Love on a mountain top…

Time to head home.  After yet another fantastic breakfast, I go out to pack up the bike.

Eeew, it seems I have been left a wee prezzie…

IMG_2865  Merci beaucoup…

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I have parked right under this sign…

Obviously put there to be ignored.

I am very careful where I step whilst I pack up the bike.

All done and time to get back on the road.  So, if you are ever looking for a place to stay in Sainte Maxime I can throughly recommend Le Chandon Bleu, 5 star as far as I am concerned.

I have decided not to take any chances and have pre-booked my hotels for tonight and tomorrow night; tonight will be in Bourgoin-Jallieu, a cheapo hotel called Mister Bed, and then tomorrow in Saint Dizier staying in an F1 motel.  This will be a three-day trip of approx 250-260 miles per day to Calais arriving in plenty of time to catch my train at 19.50 on Tuesday evening.  For today, the most direct route is via Grenoble so up into the mountains I go… yippee!

The weather is not too brilliant to start with but it quickly picks up into brilliant sunshine.
I love riding in the mountains, but trying to chuck a low slung, heavy bike around hairpins is an art and not one I have perfected… I am envious of the Swiss and French Harley riders who sweep past me on the way up, majestically negotiating the perilous bends like they were on formula 1 sports bikes.

 

I do manage to make some very satisfying twists and turns but more often than not I crawl round with the bike barely making it up the slope… I did film some of it and have tried to find the best bit so I can show off.

 

The other downside is, with the bike being so low, I have managed to scrape the floorboards and the primary chain case, which some would see as a badge of honour.
The scenery is breathtaking and the roads superb, I just love this type of riding although it is quite slow.

 

 

Around lunchtime I come upon a town called Sisteron… well with a name like that I just have to stop and get something to eat

and very nice it is too…

I must stop and get this piccie….

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it’s not often you see a blue cow now is it.

I am obviously in the mountains where it gets very cold in the winter.  I spot signs indicating that Rudolfette the red scarved reindeer lives here…

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I soon pass by Grenoble but don’t pull into the town having decided to join the faster roads down into Bourgoin.  I make good time overall and arrive at the hotel at 4.30pm.  It is clouding over quite quickly now so am delighted to be able to park the bike right outside the hotel under shelter to keep it out of any rain.

Mister Bed…. ummm maybe that should be missed the bed!  The room is ok but there is only one bedside lamp working so the room is dark and gloomy 😞.  The shower is pretty unappealing too, but at €37 for the night, beggars can’t be choosers I guess.  I read the info and it states there is a microwave for guests to use so I pop out to a shop I saw earlier.  It’s a Tabac so no food there, but I notice there is a Vietnamese restaurant and a Burger cafe next to the hotel; they are not open yet, but I will come and have a look later… I could deffo go for a nice bowl of noodles, yum.

At about 7pm I pop out for dinner…. awww the Vietnamese is shut, but the burger place is open so I order a burger and chips.  While it’s cooking I go up to the bike and give it a quick wipe over, then back to get my food.  The burger is lukewarm so I think to heat it up in the microwave.  I am looking in the breakfast area when a man comes up and starts speaking in French, of course, so I explain non parlez vous francais parlez vous….

‘yes, yes English’ he says and seems quite irritated,

‘yes I’m looking for the microwave’,

‘Non, no microwave, is only for daytime I can’t have people up and down all night using it, I don’t have time.. how can I get my cleaning done?’

‘But, the info in the room says..’

‘Yes, yes but it is wrong, I can’t have this all night, I’m too busy’

‘Well then it shouldn’t say that in the room information should it’

‘Yes that’s right… (he then changes tack and says in a friendlier tone), but you can use it ok’

‘Oh, ok merci beaucoup’ to which he wanders off and goes behind the reception desk where he gets out his phone and is talking to someone, obviously he has time for that.

Back to the room and I spend time catching up my blog in the gloom…. of course there is wifi, but it is excruciatingly slow and indeed doesn’t really want to connect to the internet.  Eventually I decide to go a down stairs and try it there. Mr Grumpy is still on the phone, ha! The internet is just as bad here, not worth getting into it with him methinks so I give up the ghost and go to bed.

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