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Author Topic: "Goose & Grizz's Punt-Innie-Wind Tour" - France & Belgium........  (Read 8712 times)

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Offline grizz

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Re: Goose & Grizz's trip to France & Belgium..... Our Ride Report - Day 3 added!
« Reply #60 on: September 19, 2012, 06:02:26 pm »
Last few....


Again, take in context.





Middle of the day, and like Goose said... the cameras were not playing along.





Oook maar lekker bang ne ??








Looking forward to the next installmant Goose......

 :ricky: :ricky: :ricky: :ricky: :ricky: :ricky: :ricky: :ricky: :ricky: :ricky: :ricky: :ricky: :ricky: :ricky: :ricky: :ricky: :ricky: :ricky: :ricky: :ricky: :ricky: :ricky: :ricky: :ricky: :ricky:
NEVER EVER UNDERESTIMATE THE STUPIDITY OF OTHERS....

I LIVE IN ROCHESTER, KENT, UK.
 

Offline Goose

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Re: Goose & Grizz's trip to France & Belgium..... Our Ride Report - Day 3 added!
« Reply #61 on: September 19, 2012, 09:24:06 pm »
Gent, Belgium Day 4 - leaving back to the UK

Still in Gent but we need to get to Calais by 16:00 for the ferry crossing. I for the first time enjoyed a fantastic sleep and no wonder with the drugs in my system.
There was still a faint hint of some throbbing… but nothing like it had been.

Grizz and I decided to go back into the centre of Gent to buy some chocolates and go back to the “Chat Noir” for a breakfast.
There were one or two places we wanted to take pics of and we were also keen to go and check out the market that they have in the square!

Bikes parked in front of the restaurant!



Unfortunately it was too early – and no shops were open – so we merely walked around for a few hours.









Well to say that I’ve been to a few markets before would be an understatement. To say that this market in Gent was the best ever – would also be an understatement……………………….

IT WAS MIND-BLOWING!!

Food, clothing, sweets – you name it………… and affordable quality like I have never seen before……… WOW………. I need another day here !

They have these huge trucks – pull up and the sides convert totally to offer any sort of shop-front that you want.

















I suppose it was just as well that we were here on bikes. My Credit card would probably have short-circuited from over-use.
The food stuff was just too nice for words and rather than remain tempted, we decided to take to the road!

(No we’d not forgotten the chocolates……….. in fact we waited patiently for the shop to open, only to find that the Coffee Beans we’d specifically wanted – were sold out! Bugger!!)

All too soon we knew we’d have to start the final leg of the journey.
Mainly as we’d have no clue as to road conditions and we’d need to get to Calais at least an hour before the ferry leaves.
We are also very strict with ourselves and have constantly kept to the speed limits – not being able to afford any altercation with the law.

Final Route – GENT to CALAIS via DUNKIRK – approximately 160km



One thing’s for certain…… people here know how to drive!

The 3 lanes available on the freeways are used as they should be. Drivers stay in the far right-hand lane. To overtake you move to the centre lane, do the overtaking manoeuvre and move back to the right lane again. Trucks are NOT allowed in the Fast lane on the extreme left… they are limited to the middle lane, which means that faster vehicles and bikes can have a free run in  clear lane to overtake and position yourself without the fear that some horrible twat will hog the fast lane………….

This is something of a pet-hate for me in SA!

The speed limit was mainly 110km/hr with some stretches allowing 120 & 130km/hr. We had total free-running all the way to Calais and apart from very strong cross winds on the stretch from Dunkirk – the road was exceptionally good and pleasant to ride.

We arrived in Calais with time to spare and decided to visit the Cité Europe to do some last minute shopping for the girls.

Just here I nearly lost my mind………… I’m a fanatical cheese lover and could not believe the selection of meat, cheese, chocolates and yummy stuff on offer. I ended up buying €66.00 worth of food and somehow crammed it into the panniers with the spill-over left in a bag and tied onto the back seat.
Grizz and I then bought a fresh sliced French bread with some Emmental cheese, French Salami & Dutch Salami……. We ended up sitting in the middle of the massive mall like two total Bergies – placed an open newspaper on a bench and promptly proceeded in making the biggest and most scrumptious sandwiches you have ever seen.

