It rained! Most of the night and early this morning. For the first time motorcycle camping I would have to pack a wet tent. Not something I was looking look forward too.
With haste,everything was packed away, the soaking wet flysheet shoved inside a bin bag and strapped to the top of my luggage.
Wet weather gear was worn from the start in view of the appalling colour of the morning sky and I set off to my next campsite, Manoir de la Nocherie, Saint Bomer Les Forges, where I planned to stay for three nights.
The rain begins in earnest and will remain with me for most of the morning and into the early afternoon. It pours, thunders and drops hailstones on me at every opportunity it gets, but I ride on regardless, days like these will be looked back on with a weird fondness.
I want my journey to be fun, true, to enlightenment me in some way, make me marvel at sights still to be seen, but to be a true adventure an element of hardship is necessary.
My gear holds out well, not a drop gets through, but too much concentration is required to allow me to take in any views. I am aware that I am travelling solo and there is no one by my side to help me if things go wrong, so caution will be a friend throughout my trip.
The afternoon sees an end to the incessant rain and is replaced Instead with periodic showers and I can begin to take in my surroundings.
Beautiful open countryside, sweeping out as far as the eye can see, rolling hills, curvy little backroads that make Sarah come alive. She was made for this, surefooted, majestic as she flows through bend after bend, I am in awe of how well she holds the road.
It’s already been a long ride and I am cold and hungry and decide to take a break in Saint Julien Le Faucon.
It is a quaint little village that spans either side of the road and I spot a bar that I can park in front off. A drawback with solo travelling is the need to keep an eye of your gear, so I can’t just park anywhere.
It is my first time in a French establishment and I am awkward as hell trying to use my sparse french to try and order a coffee and some food. Luckily the lady serving is extremely patient and I get my coffee and finally understand that they are not currently serving food. Oh well.
The coffee is good and warming, so I have another one. I am more tired than I realised now I am off the bike. Across the road from the bar is a little convenience store and I go there in search of food.
It has an old fell to it, like it is stuck in the 50’s, a kind of Open All Hours appearance and the counter is nothing more than a shelf with a till. I can’t find anything I fancy, there are sandwiches available but the goats cheese one from the other day still lives in the memory.
I settle on a bar of chocolate and a bottle of water, spend an eternity trying to figure out what price they have just said and in the end hold out some money and let them take what they need. I am disappointed with my ignore of their language and though I have been learning basic French, the frustration of not understanding or being understood is huge.
From there to the campsite was another 1 1/2 hours further riding, through farmland mostly, vast fields of corn and wheat but as the campsite approached we were back into rolling hills and woodland.
The campsite is wonderful, with a beautiful reception building and I am greeted by the owners husband. His english is poor and my french is worse, but somehow he shows me where to pitch my tent, allows me to park my bike under the outside dining area and explains to me that he has two bikes, one of them also BMW.
In return I am able to get him to understand that I am travelling from England, that this my first time touring and that I am headed to Florence. It makes me think that language is one thing but communication is something totally different. Our “conversation “ for what it was, consisted of some words, facial gestures, hand waving, drawing words in the sky and an element of mime. Farcical, I’ll grant you, but somehow wonderful at the same time.
It had been a long day, and once the tent was pitched I wanted nothing more than to sleep. Dinner was two Belvita soft bakes and once eaten, sleep it was.
Love and hugs