27 September 2008

15th September 2008

A long day and tiring, but full of drama and scenery that we passed. We left the campsite at 9.30am and headed towards the motorway (peage) after refuelling, unfortunately our leader led us initially the wrong way so we ended up having to backtrack and lost about 40 minutes overall but we did get back on track fairly quickly.

The wind was quite strong, a disadvantage for motorcyclists as when you are passing lorries or open spaces it can catch you out occasionally. We passed by Salon de Provence on the Peage which on reflection it would have been easier to have used this on the journey down to the campsite but you cannot change the past.

Managing the toll booths on the bike is an artform; SOH would take a ticket and pass through, then me. Then the other side of the booth we would stop and he would hand me his ticket, then at the other end of the toll section I would hand over both tickets and pay for us both; I apologise now to anyone caught behind us in the queue.. as I took a while to co-ordinate getting money out and putting gloves back on.

We passed by Montpellier and the Camargue region, I was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the white horses running alongside the black bulls but it was only a glimpse and I had to buy a postcard to get a decent picture, as the wind was so strong along this part of our route that you were having to hold on fairly strongly to make forward progress.

We were also entertained by some jet planes above enjoying the open space to play battle games with each other until they disapppeared off into the distance.

It gradually grew cooler as we headed northwards, we had been in heat for so long that it felt almost cold to us but we quickly acclimatised. We stopped for fuel, and a break from the wind, a scottish lorry driver en-route to Spain came over and chatted to us having spotted the English plates.

The Millau bridge is as good as I had imagined it would be we rode over it in blue skies and sunshine and it seemed to unfold before us. We were not so lucky as this photo shows the bridge with cloud underneat the structure, we had no clouds at all to impede our views but I am sure we will return one day (we would have considered returning to the bridge the following day, but we felt that it was just too much considering the days ahead and so regretfully have postponed it until another day).

We still had another 45 miles to go to our destination, and we were all getting quite tired and it was with some relief that we began to see signs appearing for Rodez where we would stop for the night. The hotel was warm, welcoming and a restaurent was nearby (even if it was only McDonalds).

Daily Mileage : 321
Mileage so far : 1222

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