Thursday, November 4, 2010


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Thursday, October 7, 2010

My motorcycle diaries - Part II

More motorbiking updates... From Belgium to Spain

Day 4:
Sad to leave Belgium, but we still have many kilometers left on our voyage, so it's time to hit the road again. We plan on staying in a little village south of Paris, but the weather wasn't agreeable with us again.

Rain. Rain. More Rain. Wet bikers are not happy bikers.

Paris, France
Heavy downpours made the drive dangerous, so we pulled off the road and stopped in Paris. Tired and relieved to change out of our wet clothes, we weren't feeling so adventurous for any heavy touristy activities. Instead, we went for a little walk and ate sushi. We contemplated a movie, but weren't near a theatre that played original language. Two hours of French dubbing over an American movie did not sound like fun. We opted to watch a mini-Dexter marathon from our laptop in the hotel instead. It was actually very romantic, in a different kind of Paris romantic way.

To avoid more equipment damage, I kept my camera tucked away in a dry safe spot while in Paris.  So, unfortunately, no rainy wet photos to report. 

Day 5:
I was happy to leave Paris and get further south. It was STILL raining in the morning, but we got past it pretty fast on the bike. Our itinerary no longer worked since we stopped early in Paris, so we just picked a little village that suited us on the way. Our pick was Brive, France.

Here is a random snapshot of one of our many roadside stops along the way. 
Here I am, getting awesome, posing in my sweet biker gear.  I felt like 'The Hulk' everyday on this trip and told Pedro he "better not get me angry, because he's not going to like me when I'm angry."

Brive, France
Brive is super small and quaint. Our little bed and breakfast was adorable. It was also really fun to have Pedro struggle with the language with me. I actually think I knew more French than he did. This is truly remarkable and made me happier than it should have. I made a few observations in France. Other than all French people seeming a little bit like cartoon characters to me when they speak, I noticed that French people HATE to give you change. As noted above, due to my knee considerations, we stop very frequently on the road for coffee and much needed breaks. We also hit a few tolls which required payment. If you didn't have the exact change, or something close, you could see the person's entire demeanor shift. After questioning you more than once if you have something smaller, there is always sighing and eye rolling taking place after. What is with this? Do French establishments not carry change for customers? I don't understand what all the fuss is about. I did make a note to self, to avoid unnecessary rudeness in the future, to carry small Euros when in France.
View from our room at the B&B.

Airing out our biker gear.

We found a really nice spot for dinner and walked around a bit before bed.

Day 6:
We opted for the panoramic or scenic route from France to Spain. It was truly incredible. This is the only day I wore my camera on my neck while on the back of the bike. This resulted in a lost camera cap, but I think it was worth it.

As the sun was starting to set after a long day being surrounded by beauty, riding through the mountains and snapping photos, we looked for the next place to rest our heads.

Lleida, Spain
We randomly picked our next stop over based on kilometers. We picked Lleida because it was a good halfway point before Murcia. Lleida was not so nice of a city, in my opinion. The hotel we stayed at was nice, but when we walked to dinner through the historical part of downtown, we passed more than one prostitute and several homeless Africans. We ended up finding a nice square and had a nice Spanish meal.

Day 7:
Day 7 is the last stretch before our destination, Murcia. The scenic drive is beautiful and seems more enjoyable since the end is in sight.  The whole trip was enjoyable, but I did struggle a bit with knee fatigue.  I was also happy to know that soon I would be lounging at the beach in Spain as opposed to wearing my hulk suit and cursing my knees from the back of the bike.

We were pulled over by the police once on the trip and while in Spain. When Pedro showed his Danish residency, the police discussed amongst themselves and then declared they won't issue a ticket, but rather demanded 50 EUR instead. When Pedro told them he didn't have cash, at first they requested a stop at an ATM to fulfill their request, but then later let us go. Incredible corruption. At times, Spain reminds me a lot of Mexico. This was one of those times.

After, we were back on our bike and getting closer and closer to Pedro's beach apartment just outside of Murcia. We made it in time for dinner with his parent's to celebrate his father's birthday! I survived roughly 3,000 kilometers by motorbike with a lot of rain and almost no complaints. WOOOOHOOO!!!  Pedro was truly proud. I guess this officially makes me a tough biker chick. One more thing to add to my resume of adventures.

Stay tuned.  Coming up next... 
the remaining days of August spent in Spain, life at the beach, learning Spanish in Spain and bonding with my in-laws, plus lots more photos for your viewing enjoyment.  

This, followed by adventures with Sarah and Amanda in the South of Spain, wedding fiesta, and Euro traveling with the Victors.