Motorcycle Tour France May 2015
A new adventure
The Monaco Grand Prix was haunting me for a long time, so when i was offered a ticket i could not let it go by. Included in the ticket was seats at Quai des Artistes, a trendy restaurant next to the GP track. But to travel that distance only for a few days was a waste so i thought with a BMW Motorcycle Rental this is my chance do do a bit of Europe on a motorcycle tour.
The initial plan was to travel from Lisbon or Barcelona all along the coast to Nice unfortunately it was impossible to rent one way on this route. Only option was to rent a BMW F800GS motorcycle in Nice and make a circle route along the Medditeranian Coast to Barcelona and then back through French countryside. I chose Holiday Bikes in Nice for my BMW Motorcycle Rental.
I left my hometown the morning of the 18th May at 5 and met up with my friend Fanie for a few beers at Quay 4, V&A Waterfront Cape Town. After i checked in, i had another cold one and almost missed my Emirates flight to Dubai as it departed 15 minutes earlier. With plenty of good wine and an old school friend as company, the flight was over too soon. From Dubai to Nice, I had a double seat for myself and slept for a while.
This is it:
Friends picked me up at the airport and took me for lunch at a Thai street cafe in Rue Jean de Medicine. We confirmed the rental with Holiday Bikes in Nice and left for Monaco where we did one lap of the circuit. They were still busy fixing last of the barriers before closing the circuit for the public.
Although we finished many bottles of wine and only went to bed about 2, i did not slept well and was up before 6 to pack my stuff. Hans took me to Holiday Bikes in Nice. I took the BMW F800GS with mixed emotions. The language, riding on the other side of the road and the unknown in general generated some butterflies in the stomach. The first few kilometers from Nice to St Tropez went slower as planned, maybe because of all the topless ladies sunbathing. From Hyeres i headed inland via Toulon to Marseilles. The wind was blowing like hell and at times i was thinking of turning back.
To save money, i chose to stay at Backpacker Lodges. My choice in Marseilles was Hostel Vertigo Vieux Port. After a few beers at the Irish pub Molly Malones, i got myself a Schawarma and went to bed.
Stay on the road!
The wind was still blowing terribly. Accuweather predicted windspeed of more than 80km/hr! I left Marseilles for the medieval city of Carcassonne. The toll roads gave me some fun as i did not quite understand the way some of them work. When you enter the highway, you took the ticket and when you leave it, you submit it to determine the distance. So i left without taking the ticket and at the exit, i was confronted by a voice over the intercom. I didn’t understand him but could later figure he wants to know where i’m from. So i told him Afrique du Sud. He opened the beam.
The French countryside is not much different than the Boland in the Western Cape. Carcassonne is an impressive place and definitely worth a visit. I arrived early afternoon and had lunch after a bottle of wine in a cosy little cafe. After sleeping for an hour, i walked every corner of the old city and found another hidden restaurant where i enjoyed supper. From Carcassonne you can see the snow covered Pyrenees Mountains, one of the places on my bucket list.
The final leg:
It was still dark when i left Carcassonne direction Toulouse. Before reaching Toulouse, i turned back East to Nice. It took me about 5 hours finishing the 600km mostly highways. This route was boring as there was nothing other than forest and winelands to see. I arrived early in Nice, returned the bike and took the train to Monaco where i had the most enjoyable time with old and new friends. The lesson learned on this trip, its not about quantity, but quality. Visit less places and explore those you do properly.