France Trip Part 1

So to write up the trip last week…I’m altering the timestamps so that they appear on the day that they refer to rather than when I wrote them.

Monday 3rd July 2006

I left Aberystwyth at about 9:30 (Mileage 61620), heading for Follkestone – I was due to check in on the Eurotunnel at 18:03, and I knew that most of the route was straightforward – taking my normmal route over the Brecon Beacons on the A470 down to the M4 at Cardiff, then along the M4 to the M25, M26 and M20 to Folkestone. I arrived at 16:28 at the check-in lanes, and was offered an earlier train, so took the offer, and a quick stop in the departure lounge and duty free shops to pick up some last minute essentials (Ibuprofen and a spare bulb set) and then out to tthe departure lanes to wait in the baking hot sunshine for the train.
Loading was strightforward, and soon we were on our way to France. 2006france/DSC_1182.jpg

A few careful miles from Calais to my first stop in Arques, near St. Omer, I avoided the motorway, and stuck to the N43 to St. Omer. I am not at all familiar with the French addresses, and I drive into the middle of St. Omer looking for my overnight hotel.
Finally, I stop and ask for directions from a couple of teenagers, who point me in the direction of Arques, telling me to ask again when I get there for detailed directions to the hotel. When I arrive in Arques, I follow the main route through, and stop and ask, and find that I am already on the correct road, so follow the road for a mile or so, and spot the hotel on the left.
It’s 9:30, so I use the automatic check-in and the mileage is 62016, and I shower and sleep well, although there was a lot of traffic on the road about 4am, which woke me.

Bike photos

I’ve been riding the bike for a few days now, since I got the MOT and tax, and fiinally got some photos of it the other day, then forgot to put a link to them here. 20060606Bike/DSC_0753.jpg This is one of them, the other 2 are in the same album. These were taken whilst we were doing the road tests for the Scrapheap entry, so I didn’t get a much of a chance to set them up properly, but they don’t look too bad – I just need to polish it a bit, and repair the couple of scrapes now.


My car failed its MOT today – little things, but they have to order in the parts, so it’s got to go back in next week for the repairs. The bike is back running again, after I found the problem – I went by the old adage “If you think it’s electrical, check the electrics. If you think it’s fuel, check the electrics.” I checked the electrics, cleaned and gapped the plugs, but still nothing. Turned the petcock from auto to prime, and she fired up :-D.
I’ve just got to reconnect the vacuum hose to the right place on the carbs, and then book that in for the MOT and get her taxed, and it’s on the road for the summer :-D. Then it’s just deciding where to go first. I really fancy the Viaduct De Millau, but maybe I’ll start with somewhere closer to home.
It’s nearly a year since I was out of the country, and I’m getting the wanderlust again – still hoping for that trip to India over the summer, but if nothing else a few days on the bike might help, and I need to start planning so I’ve got something to look forward to.