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Author Topic: "Goose & Grizz's Punt-Innie-Wind Tour" - France & Belgium........  (Read 8711 times)

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Offline 1ougat

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Re: Goose & Grizz's trip to France & Belgium..... Our Ride Report!
« Reply #40 on: September 17, 2012, 07:42:18 pm »
Very comprehensive report .... looking forward to next day !!!
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Re: Goose & Grizz's trip to France & Belgium..... Our Ride Report!
« Reply #41 on: September 17, 2012, 07:56:21 pm »
Awsome RR

 :thumleft: :thumleft:
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Offline grizz

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Re: Goose & Grizz's trip to France & Belgium..... Our Ride Report!
« Reply #42 on: September 17, 2012, 08:30:07 pm »
Great report Peter.

I am reading and almost feeling like I was not there.

This was really a great story so far.

I have to be honest and admit that some nights Nicola does come downstairs to sleep as I rattle her right out of bed with my barritone snore.

I am sooooo sorry, but hey....

Lets see what the next day brought...... :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:


I may add a couple of pics in too.
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Offline bungycool

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Re: Goose & Grizz's trip to France & Belgium..... Our Ride Report!
« Reply #43 on: September 17, 2012, 10:29:56 pm »
Lekker boet. Now where's the rest!  :ricky:
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Offline grizz

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Re: Goose & Grizz's trip to France & Belgium..... Our Ride Report!
« Reply #44 on: September 17, 2012, 11:25:53 pm »
One of the things Goose seems to have missed out, unless he is still going to mention it, was that we did stop at a McDonalds to steal their WiFi and grab a coffee.....



Ohhhh.... and on another point, I do love my phone and what it allows me, but I have to say that I had 3 calls from employment agencies while out there and anyone who knows me will tell you that I do usually respond pronto to calls and texts etc.

This was primarily to get an update on the weather and because we filled up my regular sized 1200 tank, which unlike Peters super tanker has a limited fuel range.

What was also very funny was the size of a coffee, when you are used to British SUPER SIZED Everything....





At Fort Mahon this was the local Information point, the 2CV was buzzing around town all the time we were there.




Another view of Dieppe harbour.



One of the German contestants in the Kite competition had her buddy there too...... what a cool little guy he was.



Being in the Normandy region, I had the opportunity to buy a novelty plate for my collection.....







Now where is Goose to update the next day?


Getting some sleep perhaps??
« Last Edit: October 02, 2012, 10:50:52 am by grizz »
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Offline Ian in Great Brak River

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Re: Goose & Grizz's trip to France & Belgium..... Our Ride Report!
« Reply #45 on: September 18, 2012, 02:07:47 am »
Great start guys, looking good.

 8)
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Offline Goose

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Re: Goose & Grizz's trip to France & Belgium..... Our Ride Report!
« Reply #46 on: September 18, 2012, 05:06:29 pm »
DIEPPE, FRANCE – Day 2

Well we were tired – so after a shower we settled in to what should have been a blissful sleep……… Grizz took one of his anti-histamine tablets, which apparently knock him for a six. He offered me one as he now warned me that he does snore a little.
Unfortunately I’d also been suffering from a slight headache and had been on the Myprodol’s due to my pain threshold level…. where normal tabs just do not affect me. So I declined the tab he offered and decided to take my chances by getting into bed first and dozing off.

WELL …………… SLAAN MY DOOD MET ‘N SLAP PIEL!!!!

Where the hell does this dude get his snozz from???????
Liewe hemel I have never in my life, not even sleeping in our bungalow at 7SAI … EVER heard a racket like this oke produces. Without a doubt the SADF could have used him as a secret weapon…….. if they’d stashed him away in a private bunker in the Caprivi – he’d have played hell with SWAPO and the war would have been over far sooner.

In Fact – I now also realised the demise of the Deville Wood was NOT due to artillery shelling, but Grizz’s fore-father’s snoring!!
By 3am I had still not been able to sleep a wink. This dude rasped and cut wood with everything from a chain saw to bench saw and possibly a blunt-blade-angle grinder……… and the worst part is that he fought with himself in the middle of the whole escapade.

