31 August – Journeys end…London then back to Paris to meet Merry!

It’s now 31 August and I’m in the “Relais De St Honore” in Paris waiting for Merry  

I’m excited about seeing her again and just a little nervous. I have the Champagne on ice and a restaurant booked for tonight!

I can’t believe the trip is over. Azulo is now resting happily in Kent!

Here’s whats happened since my last post:

I sped through Italy and headed for the Mont BlancTunnel which turned out to be closed so I had to re-route myself….I wasn’t exactly sure which way to go so I asked a very CHIC Swiss woman who was filling her car at a petrol station….She advised me to go via the San Bernard Tunnel and through Switzerland. She said “follow me”…..so I did….Boy she was some lady driver! Poor Azulo was put to the test and could hardly keep up with her!

So I sped through Switzerland to France. I encountered a MONSTER traffic jam near Lausanne on the Freeway….it must have gone for 10 kilometers…I dodged most of it by going down the Emergency lane!

I spent the night in a little French town and the next day headed for Auxerre where I intended to meet “MooN” and Madame MooN (Stephanie) and their twin daughters Anna and Nina.

(Moon (who I have never met) offered to keep Azulo at his place whilst Merry and I go to Russia….I had decided now to go straight through to England but wanted to meet MooN to thank him for his kind offer)

I reached Vermenton near Auxerre where MooN works on the River managing a fleet of Tourist barges. I reached the River and there was MooN holding out a cup of coffee….He said he knew where i was as he was looking at my “Live Map” and could see i was just around the corner so he put the kettle on!

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MooN (Chris) hard at work in Vermenton

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After a good chat with MooN I headed for Auxerre. I had treated myself to a nice Hotel by the River. I figure I’ve only got one more night in France so why not!

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Auxerre

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That night MooN and family picked me up and we had a simply delicious Pizza….I intended to pay but MooN had already picked up the tab when i wasn’t looking!

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Chris (MooN) and Stephanie..Very kindly treated me to dinner

On 26th August i headed for Paris where I had arranged to meet a French lady, Nicole, who I had met on the trip to the Aral Sea. We had shared a simply AWFUL PLOV together by the shore of the Sea!

It was of course essential to take some silly photos of me and Azulo outside some of the famous places…Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe.

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Me with Nicole

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Nicole had booked a place for lunch. I assumed we would grab a sandwich but something much better awaited me!

Nicole took me to a lovely Restaurant near the Arc de Triomphe called AKRAME. It is a Michelin Guide Two Hat Restaurant which means it’s very very good! It was pouring with rain when we entered. Can you imagine….Nicole was followed into the restaurant with this filthy smelly biker dripping water all over the floor!

We had a simply superb meal of four courses

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Nicole

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DSC00185Nicole doesn’t drink but I ordered a glass of wine. The waiter suggested what to have and unsuspecting i happily agreed….

Nicole insisted on paying the NOT small bill…..She commented that the glass of wine was a little expensive….I asked how much and she said 32 Euro!!!! ONE GLASS!

I felt slightly embarrassed to say the least. I’ve never paid anything like 32 Euro for one glass of wine! 

It was a lovely lunch and so different to our last meal together by the muddy banks of the Aral Sea!

My destination that night was Arras. I wanted to get within a short distance of the Channel Tunnel which I had booked for the 27th.

I picked up a Formula 1 Hotel which cost the princely sum of 33 Euro…One Euro more than my glass of wine!

On 27th took the Channel Tunnel Train to England and arrived in England at about 11.00.

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Inside the Channel Tunnel Train

I headed for London to take some more silly photos of Azulo and me at Journeys end

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I wasn’t invited in for Tea and Cucumber sandwiches!

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I met a group of Aussies outside Parliament who insisted on taking lots of photos of us!

I then headed to Crockham Hill, Kent to my friends Vic and Gill Roberts lovely home in the beautiful English Countryside near Westerham

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Vic and Gill Roberts in Westerham

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Vic, Gill and Azulo in the garden of Vic and Gills home

Vic is a friend from my College days and he and Gill did everything to make me welcome! Gill’s first question was what did i want to eat….I assured her I didn’t want Plov or Kebabs!

Over the next couple of days i had some good old English Favourites…….Bangers and Mash, Bacon and Eggs, Gammon, Apple and Blackberry Crumble and of course a Roast! We also went out to have a Devonshire Tea with Cornish Clotted Cream!

I drank much too much of course!

It was a fabulous two days with Vic and Gill and an enormous sense of relief for me and also Merry to know I’ve finally finished the ride!

I took Azulo in for a thorough service and am glad to report all is well with Azulo

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Azulo getting serviced at Chris Roffey’s Motors, Biggin Hill

Azulo was tucked up in Vic’s garage where he will stay for the next nine months!

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Azulo’s Holiday home with his caretaker

On 30th I took the Euro Star to Paris. I checked into our nice Hotel on the Rue St Honore near the Louvre. Merry arrives tomorrow…I hope!..

DSC00254.1.15 pm 31 August, I’m waiting in reception and Merry arrives! She has come from Caen where she has been watching the World Equestrian Games

It’s wonderful to see her. We have a hug and within minutes a fine bottle of Champagne is demolished

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Together at last!

Our holiday begins! 

Well, this is the end of the blog.

I hope you have enjoyed travelling with us! Thank you very much for just looking but especially thanks to those who sent me comments. I have really enjoyed those comments and it kept me from being too lonely!

Next year, Azulo and I continue our travels in USA and Canada so I hope you will join us again then….

Merry and I have two days in Paris then fly to Moscow.where we board a boat on the Volga to St Petersburg

Originally I was planning to go to Moscow by bike via Ukraine then the trouble started so I went South instead. The trouble is we had already booked a boat on the Volga from Moscow to St Petersburg….

After that we head for the Baltic Countries where we tour for a couple of weeks.

Merry then heads home and I go back to England and Azulo and I will do a “Celebration Tour”

Vic has dobbed me into doing a Presentation in the Crockham Village Hall on 4th October….Why not come along! (HaHa!)

Bye from Geoff and Azulo!

 

48 thoughts on “31 August – Journeys end…London then back to Paris to meet Merry!

  1. It was absolutely brilliant to see you last weekend. Tom thinks you are awesome, whilst Alex said EPIIIIIIIIIIC when joining in. Trust me, that is even higher praise than just saying `epic`! Glad you loved the gammon and toffee apple brioche but the best bit by far was your stories of your travel, and meeting Azulo!! Hope you enjoy the rest of your journey round the UK and have a safe trip home. Karen, Phil, Tom and Alex xx

  2. Hello Geoff,
    It has been great following your adventure. I’m friends with Peter and Karen Algie. It was Karen who mentioned your trip to me.
    I ride a motorcycle so I know how much fun they are. Although a KLR650 seat for that many kms. You must have an “iron bum”.
    Apart from normal maintenance, how did the bike hold up? Some readers, (I know I am), may be interested in what you modified or added to the bike (e.g what type of panniers) to get it to carry the required gear and last the distance on such roads.
    Cheers, Peter Hickey

  3. Hi Geoff
    Great to be in the company of someone so “awesome” and “epic”; oh, and the trusty Azulo as well of course. Enjoy the rest of your Celebratory Tour
    From the Team at the “Hostel in St Albans!”

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