MY BEK WATER NOU AL WEER!!!

Needless to say – we got all kind of looks but Grizz is another vark………… he just does not give a hooligans about what they thought of us!  Jinne those were so nice that after we finished the bread…. I went back and bought another one to take home!

Grizz has some pics here – I was far too busy munching to worry about a silly camera!

Arrived in the P&O Ferry terminal….. only to strike a bonus. They booked us onto the earlier ferry with no additional cost. Bargain as it would give us decent time to get home and sort out the kit.

Onboard………….. we also met some Germans – all on BMW’s (2 guys & 3 ladies I seem to remember) who were going to tour the UK……… obviously we extended an invitation to them and made it clear that if they loved riding…. And wanted to really enjoy their bikes… that a trip & tour of “Sud Afrika” was a must! They seemed keen – hopefully we planted a seed?



Leaving Calais……………..





Arriving in Dover………



The all too famous White Cliffs of Dover!



We had an hour’s ride back to Rochester where Grizz lives (actually St. Mary’s Hoo) and managed to open the throttle slightly. This time riding on the left-side of the road came easy….. but it’s still a mindset thing!

Arrived back – sorted out the kit and was treated with a nice cup of coffee before forcing myself to get on the bike and do the last 40 miles back home to Petts Wood



Our first ride to Europe turned out far better than I’d hoped it would.

It’s definitely a different type of riding to what is found in SA or even the UK. People in France & Belgium are extremely bike-friendly and it’s a safe and pleasurable place to explore on two wheels.

The history in Europe is something else……….. here they truly value, maintain and remember – not try and destroy everything that “they” did not create. An eye-opener for a Saffer………. also sad as so much of SA’s history is intertwined with Europe……… but not appreciated enough.

Grizz old mate – a huge big thank you for coming with.  :thumleft: :thumleft:
It was fun and a moerse learning curve.

Let’s plan the next one!!  :thumleft:

Thanks to all you long-suffering readers for my ranting’s with this lengthy post!




"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 - Finalised!
« Reply #62 on: September 19, 2012, 11:45:49 pm »
All in, this was a great trip.

Part of it was the comms system we had, and part of it is that we both like to stop and take pics and immerse ourselves in the local culture.

Here are the last few random photos.






Amazing market stalls..... they do remind me of transformers, the movie.









A lot of the architecture is both old and very detailed.






Just loved this restaurants logo.





What a name for a beer.

Some of the beers on offer had up to 16% alcohol content.





One of the nicest things I managed to get on the trip was on Friday morning at the Friday market.....

This pipe, which is quite detailed and of which I saw similar ones for between 45 and 65 Euros in some shops, onlu cost me 5 Euros at the open air market, for Nicola's collection.



Not sure if I had mentioned the small Cloisonne crucifix I managed to buy for one of Nicolas other collections..... She has a Rosary with crosses from all the cathedrals she visits.... for tourist motivation, rather than religious motivation.



Which leads me to the last few piics.

I loved this shop window decoration.... typically lost in translation.




Last two pics taken as we meandered through the open air market.

In most of Europe Nazi items, like photos, swaztikas etc are banned.....


Here was a guy selling everything from photos to ceremonial daggers and old documents on a street corner.









Back onto an earlier ferry, which was priced quite a lot higher than our 16.20 ferry.

In spite of that we had a 20 minute wai for a berth when we got to Dover.....

Still, it allowed us an easy ride home and time for a coffee and a chat before Peter hit the last bit of the road.


Waiting......




A great week, and some great sights, meals, and much cameraderie.

Thanks Goose.

Looking forward to one of those trips we are planning next.


Alps, Isle of Mann, Ireland, Spain....???

Where will it be, and who will be joining us ??


Answers on the back of a postcard.


Thanks for reading.
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 - Finalised!
« Reply #63 on: September 20, 2012, 12:10:17 am »
WHHHOOOOOPPPSS...................


I thought I had some pics on my mobile phone as well.

Maverick had previously told us about the "Red French sausages" so when we went to Cite Europe, I had to find him some, which led to Goose and I also buying some to bring home..... we did empty all the stock they had.