I was also now blessed with a full-blown headache from hell which settled into a migraine. So off to the bathroom for water and more drugs – when I happened to realise that I could possibly get some kip in the bathroom or passage. Now this was a R1300/night hotel-room and I did not give a damn where I slept – as long as I got some sleep. So the mattress, sheets and paraphernalia was dragged from the room into the bathroom passage which allowed me to close a fairly soundproof door behind me.

Total darkness and lack of the wood-cutter’s song allowed me to quickly fall into a type of slumber. By 7:30am I was awake again and started getting sorted – first more drugs and then another shower to help alleviate the thumping head, which was to stay with me for the remainder of the trip!

A quick look out of the window showed the beachfront deserted and the ominous clouds present!





Breakfast was included – so now you know that no self-respecting-biker would allow good food to be wasted and not addressed. Both of us tucked into everything from rolls, salami, ham, coffee…. more coffee and cheese (I just love the French)……..  and what better way to show our appreciation for the food…. by making some mother-of-all-sarmies from the available stock for our lunch!!

Mmmmm also found this little titbit I’d shoved in my pocket the previous night…. To finish our brekkie!



The bikes were now packed and ready to leave when the heavens opened up. I mean it really came down and our hearts sank…….. but we’d just have to sit it out and wait.

Chatting up the receptionists proved a huge bonus. Sharing pics of Cape Town surely helped and their friendliness soon became evident when the one girl – Karine – called her “usband” and explained to him she had these weird visitors from SA (by this time we’d decided that Saffers were far more likely to get good treatment than anyone assumed to be from Britain).

In no time at all Thierry arrived. AA short stocky Frenchman beaming the biggest smile ever, and shook our hands as if he’d just been given a million Euro’s! He explained (with his wife translating) that although they’d never been to “Le Cap” he’d heard a lot about it and they would love to visit SA someday.
He then produced two badges for us… he was a “Dieppe Sapeurs-Pompiers” or better known as a fireman! After thanking him and pumping his hand in thanks… he told us that he had another gift…. Ran off and returned with some super fireman’s T-shirts for the two of us. What a bloke and an amazing change in hospitality from the previous evening!



The rain stopped and we were finally ready to leave around 11am…. with a stop planned at the local Tourist Information and a general look-around before hitting the road. The poor weather at least allowed us to take note of the rain and we decided that rather than going south and remaining in the rain – we’d turn northwards towards Belgium and hopefully outrun the bad weather.

I nearly forgot………. In a restaurant window I also spotted old “GROENIE” – die draak!



The nice thing with bikes is that you can literally park anywhere. It was made clear to us on a few occasions that the “Moto’s” had preferential treatment and were not hassled by police at all. So who are we to argue when allowed to park on the main square..



A quick look around…. another stunning pic of the Dieppe Harbour……..



And we decided that it was time to make tracks!

Day 2’s route would take us from DIEPPE via AMIENS to CAMBRAI and whatever we find inbetween!



The road out of Dieppe was rather uneventful …. But we took a few last minute pics from the other side of the harbour area… as a farewell. Notice the weather change…. Blue skies and we were well and truly on our way…….. mmmmmmmm?



After about an hour’s riding…. We spotted a small village and pulled off to take a pic. JUST then the heavens opened from above and the rain deposited it’s mid-morning pleasure on us. Typical!!

The single track road opened up into a small quaint village called FRESNOY-FOLNY (we were now about 22km from Dieppe)  which was a true gem. If we’d not have stopped – we’d have bypassed it and soon realised that if we wanted the WOW-factor we need to stay off the beaten track.



Cows lying next to the owners home…. This is real country-life!







The village must have had a participant at the recent Olympics and their tribute here was inspiring!



What also caught our eye were the fact that all the properties were clean, well maintained and a lot of pride evident.
No litter or rubbish at all – these places were clean and an absolute pleasure not to have to look at the SA national flower where-ever you ride.



