On up through the mountain. More breathtaking views. Then, a fork in the road and a choice of "tunnel" or “over the top”? No contest. We went left and upwards. Climbing on and on, all three bikes coping without question. This seems to be just what they were designed for.
PORT D'ENVALIRA - 2408m
AND ANOTHER BEND
Bill had come to a junction and was not sure which way to go. It was on a steep incline and he had tried to hold this bike on the front brake.
That’s where it happened…..
Twin leading shoe brakes don’t do “backwards” and so Bill decided that going over the side was preferable to going back down the mountain backwards. Henry tried to save him from toppling and he went over as a gesture of solidarity. So, we have the junction of three roads with two motorcyclists stranded on their sides in the middle. What do you think the French motorist does in this situation?
“’Pas de problem monsieur, we treat zem as if zey were zee mini roundabout, n’est pas?”
Not one of them stopped to help.
Once we were all vertical again, we decided that it was time for a cuppa. It seems to cure all. Henry sparked up his thermo nuclear device and we brewed up. Another hour or two’s riding and we stopped for lunch.
BILL, KEEPING WATCH
Restored, we headed across country to Carcassonne then picked up the Motorway east to Narbonne. We stopped in yet another services for some agua and fuel. The bikes were parked in front of the shop and a gaggle of French bikers on "plastic rockets" drew up. The usual gestures of friendship were exchanged and they gathered around our bikes pointing and talking amongst themselves, our languages deviding us. One of the French rideers had full multicolour leathers on complete with knee "sliders". Bill approached him and pointed to his outfit.
We went back to our pitch and set about getting some scram going. Chicken and mushrooms with pasta. We must have moaned a little too loud about the price of the beer and lack of wine as the chap in the next pitch appeared with a bottle of half tidy plonk rouge. It turned out that red wine didn’t agree with him and he couldn’t bear to see us in tears any longer. He then appeared with another.
HOW LONG CAN BILL STAY ON THE TOP BOX?
We got chatting and, although I’d never met him, he was from Newport, about 15 miles from me in South Wales. It turned out that Mike had worked in the same industry as me before he retired and we had many friends in common. Small world. The wine soon disappeared and so did Mike. He returned with a case of beers and the evening went into a spiral dive from that moment on. We ended up in front of their friend’s caravan having a merry old time, drinking their beer all night.
When we realised that everyone else had gone to bed (but not asleep, thanks to us) we said our goodbyes, thanked them for their hospitality and retired for the night.
STATSISTICS - DAY 14
240 miles Oliana – Lac de Salagou
3041 miles in total
Average 217 miles per day