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Above the snow line

AS things do and as things will, ideas change, dates change and travel plans definitely change.

We had planned to get a ferry from Spain or France or Italy to Corsica or Sardinia, which you would think would be a simple undertaking, what with the internet and all that, loads of booking offices and lots of ferry companies, well fate decided we should go another way and so we decided to ride through France and on into Italy.

We are so glad that we did, we stayed at a wonderful little Gite no far from a famous bridge and we had a wonderful couple of days riding around French countryside.

We must admit that France for no particular reason had not been on our to do list, how wrong were we.

We use the mantra "stay away from big cities and towns, stay off motorways and ride the smaller roads" and we were rewarded with some fantastic roads and sights, everywhere we went people were very friendly and helpful, though rural France does close Between 1200 and 3pm. We did coastal, rural and mountains, staying in Sete near Millau and a budget Ibis near the boarder with France and Italy, where we enjoyed!! one of the largest steaks we have ever eaten and saw a French version of the Grand Canyon

and we passed over to Italy on the SS21 which was well above the snow line and possibly had not been open very long.The roads and views were stunning and we ran out of words for what we saw, at the very top the pass was a pristine white snow field that really was something out of a holiday booklet.

The pictures we took were just before the top on the French side of the pass, it really did take our breath away.

We rode every kind of road from goat track to big wide one sweepers a magical day and a benefit of changing plans.

If your in France go and see the Millau bridge, it is an engineering marvel, plus there are some good rides around the area and loads of campsites, get into the hills and have some fun.

We rode into Italy , our 165 miles taking 7 hours, but it stayed dry mainly and we managed to pick a 37 euro per night hotel at a truck stop with an attached restaurant with 9.0 rating on booking, but run by a Chinese couple, we thought it was a club club for those in the know but it turned out to be nothing of the sort and for the cost with breakfast was remarkably good, if your that way try the Hotel Agli Alteni for one night, even the wifi was good.

So far so happy, well yes, but we woke to a downpour of biblical proportions and we knew we were riding all day in the rain so someone could come and see the Ducati factory and museum.

This gave us a chance to try out or wet gear, which did a good job, but 8 hours in the rain isn't really fun as Steph found out BMW waterproof gloves are not and if you keep your heated grips on to keep your hands warm, you may end up with heat blisters, not what was expected from expensive gloves and heated grips.

Still we arrived after a long wet ride and the Hotel check in did not miss a beat booking us into Hotel Del Borgo, which was booked for its price and walking distance from the Ducati factory.

It is a really nice Hotel with a good pizza place next door and a shopping complex over the road, it also has off street parking, important for the bikes.

We both really enjoyed the Ducati factory tour and museum, but again it was not exactly cheap, we had lunch at Lidl to help with costs.

So far this trip has not disappointed, we have spent more than expected and the words " well when will we be here again" means the bank balance is getting a battering, we wouldn't have it any other way.

Now then choices, choices, choices, do we go to Sicilly or go across Italy and get into Albania, ferry permitting.

I won't spoil the surprise as at this time we just don't know.

Happy riding and hope to see some of you on the road sometime.

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