As we left the village, we trundled up towards GRANDCOURT .

A few in-motion shots of old Grizz and we were on our way again………..



About 2km outside the town we found the GRANDCOURT WAR CEMETARY. The weirdest thing is that from the downpour we had minutes before…. The skies changed colour to a stunning blue with a few clouds – the storm had moved west towards the coast.





This War Cemetery contains the graves of 29 British soldiers – all from the 51st Highland division who fell during the withdrawal from Bresle as well as 19 British, 8 Canadian, 1 Australian and 1 New Zealand Airmen who died in this area of France.

The oldest was 43 years old and youngest 19…………. 4 of the graves are unidentified ………



We filled in the visitors book that is supplied at all the war cemeteries. Neither Rian or me were in a chatty mood which became somber as we tried to take in the scale of the devastation and loss of life these area’s must have witnessed. Saddened even more was the realisation that men – or should I say boys from all sides were probably spurred on to kill by totally misguided duty – blessed by their priests and ministers who were all supposedly from the same faith.

The road ahead started to look better and better………







So time to load up and twist the throttle again.

There were “La Naturelle” signs everywhere, which naturally Grizz and I described as signs for a Naturist site or camping site. THIS revelation quickly brewed up some crazy ideas and soon Grizz was carefully studying each and every sign we saw for fixing points so he could “add” one to his numberplate collection. Hehe… this was not to be because although the first signs we saw only had cable ties holding them onto fencing or poles….. the Frenchies got clever (or the word spread that Grizz was on the loose) and all subsequent signs were found to be nailed or bolted onto poles.

We were shunting down one road stretch when I heard Rian chirp in the radio that he’s stopping…… he’d seen a sign about a kilometre before and has decided to turn around and go and have a “look” at it!  :mwink:
Bugger…… hehe……….. THIS I had to see so did a turn and took a side-road towards ALLERY.



Here I found old Grizz with a look of disgust on his face….. the sign was badly battered and fixed with 4 moerse bolts………… he did not even take a pic of it!  :imaposer:



AIRAINES was our next stop at the local Renault service station – to fill up with gasoline at the amazing price of only €1.76/liter …..??



We also spotted this “High-speed-traveller” coming down a section of the main street………  needed a high-speed camera to capture the immense speed this oke was doing!





I know many people hate these….. I’d love one for offroad use as there will be no surprises!



Soon we happened upon the main road intersection………….  So we had a choice – back towards Calais or right towards more adventure!






…………. AMIENS here we come…………..

And ……………….. there we went!

No way – this is a major town/city so we used the freeway to bypass AMIENS and carry on up towards a town called ALBERT.

We noticed a sign that read “Musèe Somme” just as we passed Albert and a quick confer and the decision was made to do a bit of a detour. We spotted the cathedral’s shining spire and thought that maybe we could slum-it a bit and have some lunch in the town (we suddenly remembered that we’d stashed away some sarmies from Deippe!)

WOW!!! I love spur-of-the-moment decisions as I’ve always found that following your instinct normally allows you to experience something good.
The road into Albert town centre was spectacular!



The town square/circle in front of the cathedral, also allowed us to have a stunning place to sit and eat our food. By this time my head was doing weird things and the thump-thump of my head seemed to be more at home in the script of Capt’n Sparrow’s movie! More Cataflam-D (skelm’d over from SA on our last trip) mixed with 2 Myprodol’s would have to do the trick while Grizz went for a walk as I relaxed to get the drugs to work.



Signage for the Museum….



After checking out the town, we met a really nice French lady at tourist info, who insisted on walking us around some of the town to find the ever elusive obligatory sticker we needed for our panniers. She also gave us some discount coupons for tickets to the museum, which was our next destination.



………….. he’s here….. he’s there…… he’s everywhere……!





Some info on the museum..



Looking down the stairs towards the bottom entrance to the 13th Century tunnels.


