogne bikers and friends
And of course in France food
A delicious lunch
* I was amazed that after 3 months covering 16,000km in 9 countries I was not pulled over once by the police. Three weeks back in Australia I was pulled over for a licence check while not breaking any law. It was motorcycle awareness (HARASSMENT) month.