And possibly the funniest pic of the trip to me, because I had to force Goose to sit down and have a picnic in a shopping centre.....


He absolutely refused to make his name GAT in a shopping centre, but I love that sort of controversy, and had my speech ready for any bloody jobsworth or security who may have wanted to move us on.









Now it is bed time.
NEVER EVER UNDERESTIMATE THE STUPIDITY OF OTHERS....

I LIVE IN ROCHESTER, KENT, UK.
 

Offline SandMan

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Re: Goose & Grizz's trip to France & Belgium..... Our Ride Report - Finalised!
« Reply #64 on: September 20, 2012, 03:36:06 pm »
Thanks for taking us along on the ride!!!

That was a great read from start to finish........
 

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Re: Goose & Grizz's trip to France & Belgium..... Our Ride Report - Finalised!
« Reply #65 on: September 20, 2012, 04:00:49 pm »
very lekker,  thanks guys.
 

Offline Malibu

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Re: Goose & Grizz's trip to France & Belgium..... Our Ride Report - Finalised!
« Reply #66 on: September 20, 2012, 04:31:05 pm »
 :thumleft:

VERY VERY LEKKER! 
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Offline MrBig

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Re: Goose & Grizz's trip to France & Belgium..... Our Ride Report - Finalised!
« Reply #67 on: September 20, 2012, 05:13:22 pm »
LOVED the story and all the wonderful pictures!  :thumleft:
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Offline MINZI

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Re: Goose & Grizz's trip to France & Belgium..... Our Ride Report - Finalised!
« Reply #68 on: September 20, 2012, 10:25:55 pm »
I normally try and reply to nice RR's, but this one takes my words away. EPIC :thumleft:. so much info and so many cultures to try and understand. Very nice. :thumleft:
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Offline X Banana Boy

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Re: Goose & Grizz's trip to France & Belgium..... Our Ride Report - Finalised!
« Reply #69 on: September 20, 2012, 11:10:18 pm »
Excellent guys.
 

Offline Eddy81

Re: Goose & Grizz's trip to France & Belgium..... Our Ride Report - Finalised!
« Reply #70 on: September 20, 2012, 11:18:24 pm »
aaahhh man, that makes my heart long for Normandy again!! I didn't get to experience it on the back of a bike but remember how many times while walking in the country side I wanted to be on a bike! 

Great RR! Thanks for taking me back there... and this time in a way, I experienced how it must be to do it on a bike.

Thanks :)
 

Offline bmad

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Re: Goose & Grizz's trip to France & Belgium..... Our Ride Report - Finalised!
« Reply #71 on: September 21, 2012, 07:58:25 am »
Awesome report  :thumleft:

Different kind of holiday, a guys doing guy stuff. A man needs that kind of thing every now and again.

This report is good timing, i just booked my France trip for next year!
I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are missing!
 

Offline Sithe

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Re: Goose & Grizz's trip to France & Belgium..... Our Ride Report - Finalised!
« Reply #72 on: September 21, 2012, 08:54:51 am »
Hey Goose ... you have just made me hungry  :drif:
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Offline Goose

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Re: Goose & Grizz's trip to France & Belgium..... Our Ride Report - Finalised!
« Reply #73 on: September 21, 2012, 09:53:59 am »
Thanks so much for all the kind words and messages.  :thumleft:

I for one cannot wait to go back and I'm sure Grizz agrees!

I miss riding on dirt and SA has something so special - but should not be compared to riding over here.... it's definitely a diferent experience. Some parts of the trip we'd ride an hour with not a single other vehicle on the road.... so it can be great!

I remember being very apprehensive - especially having to ride a bike on the right-side of the road.
Have done it in a car.... and panicked more not being able to find the gear-lever with my left hand... just the door handle....... when instinctively wanting to do a manoeuvre!

The bike is MUCH easier............ fit's in perfectly and the only concern is to remember that you need to go right in the round-a-bout!
Other than that it was perfect and the population and drivers have huge respect for 2-wheels.........