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Offline Goose

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Re: Goose & Grizz's trip to France & Belgium..... Our Ride Report!
« Reply #47 on: September 18, 2012, 05:09:50 pm »
Day 2 - continued..................

The tunnels have been turned into quite a unique museum. Displays lining the walls which adds to the eerie feel of the place. Having been in the Underground Hospital in Jersey ( the only part of the British Isles to have been occupied by Germany during WW2) – I realised this was not for anyone suffering from claustrophobia  and remembered my wife panicking big time, hyperventilating and having to abandon the tour – in a tunnel system 3 times the size of this place.





On the one section there was a small section where a video feed ran with history of the bunker and the surrounding battles. A lot was said about the South Africans and their bravery and stand here…. A lot of respect and mention of them being seen as huge heroes.

A lot of relics are displayed and what became evident was the destruction to the equipment – needless to say this would have been far worse for the human flesh that had no way to stand up against the bombardments, bullets, gas and caltrops that were placed everywhere…







Against the one corner they displayed these two modified bicycles……… as human powered generators. No specific info was available, but we could only wonder whether this was powered by troops or German POW’s – poor sods!



The Battle area of the Somme



Alliances shown during 1914 – note that South West Africa, Cameroon and Togo were allies of Germany…



German offensive and the French counter-offensive – Sept – Nov 1914



A button from a German tunic showed that this soldier believed in the same God that his Allied enemy did…………. Sad!



Poppy-Day is very well documented and remembered every year on the 11th of November….



Remembrance Day (From Wikipedia)
Remembrance Day (also known as Poppy Day or Armistice Day) is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. This day, or alternative dates, are also recognized as special days for war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth countries. Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November to recall the end of hostilities of World War I on that date in 1918. Hostilities formally ended "at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month," in accordance with the Armistice, signed by representatives of Germany and the Entente between 5:12 and 5:20 that morning. ("At the 11th hour" refers to the passing of the 11th hour, or 11:00 a.m.) World War I officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919. [1]
The day was specifically dedicated by King George V on 7 November 1919 as a day of remembrance for members of the armed forces who were killed during World War I. This was possibly done upon the suggestion of Edward George Honey to Wellesley Tudor Pole, who established two ceremonial periods of remembrance based on events in 1917.[2]
The red remembrance poppy has become a familiar emblem of Remembrance Day due to the poem "In Flanders Fields". These poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I, their brilliant red colour an appropriate symbol for the blood spilled in the war.






Private William August Smidt from the 8th Bat. SA Infantry (note the German surname) wrote this poignant scroll message…..



Life in the trenches………….







Three helmets that were excavated from what we assume was the same trench…….. German, British & French!



We ended our tour and found that we totally on the other side of the town. Unbelievable how long the tunnels were – we’d entered the museum right next to the cathedral….. now in the distance!



On the road back… we were also told to have a look at this mural that was painted to commemorate the damage the church had suffered.







………………..  both of us were now tired and needed a bit of a rest….. we still had some mileage to cover. We left Albert and I think both of us now looked at the countryside with new respect and opened eyes for what happened here.

Our thoughts were still fresh with regard to our museum visit when we happened upon another War Grave Cemetery……….. a big one!

We decided we’d stop here, pay our respects and make this the last. Our emotions in turmoil – we were even more taken aback with this place. Not only due to the mass of headstones, but also due to the wall panels on the perimeter. Each one had names… many names…. As many as a 100 each – mostly names for soldiers that they knew were in the battles…. but that were merely obliterated with nothing left to put with a headstone! We also found quite a few South African names…. from Wakkerstroom, Sutherland……. Mere kids!







Most of the rest of the ride was pretty silent……….. it has been a hard day and maybe finally I can have a bit of understanding what my dad went through – although the theatre was different – North Africa must have been something else! The rest of the road however was constantly broken up with War Cemeteries all around us…. large ones, small ones…. and one that was just a large mound where a massive bomb caused a trench to collapse leaving a whole lot of chaps buried. The mound had become their tomb with just a few small flags on top to designate the area.

