Sunday, July 8, 2012

Day 1 - To Madrid by the Pyrenees

Day 1 - Genève/Privas
Saturday, June 16, 2012

The 15-day trip, as it was scheduled :

6 days, including 3 by the French Pyrenees and Northern Basque Country
+ 3 days in downtown Madrid
+ 6 days, including 3 by the Basque Mountains (Cantabrian Range) and Spanish Catalan Pyrenees.

A very approximate view of our itinerary, as Google Map calculated it...
We had dreamed on having this two-week tour a long time ago, since last year actually, but we never managed to make it happen. When people asked why we weren't gone already, we would often blame external factors, such as our busy schedules or the local weather, which had been very frustrating since the riding season began I must say. Truth is, we weren't ready. Philippe still had many accessories to buy, plus, I needed to improve my role as a fellow pillion. Testing the newly-purchased BMW 1200 GS in the right conditions during shorter trips (see previous posts) urged us to end the deadlock situation.

Philippe was in charge of the first and last day's organization, for he knows the roads so well and he needed no map. So, that's what he thought of and we ended up doing :

Genève -- A41 -- Grenoble -- D1532 -- Sassenage -- D531 -- Engins -- Lans-en-Vercors -- Gorges de la Bourne -- Villars-de-Lans -- D531 -- D103-- La Martelière -- Saint-Julien-en-Vercors --  Saint-Martin-en-Vercors -- D103 -- D103A -- D518 -- La Chapelle-en-Vercors -- Saint-Agnan-en-Vercors -- Col du Rousset -- Chamaloc -- Die -- D93 -- Espenel -- Saillans -- Mirabel-et-Blacons -- Crest -- D104 - Grane -- Pontaix -- Lonol-sur-Drôme -- Le Pouzin --  Saint-Julien-en-Saint-Alban -- Flaviac -- Coux -- Privas


It is almost impossible not to stop and take pictures when you ride through les Gorges de la Bourne in Vercors...

Philippe  taking pictures of La Bourne

Phil took his GoPro camera with him, but choose to take photos with his mobile instead. We therefore have no onboard video to share. I really like what he did, even though I believe a still image fails to accurately render the reality of a landscape, no matter the device, lights or technical skills . It's something you can only experience in motion. Just to give an idea to those who never rode or travelled Vercors, here is a video I found on the web (courtesy of mushu7272 ) :

Next stop, Col du Rousset in Vercors. As you come out of the tunnel (see below), you're invited to pull over and enjoy the majestic view...

Another video (courtesy of ch1ldofkorn) showing Col du Rousset in full motorbiking action :

About 320 kilometers further, we arrive in Privas and settle at hotel La Chaumette Porte des Suds for the night. Too bad it was too cold to take a dive in the pool.

Coming next :

Day 2 - Privas/Quillan

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