Food - well for those of you that have been to France you'd agree that these people KNOW about good quality. Man - you have no need to go to a restaurant. The fresh food counters means that you never have to feel like you're slumming it when you get some paté, cheese and fresh warm French bread to put a sarmie together. A bottle of wine... an open field or perhaps sitting on a beach. THAT's LIFE!!

The GS's were great to travel on but I'd have to agree that a smaller, lighter bike would actually be better with just a drybag strapped to the back.

A HUGE problem in Europe is bike-theft. More motorcycles are stolen in Britain and Europe than in any of the other countries/continents. (most are taken to Eastern Europe where they are stripped for spares..... just check on eBay how many parts are available from Lithuania! :eek7:)

Scooters and smaller bikes are easy to load into a truck - so the heavier GS's were far safer and with panniers that keep your kit under lock & key, we felt relaxed to be able to leave the beasts (albeit still using a thick cable to lock the bikes together) I suppose it would not be a problem if there's agroup that could lock the bikes together - however your kit would then be exposed....?

The best part of our trip was also the fact that it was un-planned!  We made no bookings or arrangements ahead of time and only found a place to stay once we arrived in a town. Yep - the F1 is basic - but sorted our needs. Camping is a massive option with campsites close to a 4/5 Star rating with stunning facilities. We were contemplating taking the tent (thank goodness we did not ........ :mwink:) but as a cost-saving excercise that would be the best bet. A campsite averages about 8.00 EURO per site..... so you could easily pitch 2 tents on a site.....   have a looksee here - these countries are seriously organised (wish we have this in SA) http://www.campingfrance.com/UK

Soooooooooo all you chaps have to do..... is make an arrangement to come over and tour!  Bike rental is an option... however can work out expensive. Grizz & I were discussing it and the best 2 options we came to were:

1. A group of you chaps rent a container and ship your bikes over here... and then back to SA after your ride. You could fit at least 10 bikes in a container - cost from Cape Town to the UK and back would be around R30,000 (so R3k/bike) - however bike rental for say 10 or 12 days would be far more.....

2. If you look on eBay...... you can buy VERY good condition XT600's or similar bikes in perfect condition for around 500 - 600 pounds. Buy a few.... come over and do your ride..... go back to SA............. and SELL your XT's to the next group - thereby scoring a free ride and then recouping your money afterwards.   :mwink: :mwink:


MAAK 'N PLAN!!   :biggrin:


"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 tanneman

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Re: Goose & Grizz's trip to France & Belgium..... Our Ride Report - Finalised!
« Reply #74 on: September 22, 2012, 10:35:18 pm »
That is a good idea. Riding in Europe is a experience not to be missed. Unlike in the UK where the roads are congested and the only parts where you can actually ride without seeing another car is the back roads of South Wales and Scotland, you can add Cumbria and some parts of North Yorkshire to the list when its not school holiday.

Keep me posted on the plans.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2012, 10:36:26 pm by tanneman »
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Offline ratrap

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Re: Goose & Grizz's trip to France & Belgium..... Our Ride Report - Finalised!
« Reply #75 on: September 23, 2012, 02:44:12 am »
Lekker RR  :thumleft:
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Offline JVR

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Re: Goose & Grizz's trip to France & Belgium..... Our Ride Report - Finalised!
« Reply #76 on: September 23, 2012, 06:13:15 am »
Lekker!! :thumleft: :thumleft:
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Offline Bliknêrs

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Re: Goose & Grizz's trip to France & Belgium..... Our Ride Report - Finalised!
« Reply #77 on: September 23, 2012, 07:28:57 am »
Love the R62 sticker on one of the panniers!
 

Offline Goose

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Re: Goose & Grizz's trip to France & Belgium..... Our Ride Report - Finalised!
« Reply #78 on: September 23, 2012, 10:36:21 am »
Love the R62 sticker on one of the panniers!

 :thumleft: :thumleft: "Ek mag mos........:mwink:  .. confuses the locals nogal!   :thumleft:
"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 Oshkosh

Re: Goose & Grizz's trip to France & Belgium..... Our Ride Report - Finalised!
« Reply #79 on: September 23, 2012, 01:15:29 pm »
Lekker R/R Goose & Grizz really enjoyed the trip  :thumleft: :thumleft:
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