Soon enough we came to a another small village approximately 2km before we reached Cambrai, called LE PETIT FONTAINE………….and there were boards showing a F1 Hotel…..







Pretty houses indeed!





We found a “Nouveau Restaurant” – brand new – first opening night…. Shame I suppose that the two bikers were not their best choice of clientele – but the owner welcomed us with open arms and promised the very best food.

He was NOT joking…………  bliksem it was nice (maybe we were just hungry) and we felt very civilised… if that was at all possible?





2-Course meal with drinks and a tip came to €30.00 – a decent enough amount for top-class food!



After the meal – rain started and we scarpered back to our hotel. I was still under the influence of this unbelievable headache – surely a left-over from the snoring – so we decided that two separate rooms would be in order…. I was ok sharing a room – but sharing that double bed was not going to happen!

A fairly good night…………  and we were going to have a nice early start – destination was now decided as Gent in Belgium!

I’m going to jump the gun as far as the day-report .. simply as this little story is too good to leave until the next instalment!
Breakfast the next morning and we were greeted by Prudence. What a gorgeous girl, friendly as anything and with little English, our communication seemed to be limited by smiles, pointing and some gibberish that one could call communication I suppose!

Well Prudence is a very observant young lady and when she noticed the back of our helmets and saw the Wilddog Paws………. She tried to explain that she too supported and loved the Wilddogs……. Before we could say boo-or-baa …. She whipped her top open and proudly displayed one side of her chest to us………….. WOW!!!! We love the French!!!!

Now neither Grizz and I could stare too much without being labelled as being old perving farts……..  but she was cute and we would want a pic for our report… so I suddenly realised that no self-respecting lady could resist cuddling a Wilddog…   hehe………. ran to the bike and whipped out our Wilddog toy…………  ooooh’s and aaaaah’s later and she posed making special effort to show off the tattoo  :thumleft:


Prudence & friend!




So…. Now I’ll say cool for this part…………… Day 3 to follow!






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Re: Goose & Grizz's trip to France & Belgium..... Our Ride Report!
« Reply #48 on: September 18, 2012, 07:18:14 pm »
Grizz, you know that feeling.... I am in the garage packing, not for Normandy but for Lesotho and Maluti's terrible nochal :peepwall:
When is this "Old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
 

Offline grizz

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Re: Goose & Grizz's trip to France & Belgium..... Our Ride Report!
« Reply #49 on: September 18, 2012, 08:18:51 pm »
Great write up Goose.

I found myself laughing like an outsider many times.


Sorry about the fighting in the night.....with myself that is.

Couple of pics from my stash.

Where I found Goose the next morning....




Here is Goose with one of those signs I sooooo badly wanted for the garage..... this one was only tied on with cable ties.





Three guesses as to what was going on here.



Happily relieved.,,,,,,






Back on the road.




Some more pics from Alberts tunnels.




Pipes hold a special interest for me as Nicola is an avid or is that rabid collector of old and new smoking pipes.







Many of these cabinets were just too long for taking  a single pic, so I tried to make the most of it.















Helmets from all sides.

Nicola who knows a bit about war equipment reckons its worth a lot of money.










Trench art, another thing not to start collectiong.

Amazing what people can make with minimal tools and maximum time.










And some stuff the museum has for sale.

Prices were very decent.




Cowboys and Wild dogs.



The wall art Goose mentioned earlier.








When Goose sat down in the town centre  for a rest, I went for a walk and to find him some water.....

Look what else I found  :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:

Leffe Blond Beer.

4 Euros for 6 bottles.... gotta be a bargain.




The moment of truth.







Gone, but never forgotten






Parked up for the night at the F1 hotel.






