That’s a problem right there.
Come gather ’round people
To France I did roam
I’ll admit that the tyre
I was using was worn
Hey Bob, don’t preempt! First, some more impressions from Spain:
A cork-oak grove near El Colmenar, where I was based while touring the environs of Ronda.
That day I was going west towards Jerez and it’s racetrack.
Funny garbage disposal there.
There were motorcyclists training on the track, but iI could not see onto the track, all I could see was this race marshall. Suddenly, he waved the red flag (accident!) and the noise died down.
Later that day, a dip in the Atlantic on a very windy beach.
I left before my gear and I got sandblasted.
Looking over the straight to Tangier, you get ideas! But not for this time.
The next day, I had to leave Ronda. It was a worthwhile destination.
The weather and the wind had turned, a muggy and oppressive heat amongst those endless olive groves. All smells intensified, good and bad alike.
Speaking of gross things, this is how I learned that “Tapa” means a different thing in Spanish compared to Portuguese. I had ordered three and expected three exquisite canapés. I got three plates with bad meat and oily fries. Lesson learned!
The next day was a fine day for riding to the mediterranean coast.
I went through the Mancha and Extremadura, which wasn’t that hard.
Over the coastal range of mountains on one-lane roads.
The tourist belt along the coast wasn’t so bad in all the places.
I had luck with the two towns I stayed in, they had a certain kind of flair.
Nevertheless, leaving Spain and entering France, I was glad of the change because of the language. Half of the time I tried to speak Spanish, Italian came out. I felt like Manuel, the waiter from the TV series “Fawlty Towers”, only in inverse. Me not understanding much and the waiters speaking fluently. “Que?” is an important word for Manuel and me.
Avignon was the next stopover and from there, yesterday’s events unfolded. I was first on the Mont Ventoux in the morning.
First motorcyclist, that is! There were many cyclists like this one on the slopes, on top and even on their way down already! I don’t know when they had risen, the day before, I believe…
The view from the Ventoux is worth the ascension.
And it was Ascension Day!
Then on through the Provence towards the Gorges du Verdon.
In a village near the gorges, I got the puncture you see in the lead photo. First, a bunch of guys on quads helped me plug it with my “Slime” tyre repair kit.
Repeated visits to filling stations later, I had to admit that the pressure didn’t hold.
I ended up in the village of Puimouisson at a station without a compressor and if the local motorcycle mechanic hadnt bought his father day’s beer at that station, I’d still be there.
Here he is, pushing the bead out of the rim with a stanchion at his cave-like garage. He was my savior that day, had a used tyre that fit and iI could continue my journey.
Riding into the sunset towards Gap and the Alps, I was thankful for all the help I had received on Ascension Day.