Finally warm.

Drizzling and 32F when we left Twann, Switzerland this morning, heading south. Cathy and I were riding by ourselves today. Stopped raining and clouds got a little less gray. Autobahns were the main route as we wanted to get south fast. As we crossed into France, the sun peeked out, but it was only a tease. We were still at altitude and the drizzle and fog returned.

French highways are limited to 130 kph and the signs with car and motorcycle icons said that our speeds were being monitored “for our safety.” Speed cameras are used everywhere in Austria and France. We were hurrying to get to the ceremony Sunday and an Austrian couple was behind us. They said that a camera had taken our picture because we were going “very fast.” Fortunately, we were in another country by the time it was developed. Not sure if they could read the little GA on our tags anyway.

Scenery was lovely today. The leaves are gone, which makes the balls of mistletoe really stand out. Mile after mile of grape arbors, some still hung with late harvest stock. A few corn fields were still standing. The temperature was climbing and skies were getting lighter.

French superhighways don’t require stickers like Austria and Switzerland, but the majority are toll roads anyway. Their roadside gas stations charge 1.45Euro per liter of petrol. That’s $7.45US per gallon! Happy our bikes get over 50 mpg. But they don’t charge to use the restrooms like Germany & Austria. Ninety-five cent turnstiles are outside the toilets. Some gas stations use a single pay station to service six pumps. When the pump clears to o.oo, you can pick your octane and start pumping. It doesn’t clear until the previous user pays their bill and 3-4 cars are qued up to pay the single attendant.

Closer to the Côte d’Azur the skies cleared and the temps rose into the fifties. Warmest weather outside a tunnel, since we left Atlanta. Heading to the Harley shop in Avignon, we left the approved route. We told our guides where we were so they’d know where to look for us. Unfortunately, Harley doesn’t use GPS coordinates on the listings of their stores. The use addresses and route numbers, where the French road signs list only the cities they connect. We showed the little map from the website to several people and got conflicting directions. We finally found the two roads shown on the map and headed a little north where the shop was supposed to be, but wasn’t. We arrived the hotel two hours later than our friends and with 75 more miles on our bikes. Our GPS said that the shop was only 16 miles from our hotel.

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One Response to “Finally warm.”

  1. Jeanne Bateman says:

    Wow! Reading about the first several days of your trip brought back memories of our first sailing trips back in the early ’80s. Lots of little “surprises” that generally ended well, and often due to the help of complete strangers. Our catch phrase — that we still use when traveling today — became “Always an adventure!”

    Hope you find that warm weather soon!

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