So there you have it, more photos.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2012, 10:31:23 pm by grizz »
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Offline tanneman

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Re: Goose & Grizz's trip to France & Belgium..... Our Ride Report - Day 2
« Reply #50 on: September 19, 2012, 01:47:55 am »
Dammit, very good report and a very scenic route. The Somme area is often thought of as a flat landscape by people who has not been there but its rolling hills make for fantastic views. No wonder so many died there in the summer of 1916 because the Germans occupied the high ground and was well dug in. That and the fact that the Maxim machine gun (named after its inventor, an American born but British inventor, Sir HS Maxim, the irony) had a effective range of 4500yards. It didn't help that the battle plan was flawed by having men march shoulder to shoulder into the deadly hail of bullets. You guys weren't very far from Delville wood, just on the outskirts of Longeuval. One of the most peaceful places you'll ever visit. There is a graveyard there but I didn't spot a single South African name. That might be due to the fact that the 1st Infantry experienced heavy bombardment for the 6 days of occupation and most of the bodies were blown to pieces with nothing to recover.

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Offline Goose

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Re: Goose & Grizz's trip to France & Belgium..... Our Ride Report - Day 2
« Reply #51 on: September 19, 2012, 08:33:41 am »
Tanneman - yep pic attached of the Maxim.... a devastating piece of machinery indeed!

I have already been looking at various destinations for another venture across the Channel - but must admit that we have a nice route-plan for a trip in the Alps next.

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Re: Goose & Grizz's trip to France & Belgium..... Our Ride Report - Day 2
« Reply #52 on: September 19, 2012, 08:56:10 am »
definate sub.
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Offline 1ougat

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Re: Goose & Grizz's trip to France & Belgium..... Our Ride Report - Day 2
« Reply #53 on: September 19, 2012, 09:46:58 am »
Goose

Cant you oranise a loan bike for me to come with?

please pretty please!!! :biggrin:
Make mine a Boxer with a shaft!!!!
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Offline Goose

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Re: Goose & Grizz's trip to France & Belgium..... Our Ride Report - Day 2
« Reply #54 on: September 19, 2012, 10:36:18 am »
Goose

Cant you oranise a loan bike for me to come with?

please pretty please!!! :biggrin:

Mate - there's a few chaps here that would probably lend some of you guys a bike.... the BIG problem is the Insurance! You cannot believe how anal these okes are.
In SA - when Iwan & I bought our new GSA's - we were each added to each-other's policies as additional riders... no problem at all!

Over here it's another animal. Firstly - the Insurance companies will not give you insurance unless you have a full UK license! The law here says you HAVE to have insurance. They will fine and pull you off the road far quicker if you don't have insurance than having no license!

I suppose there are ways to do it..........  but neither Grizz nor I have been able to identify how to do it.....?  :eek7:

We would both LOVE to organise a trip to Europe.. would be really nice if a few of you came over ... in fact if you really, really want to drool  :drif: :drif: :drif: BIG time - have a looksee at this ALPS RR done by a chap here in the UK. He and his mates did it on 125cc Suzuki Van Van's.
Grizz and I have been in contact with them and we now have the full Mapsource routing for these roads through the Alps - on dirt!!   :thumleft: :thumleft:

enjoy.............   :mwink:  http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=722141  and have a think about it...........  Emirates do some really great deals to the UK .... you need minimal kit, I'm sure that we could organise a few bikes - each bloke will just be responsible for their own costs etc.

We also have Bungycool, Maverick and Tanneman over here..... could organise a Wilddogs-in-Europe trip   :mwink: :mwink:

"Life is a Waste of Time..... Time is a Waste of Life........ Get Wasted all the Time and have the Time of your Life"  ‹(•¿•)›
 

Offline J-dog

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Re: Goose & Grizz's trip to France & Belgium..... Our Ride Report - Day 2
« Reply #55 on: September 19, 2012, 11:03:04 am »
subscribed!!
 

Online Takashi

Re: Goose & Grizz's trip to France & Belgium..... Our Ride Report - Day 2
« Reply #56 on: September 19, 2012, 02:39:49 pm »
Riding Europe is very high on my to do list.

