Saturday, September 24, 2005

Complaints have been noted...

OK: all of you who thought this was a joint blog of The Adventures of The Sr Boy et Moi - well, it's not!! It's mostly my mumbling about things seen, food eaten, wine drunk, and an almost 55 year old in Europe on her own for the very first time. As previously noted, I didn't do it when I was 20 so I'm doing it now.

The Sr Boy, on the other hand, had a family who did do the overseas travelling so HE is having an adventure riding a 1000cc Moto Guzzi from the UK to Egypt via France, Italia, Tunisia, Libya, and then back again through Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Greece, Italy, and France. For those of you who need the technical details: he has borrowed the bike from a friend in the UK (who also came up with this idea and is one of the three other riders on this journey). The Guzzi handles really nicely and is Himself's first experience with (a) electric start (my Honda Twinstar notwithstanding) and (b) kill switches. This lack of experience led to an "interesting" Chunnel trip and night in Calais. Suffice to say it's a good thing he is in excellent physical condition as he had to push the fully loaded bike off the train and then had to use his high school French to get assistance. His trip down to meet me in Italy was noteworthy by its appalling weather which is why he didn't notice when the *&^^$) left side pannier offed itself for the second time in one day on the autostrada between Genova and Empoli. That explains the lack of tools, spares, camera, guidebooks, and socks. Once he got dried out at our friends and acquired a few necessary spares, it was time to try The Roads on a few day trips.

The Roads in Italy are Godde's gift to motorcycle riders - especially the roads that look like a small squiggle from one place to another on the map. It also helps if one is part Italian and not all Canadian - we started out far too politely waiting our turns at things like traffic lights and roundabouts. This is NOT the Italian way as evidenced by every scooter driver around us. By day 3 we were (mostly) getting to the front of the lines at the level crossings (waited 20 minutes while 6 different trains roared by) and lane splitting (almost) as well as the scooters. Of course, one hasn't really lived until one has been passed (we were doing at least 110) on the super-strada by a woman on a scooter in high heels and skirt talking on her cell phone!

We took advantage of the missing pannier to try a bit of luggage arranging and, with the help of bungies, rope and tie-downs, managed to attach my pack to the side of the bike where the pannier used to be. This meant that we didn't have to inflict ourselves any longer upon our most generous hosts and we headed off for a few days of touring before bringing me to Nice to meet Elizabeth. We put on a lot of miles in 5 days and Guzzi was glad of a bit of a rest in the shade of the biggest aloe bush I've ever seen in the "real" (not as big as Dear Son's but big enough for me) while we spent a few days investigating the joys of Nice. We now know how to say "metric Allen keys" in French and the French word for hardware store (bricolage in case you wanted to know).

This morning, Himself left for Genova and the ferry to Tunisia. We will reconnect at Heathrow in 2 months. If I hear any good "vehicle" stuff from TSB, I will add it to here. In the meantime, you may have to make do with reports on the buses and trains I am using!!

For you Brit car types: LOTS of the old (proper) Minis in Nice and LOTS & LOTS of the new ones (I know they aren't "really" Brit but it's as close as I can get right now). And we saw a couple of legs of a vintage run of some sort in Tuscany: several MGBs, a couple of MGAs, a Rolls, an Austin, and a couple of Morgans all tootling about with signs on their door panels (in Italian) and grins on the drivers' faces. Fuel is ouch expensive: we got down to fumes last Sunday and put 25 Euros in the tank!

OK: That is the end of the vehicle reporting! As for the rest of you, stay tuned for further reports of the old market in Nice and the Matisse and Chagall museums. First, I need some wine and a shower....

Au revoir pour maintenant



Blogger julia said...

Say hello to Elizabeth for me.

I am glad that the scarf is being useful and mischievious. Try dipping fringes in some holy water and see if it behaves a bit better.

9:04 a.m.  

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