19 June 2016

Chioggia to Castellane and Gorge du Verdon

Eleven hours in the saddle albeit on nice green Morgan leather.  Helen and me did not arrive at Castellane until 4.30 pm damp and exhausted.
Four years since we came here last, where all is well and a friendly welcome at the gate.
We started out at 5.30 am. hoping to get the leg completed by early afternoon, but Padua once again set us a problem due to a couple of missed turns. Verona, Brescia, Milan, Tortona and Genoa were passed without incident further along the autoroute. The coastal E80 was jammed due to an accident causing a long wait. This section has notoriously expensive service stations best avoided.
Heading north onto the Route Napoleon and through Grasse the weather closed in and soon the drive became an obstacle course; avoiding standing and flooding water.
Most of the motorcyclists normally riding this way were seen to be holed up in the roadside cafes. Lightning flashed and vision became blurred, slowing down the pace somewhat. The cabin stayed reasonably dry, since the neoprene strips were fitted to the side-screen edges, and door jams closest to the windscreen.
On startup earlier the orange fault light self cancelled. The thing had come on, descending the high road earlier in the week, and presumed to be due to long descents. Also seen to right itself has been the mileometer trip LCD.  It reads 50,104 - so in my hands this Royal Ivory conveyance has covered about 43,000 miles and counting. Prolonged warmth beneath the dash seems to have successfully dried out moisture from a previous washer tube leak, long since fixed.

Next day dawned bright and the following pictures tell the story as the day unfolds.

The Gorge du Verdon under blue skies.

House Martins feed young in the terrace of mud nests seen at La Palud-sur-Verdon.

1921 Triumph a long way from home.

The gorge where a plentiful supply of Box tree wood fed the village industry at Aiquines. The making of petanque balls.  Seen on a noticeboard outside one of the several restaurants, the English translation describing Boxwood petanque ball manufacture caused me to chuckle. A script that would have graced  The Café René, the fictional café owned by René François Artois, one British sitcom character.

Plenty here to satisfy any spirit of adventure.  Vultures may be seen above the cliffs.

The loop road from La Palud-sur-Verdon D23 with wonderful viewpoints.  Best driven clockwise to complete the circuit one way system.

At Aiguines the sparrows enjoy handouts of jam tart

Aiguines: where the industry of Petanque ball manufacture flourished by use of local wood from the Gorge du Verdon.

Castellane - Explored and appreciated better the second time round


Ferrari 458 Italia Powered by a 562-hp V-8 mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and riding on an F1-inspired suspension, the mid-engined 458 is as pure a sports car as anything on the road.  We spot a bevy of these in close company following our route.


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