Thursday, 20 June 2013

Moto France (via Belgium) - Day 5.

Tigny - Zeebrugge in a larger map

Final Day: MF met with M Raymond W to settle the final bill. First though there was the question of beverage consumption. The reconciliation is done by a system of bottle tops, ticks, honesty and empties. The number is then divided by 2 and again by .5. MF relies on his ability to keep calm in even the most stressful of situations. I think it is his inability to understand the seriousness of the situation. Luckily Euros were acceptable and he had lots of those. They are like shrapnel.  

 It looks bad I know. It does seem like a lot. But MF did the maths. He says, "There are only 10 types of people - those who understand binary and those who do not."

Here is the proof.

Final group photo. Mais attendez. Zere are some peeps missing. Merde.
(Photoshop JA & J-M.D s'il vous plait!)

It looks like M Raymond is still figuring out why the drinks bill was so little.

What say we get out of here before Raymond figures out MF's numbers.

But first a little reminder of what we will be missing ........

 Le pont.

La maison.

L'autre pont.

 Le canal.

 La grange.

Le fleuve.

Le soleil.

But we could procrastinate no longer.  We had to go. We stopped for some petrol, but when they saw us coming they switched off les pompes à essence in case we emptied their town of fuel.

Mon Dieu. Nous marchons avec les fumes.

Undaunted, we contacted the Resistance and got some fuel on Le marché noir. (I'll be glad when my French hobby phase is over.)

V1 rocket.

We pulled in for lunch at a quaint little place which was kindly built and donated to the French nation by the Germans. They bollixed up the grounds with possibly a tad too much concrete, but they made a splendid job of the restaurant. I had a cappuccino and a chocolate brownie.

Mr TG did a great job of taking us on 'wiggeley' roads from the V1 Rocket Restaurant (thank you Krauts) through the busy town of Saint-Omer via Bergues and Hondschoote to the medieval Belgian town of Veurne.  Here we were able to give an impressive display of formation parking - one of our fortés or fortès.

It has become a tradition to call in at Veurne and to grace this rather drab town with our Gothic motos. 

We had a sizeable lunch in Veurne in case there was no food on the P&O ferry. Then we made the last dash for the port at Zeebrugge.

Zeebrugge Ferry Port - What's to like?

The next day we docked at Hull. On the car deck our motos were in two lines high above the cars and caravans and motos with trailers (hello??). Next to my motorcycle was a gentleman on a Virago. I started chatting to him. He was very pleasant and it was apparent that he had a few miles on the clock. He was 86 years old. He was with his son and his granddaughter.  They had been camping! Wow. Years of moto fun ahead for all of us.

Finally - I can't think of a caption for this photo. Can you? Prize for the winner.

PS. Mr MS sent me this link which is not totally unrelated to our credo: WWII PR Spitfire

PPS. Mr NM will soon be producing his brilliant magazine so keep a lookout. 


Saturday, 15 June 2013

Moto France (via Belgium) - Day 4.

Tigny - Le Treport in a larger map

Another beautiful day dawned. After breakfast we all gathered in the courtyard of Le Moulin for a pow-wow before setting off for Le Crotoy and then Le Tréport. See the map.

Manoeuvering a Honda on the gravel. BG, GW (tarmac specialist actually), and AM.

Motos in position and ready to roll.

Another day of sunshine. motorbiking, coffee, lunch, beer, dinner, wine and beer ahead. (Sigh!)

Le Crotoy will be the first port of call via Conchil-le-Temple. Le Crotoy is a pretty little seaside town on the Baie de Somme opposite St-Valery-sur-Somme.

Unknown to us it was market day in Le Crotoy and therefore packed. But that made the little town even more interesting and of course one can park a moto almost anywhere.

Nobody was inconvenienced very much by 14 motos parked near the MADO cafe.

 "Bonjour tout le monde!"

 L-R: AM, JA, MB, SA, BG and TE.

 Our MF paid the bill and helped to cement Anglo-French relations even more.

 After our refreshments in the sunshine of the MADO cafe we had a wander around the market. I bought some épingles de nourrice.

It was time to fire up les motos again and thread our way through the market out of the town and to pick up the road to Le Tréport.

Mr MF had organised a really nice restaurant in Le Tréport for our lunch.  There was loads of adequate moto parking opposite. A long table had been arranged on the pavement.

 Chat and chow, laughs and also some Leffes - low alcohol variety of course and only one each!

The French equivalent of Duff.

 Having a beer didn't seem to affect our behaviour....

........ too much!

 "'Scuse me. I think you'll find that's my order!"

Mmmmmm .........

Dr AM:  "Here comes that showoff kid again. I could do that!"

Yeah, right. Noisy but amusing buzz-bike entertainment. A 5. 9 from me!

 "I keep telling him that it is my turn to be in front!"

What are you two scheming?

Beautiful cafe in the sunshine. Ours was around the corner.

 Too soon it was time to think about returning to Le Moulin for our final night.

 Adieu Le Tréport.

'Allo Le Moulin ... but we're not happy about leaving this place tomorrow!

Here is a noisy video of our last night at the dining table:

Tonight was our last night at Le Moulin. Before Sabine served the cheese course Mr MF made everyone feel privileged to be part of this moto adventure group. He made complimentary speeches and also handed out certificates to all concerned.  I was hoping for a T-shirt and a new 'chube'.

Here M Raymond Wartel gets his certificate.

This is DR JK's certificate. He was obviously pie-eyed because his name is slurred. Same with MF.

Mr MS felt insipid inspired to make a speech himself. This was in the form of a poem. Mr TG and Mr MF seem to be amused. If I have to explain you won't understand.

Mr MB had inadvertently thrown his return ferry ticket into la poubelle. Fortunately for him it was retrieved by someone going through his rubbish (!!!). Mr MF returned it to him during the dining festivities. Shame. We could have had some fun at the ferry port.

Le billet.

Mr MB and ticket. I immediately dashed upstairs and retrieved mine from the waste-paper basket!!

Mr JA (IOM and IAM - "I  OM that I AM") made a speech on behalf of the whole group to thank Mr MF for organising this wonderful French trip. Mr JA must have been pie-eyed too because it was a brilliant speech delivered with passion and panache not to say aplomb. Personally I would have liked to have heard some jokes in there, but you can't have everything. (Somebody please send me a picture!)

"Say 'CHEESE'"
....... et voila!

Madame Sabine in charge of cheese rations. "D'ya 'ave Wensleydale Chuck?" 

After dinner we repaired to the bar for a drink or three. It was very important to foster our theme of Entente Cordiale. M Raymond insisted on standing us some Almanacs, Almonyaks, Almond snacks alcoholic pear brandy. It was delicious. Actually it might have been Calvados!!

TE: "Just don't kiss me."

"As I get older and more fragile,  .....
 ....... my bikes get bigger, ...........,
 .......... heavier and more powerful............
.......... Another beer please!"

Things got clearer as the evening wore on. The answers to life and the universe and all that important stuff started to make sense. Somebody asked me, "What do you believe JM?" I said, "I believe I'll have another beer!" (Attrib: WC Fields).

But soon it was definitely time for beddybyes. I wanted to be up bright and early because you can't drink all day unless you start in the morning.