Well dear Blogonaughts, Harls and I are back in Brittany and enjoying the last night of our Route des Grande Alpes odyssey.
This will be our last “On Tour” blog post report, once I get home I’ll start writing up the trip in more detail and publishing it; I hope you stick around to see that, as amongst other things I’ve got some fantastic photographs to share.
Last night’s stopover in Bourgueil was extremely comfortable. Every few nights I like to slightly up the standard and enjoy a bit of extra comfort, I’m getting on a bit you know and need all the help I can get!
The region of the Loire Valley around the pretty town of Bourgueil (say “Bur-gui”) is noted for it’s splendid red wines. In fact they are well up there on Mrs Dookes’ favourites as they are not too heavy and retain a degree of fresh fruit. Only a few miles down the road is Touraine, where white wines rule the roost, again another on Mrs D’s likes list.
The difference in wine types over such a small distance is all a matter of what the French call “Terroir,” an almost indefinable difference in the type of soil, aspect and geography that suits one grape type better than others and can even make wine from the same grape taste very different. I once tried to explain this to a friend who was convinced that a €1 bottle of wine tasted as good as a €20 bottle…I gave up in the end!
Trust me though, it does make a difference!
Anyway, back to the biking…
We had a fairly relaxed 220 mile trundle today; the new lower French speed limit of 80 kph was actually quite relaxing on the affected roads that we used and didn’t seem to add much to our journey time either. Thankfully there was some cloud cover and as a result temperatures were a bit lower, it was still hot on occasions though.
It’s probably a good job that this blog doesn’t come with smell, as after two weeks of the crazy temperatures that we’ve had my riding gear is…disgusting! I’m going to hang it on a line and give it all a good hose off with high pressure water when I get home! That’s if I am let in the house, I have a vision of Mrs D refusing to let me in until I change clothes out in my workshop; ah, the trials of the long distance motorcyclist!
Talking of long distance, today we tipped our hat to 2700 miles total for the trip so far, or 4345 kilometres if you prefer. Sure if you divide by the number of days it’s not crazy per day, but some of those days were hard ones, very hard.
Tonight I’m just sitting quietly enjoying a splendid meal and pondering on where we have been, what we have seen, the people who we met and the roads that we have travelled.
It really has been quite a journey.
Was La Route des Grande Alpes a monkey on my back before we set out?
Well, maybe, but not in a sinister way like the “Beast of Stelvio” was. Click here for that story!
Once we rode onto the epic route in Thonon les Bains it just seemed to give and give; I cant wait to tell you more about it.
For now, with a splendid meal in front of me and a glass of very nice claret to hand I’m happy, very happy indeed. Job done and done with my friend Harls, who else!
Tomorrow we go home and what could be happier than that?
“Roll, roll me away,
I’m gonna roll me away tonight
Gotta keep rollin, gotta keep ridin’,
keep searchin’ till I find what’s right”
Catch you soon.