Great Report guys
 

Offline Goose

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Re: Goose & Grizz's trip to France & Belgium..... Our Ride Report - Day 2
« Reply #57 on: September 19, 2012, 03:53:24 pm »
GENT, BELGIUM - Day 3

The previous night there was a substantial amount of rain…. so waking early morning to find everything “sop-nat” was not a revelation. It seems that we were going to be dogged by clouds and rain so we just accepted our fate and decided to make the best of it!

There was however ONE single positive ending to the night – I DID NOT HEAR A SINGLE vibration or a hint of a woodcutter’s snore…. Fantastic!



As old Grizz posted the pics of us getting packed – I’ll skip that one for now.

Time to leave……….



Loved this sign near the F1 Hotel – Basically you write your vehicle registration on it. This is then attached to your fence/gate or property and your car will be ok to park there. It seems that if the Reg numbers do not match – Mr Plod may fine the offending vehicle. I’d love this type of system outside our home in Cape Town….. always fighting for parking!



Our route for the day was pretty basic – from CAMBRAI, FRANCE we’d turn towards BELGIUM where we wanted to route to GENT via a small town called ELLZELLES (I have some old friends that live there) and RONSE.



Just on the other side of Cambrai, we pulled in for some scenic pics…… the area and towns sure keep your head occupied with everything from cars, trucks, houses and government buildings that have so much character……… makes it a pleasure to ride here!







Just before crossing the Belgium border…. For a short stop to check the GPS and to take a few snaps.





This Cathedral was also spectacular………..



The road behind Grizz was easily 4 or 5km’s long and this road was more like a lane that lead up to the church.
We initially thought it must have been some palace – simply as it was so huge and intimidating!



Aaaahhh ………… we’re getting there!



………………. It just looks wrong to ride on the right-hand side….!



Then through some seriously dense forest area….. bliksem it was dark and numerous attempts at taking nice pics just would not work. Too dark for normal pic – and the flash was not playing the game either!





Finally arrived in ELLEZELLES and decided to stop by a famous Windmill in the area.
Fantastic with some stunning wild flowers in bloom.



Period cottage………………



……………… and some really funky road & place names!







Love this one…………. “The Mill Wild Cat



Then whilst taking the pics… old Grizz suddenly got off his bike……………. He’d spotted something/someone…. maybe he was just lonely or been on the road too long…or just missing some LUVING  :mwink:





Culprits………….  They could not wait to get to Grizz……….. hehe… wonder what aftershave he had on?





………….. it tickles…………….  Hehe



Arrived in RONSE…………



Yeah the spelling’s not quite right – but we were constantly reminded of our friend in PE……..  :thumleft:



Once we reached the town square – I needed to get to a drinking hole to take more tabs. This head of mine was really nailing me and was now seriously uncomfortable. We noticed this road – but decided that it was not that bad………….



……………… we did however find a stockist of some of the best antibiotics and headache cures around – and here old Grizz was contemplating which ones he’d be sampling!



…………… we were really decent with both of us just having coffee’s and a chocolate…… the inside of the pub/brasserie had spectacular tiled-murals on display…



Grizz managed to bum a labelled coffee cup for Nicola………



And as soon as he’d explained to the manager that he collected numberplates – the dude left and came back about 10mins later with some old Belgian numberplates as well as an old Motorcycle/Scooter numberplate.. fantastic!



……………..before hitting the road again, we managed to stop at the local tourism office to get some info on the area.



……… and then klapped it to get to Gent!





The building we parked next to turned out to be a very old guest house from the 12th Century… now used as an Art gallery!

Unbelievable to see the work on the buildings and the cathedrals………….suddenly asking ourselves… erm… what was being created in South Africa during this time period again?







What we really loved about Gent was the bicycles. LOTS of them – some just normal, others adapted with what looked like a wheelbarrow in front. Double & even triple bikes. Best of all were these ones we saw that had an adaptor on the back. Kids would lock their front wheel into the back of the parent’s bike – and off they went!

Fantastic!!



