The day of departure is getting closer …
On Saturday it will happen, via Luzern to spend a day at Mirjam Grunwald and then towards Spain. 23 days on the motor. The final destination is Alicante, where there are a few days with childhood friends Sanne and Peter to spend and then back via Larraule in France where Egon, an old colleague lives.
I admit it, no idea what I’m starting. But I have 23 days to find and experience this. Last year I made a trip to Switzerland and Italy in 10 days, but I had more than 6 days of fine company from René ‘Where are we going Jon’ Vidal. Now I am really alone.
Stuff is as good as ready and go Friday night in the bag or suitcase, routes are in the navigation and the engine has got a big turn before he went into hibernation. What can go wrong? I do not hope too much …….
April 14, 2018
Half 4, ready awake …… Today my trip of 3 weeks starts. Last night we had a beer in the local pub and received some good wishes. “Good trip, have fun, come back … ..” Ah, you probably know them. Today to Luzern, making 800 km and just stupid from A to Mirjam, who finally lives there. Everything on the motorcycle, cat Joep given a big hug and hoppa … .. There he goes. This time not over the A2 along Breukelen and Abcoude to see the sun beautiful, this time via the A1 to Arnhem and at Babberich across the border. It is hazy and almost boring. But hey, it’s the 1st day, there are still 22 nice days, betting? The border sign comes into view after about 1.5 hours, ‘Federal Republic of Germany’ …. The motorway is boring, just as boring as in the Netherlands. Fortunately I have a music in my helmet and I happily sing along on the lyrics of ABBA and Sting. At Dinslaken-sud it is just as exciting when a truck driver notices the traffic jam a little later than is actually nice. Especially considering the fact that I am the last buffer. I dive to the left between the posts, he on the right the lane on ……. Phew !!!!! Nice, but not once again like. We are distracted from the highway because of asphalt works. Piece inside, immediately refuel and 10 minutes later on the highway, continue towards Cologne. Stop at regular intervals, water the tree, eat sandwiches and stretch legs. Not many bends came by, except for a few roundabouts. I do not think that counts. Not very exciting, is not it? Nope !! Another 250 km to Lucerne, we are coming close. Still 150 … .. The border of Switzerland is coming in sight, no worries because I bought a vignette neatly via ehhhhhhh marketplace. At the border no control, but a big disappointment. When I invite people to my home, I always make sure it’s a bit tidy. House tidy up, stuff on hand etc. The Swiss think very differently about that. Basel will probably be a beautiful city, but from the highway it looks dirty and shabby. I do not think a business card … Anyway, we have patience. The 1st tunnel, the 2nd tunnel and then slowly the characteristic Swiss landscape comes into view. Houses built against the mountains and behind them I see some white tops. Snow, fun … … I do not want to drive a meter. I drive on, enjoy a sun shining on my helmet and enter Luzern. It’s better with the economy than with Basel-by-road. Thick cars of brands that you normally only saw in Top-gear with exhausts that make more music of noise, they gleam at you. Lucerne surprised me, although I had no idea what to expect. Expensive stores with ditto very expensive women in maintenance who are standing in front of the shop windows to see which bag they want again. Oh yeah, I figured out on the way that I forgot my ordinary shoes. Hmmmm, I’m looking in France or Spain, here is probably an attack on my Gold card that I do not have.
I drive along a lake, the 4-year-old lake. It is busy, nice weather and so many walkers. Boat trips across the lake and gives a nice picture. But honestly, I long for my endpoint. 866km in just 11 hours … .. I think it was nice. Another 2km, 500m …. Corner around and ehmmmmmm, where does she actually live? 1 phone call and 1 minute later I am standing in front of her door. Yes, the head is finished and the longest ride is behind me. Tomorrow tourists with Mirjam in Luzern and Monday follow trip # 2 without a fixed end point.
Sunday morning in Lucerne, sleep … I wanted that. But unfortunately, my biorhythm as a truck driver does not let me down. Wake up for 5 hours. Gently I sneak through the hallway towards the toilet, hoping not to wake Miriam. After doing things I sneak back and try to sleep. Forget it! I mess around on my mobile and at 8 o’clock it’s nice. I crawl out, Mirjam is also awake and together we wake up in the kitchen. Coffee, tea, sandwiches from the over and warm croissants are available. Delicious and cozy, breakfast and chat together. Stories back and forth, Mirjam’s experiences with which I can do a lot and also life issues …… it is a nice woman where I feel at ease. Nice, because actually we hardly know each other. We both enjoy.
Today we are going to see Lucerne, at least … I, she already knows it. A brisk walk goes by with a hill up and down. I had already said that I had forgotten ordinary shoes, right? Fortunately, Mir lives on a big foot and I adjust her sneakers. Problem solved and with a walk like this no unnecessary luxury. We are on the road for over an hour when we arrive in Lucerne. Of course I hang out the tourist and take pictures left and right (I heard your cry for help, Ben). In front of us is a couple with 2 inkinkinkiemini dogs, chiwawa’s … ..or what are the names of those cows. And on their back the man and woman carry backpacks, you guessed it, the dogs. Every one’s thing, but I do make a picture of course.
Luzern is beautiful, as I said before, I had no idea and Mirjam shows me the oldest hotel where the city is said to have been founded. Fun, fotoooooooo …….
This is how the day lapses, we talk a lot, eat a sandwich and drink our bottles of water. Brought along, Switzerland remains ridiculously expensive after all.
Back by bus, walking is fun but it must be nice. Mirjam buys a ticket via an app on her mobile, control is never there and so one of us drives black and black.
In the evening a pizza and a bottle of rosé, life is good!
And after Sunday always comes Monday, the day I continue driving towards Perpignan. I decided to do it in 2 days, because another 800 km I do not seem attractive.
Packed things, taken breakfast and time to say goodbye. A big hug and the promise to speak to each other quickly do not stop. I drive away and professionally turn off my motorcycle. Well, of course I want to show you how well I can start an engine … ..KUCH!
Aldwige … .Alwige … ..pfff Adligenswil from, Lucerne by and via the motorway towards Geneva. It would rain according to the weather forecast but I think the Swiss timepieces are more accurate than the weathermen, it is dry except for a few splashes. For nothing my rain coverall attracted so. Oh well, nice and warm. Bern passed and I enjoy, despite the highway, I feel fine. The scenery attracts me, and the sun comes here and there skrough through the clouds. The rugged mountains make way for rolling landscapes. But I keep finding it weird … the Swiss speak German, Italian and ehmmm, so also French. Nice, I think I’m already in France. But no … it’s the French-speaking part. Say, shall we just agree that you speak German, we Dutch, Spaniards Spanish etc? Beautiful, arranged!
And then there comes the border followed by some tunnels and I stop my navigation on the highway. Exit 19, exit and yes … a teneen col is looming. Swing to the left, clap to the right and so I am grumbling through the French countryside on my way to the Ardèche. There I want to find a campsite and spend my evening and night. Google is my big friend and together we find a campsite in Saint Laurent du Pape. Somewhere I see a sign Lac du Paladru, what fun …… there we used to go with mom and dad with the folding caravan. There is also a hotel which I think has had its best time. But too nice not to photograph. I drive the last kilometers and am at my end point today. The campsite is open and they even speak Dutch. Nice with my language knot that goes no further than Oui et nun. I can go find a spot, make camp and sit down in my Ali-express chair with a well-deserved can of beer. Life is good! The sun is shining, it is warm and I have a chat with the neighbors who are coming to Grøn. He has had a 1150, so he thinks it is all wonderfully beautiful.
The burner goes on, cooking rice and frying chicken … .. taste tasty!