…. I have to apologise here as this place just lends itself to pictures being taken.
I’ll just throw a few into the thread without explanations … I’m sure they will speak for themselves!













How’s THIS for a street name!!!

LOVE IT!!





So evening was drawing to a close and we decided to start looking for a place to eat. After traipsing through many streets and markets – we ended up in
“VrydagMarkPlein” where we decided to try out the cuisine at “Le Chat Noir” – the Black Cat!



View from our table!



So the menu was presented by a chap called Köksal – a Turk that owns and runs the restaurant. His wife’s the chef/cook and basically Grizz asked him to treat us like his family – in other words – recommend what he thought was good and that we’d enjoy.

So Grizz selected a Spaghetti Bolognaise



………. And I elected to partake of the Croque-monsieur with a bolognaise sauce over it



Man – oh man………… If I could have licked my plate I would have! It was divine and I used the last bit of my bread to wipe every single drop of sauce from the plate.
Fantastique……….. no other way to describe it.



Köksal was also an amazing host and laid on the coffee and chocolates as well as a few Belgian “noses” to eat. His hospitality was honestly the best we’d experienced… so we left with full bellies and an even better mood (with one of his cards for future use!)







On the way back to our digs – we experienced one of the nicest sunsets as well……….. considering this was our last night – what better could we have asked for?







It was then back for a sleep……….. I seriously needed to whack this head and was going to line up a selection of tabs to sort out the head!

Last day and trip back home ………… to follow 
"Life is a Waste of Time..... Time is a Waste of Life........ Get Wasted all the Time and have the Time of your Life"  ‹(•¿•)›
 

Offline grizz

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Re: Goose & Grizz's trip to France & Belgium..... Our Ride Report - Day 3 added!
« Reply #58 on: September 19, 2012, 05:17:01 pm »
Once again, a great write up Peter.... feels like I was not there.

Would love to do another ride next week.


I will add some of the pics I took as well.

If they shock etc.... I do apologise but keepin mind, everything is in the open and in the public domain..... some of it is just amusing due to the language differences and similarities.


Some of the Belgian number plates Lode got for me in Ronse.

The little one is actually a Bicycle license from 1979.

Interestingly, these days you will see 50cc scooters around both Belgium and France with no plates on at all.

The law is strictly enforced, so if a 16 year old screws up and is a nuisance on the road, the scooter is taken from them and crushed.... no Ifs and Buts.




Did I mention that the day before I had managed to cadge a French plate from a service station manager too ?

Because the French are strict about plates and they are pretty much not just there to be had, it is one of my favourite plates ever.

Now I just need to get a plate from Iran/Iraq and also Israel....




When we were at Chat Noir, Köksal also brought me some laminated posters of the beers I drank and then the next day fetched me a 2x1.5meter Stella Artois flag for my garage as he had seen a few pics of the inside of my garage..... this was all unprompted, which just shows how hospitable he was.





Some other interesting sights from Gent.



What seems like a derelict shop....






ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS WHEELBARROW.



And check out these spades they still use.





Entry to a club....







How many beers do you need ??





That sunset.....



As Goose mentioned, in Europe it seems motorbikes get preference, and we were told to park wherever we wanted.





We actually parked the bikes right under our rooms windows,

NEVER EVER UNDERESTIMATE THE STUPIDITY OF OTHERS....

I LIVE IN ROCHESTER, KENT, UK.
 

Offline grizz

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Re: Goose & Grizz's trip to France & Belgium..... Our Ride Report - Day 3 added!
« Reply #59 on: September 19, 2012, 05:38:19 pm »
Forgot a few pics....


This huge American style Toyota Tundra truck..... WANT WANT WANT !!!!!








Loved the proximity of these signs.





Calling Jupiter




Just to give some perspective of size to that mural.






Also in the same place.



The coffee was so good, we ended up having coffee twice.





NEVER EVER UNDERESTIMATE THE STUPIDITY OF OTHERS....

I LIVE IN ROCHESTER, KENT, UK.