The Dordogne – Last Stop in Europe 2017

Adventure, Europe, France, history, Motorbikes, photography, travel

The Dordogne Riders had lured me to the Vezere Valley

St Leon sur Vezere a beautiful Village in the Dordogne Region of Southern France

 

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St Leon sur Vezere

Camped on the edge of the river

 

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St Leon sur Vezere Municipal Camp site

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Amongst significant historic and prehistoric sites

The Grote de Rouffignac

Maison Forte de Reignac

 

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Maison Forte de Reignac

and Chateau de Losse

 

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The Chateau

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The Mighty Breva 11

But southern France is also about the beautiful villages

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The continuation of the wonderful biker culture that exists in Europe. *

With the Dordogne bikers and friends

And of course in France food

A delicious lunch

And

* I was amazed that after 3 months covering 16,000km in 9 countries I was not pulled over once by the police. Three weeks back in Australia I was pulled over for a licence check while not breaking any law. It was motorcycle awareness (HARASSMENT) month.

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Catalonia and the Pyrenees – part 3 the Midi Pyrenees

Adventure, Europe, France, history, Motorbikes, photography, travel

After the drama of the Pyrenees the Midi Pyrenees of southern France more rolling hills. With:

Tree lined canals

 

 

With elegant locks

And deep gorges formed by the Alzou river

Gorge de l’Alzou

And as if hanging from the face of the mighty gorges,

The village of Rocamadour

Rocamadour, chateau, church and village

Rocamadour has its origins in the 4th century, and developed through the medieval times. It is a place of miracles,  shrine of the Black Madonna and survived the Cathar Wars which may be a miracle in itself.

The Midi Pyrenees opened the door to northern France, the beautiful Loire Valley,  and the bountiful fields running up to the Belgian border.

Rocamadour, has an amazing goat cheese, some say the best goat cheeze

Catalonia and the Pyrenees – part 1

Adventure, France, Motorbikes, photography, Spain, travel

The roads here are made for riding

Coastal roads along the Cote Vermeille and the Costa Breva

Tight turns windswept by the katabatic winds rushing down from the mountains testing the riders skill

It’s about twisty mountain roads in the Pirineos Orientals on the rooftop of Spanish Catalonia

Across the Spanish rooftop from La Molina

In about the winding deep gorges Pyrenees Catalanes

Leafy gorges

Tight rocky gorges

Roads for riding

In Catalonia

Independence for Catalonia

Why Sete

Adventure, France, history, Motorbikes, photography, travel

Tucked down in the south west corner of France

A working port

A living fishing village

A city of grand canals

Sete canal

A city of art

A link.to Africa with car ferries to Morocco

And of course the stepping of from Europe in the Paris to Dakar motorcycle race.

Then the taste of Sete

Sweet muscat wine

Calamari stuffed with minced pork served on a bed of white beans

Fresh mussels, oysters and sea bass

Reflections on the trip south from Nijmegen to Sete

Adventure, Europe, France, Germany, Motorbikes, photography, travel

I’m sitting at balcony of my room in Sete looking down over the town

View over Sete

But before I write on Sete it’s time reflect on the 1100km run south from Nijmegen to Sete.

The side trip through the Swiss Alps into Italy is covered earlier.

A dominant feature in the Rhine

The river of castles

Running south beside it crossing it through Germany

Staying of the main roads

Lots of small villages

Bacharach village

Travelling further south at the top of the Black Forest the German high country spread out to see

View from the top of the Black Forest

The there was the taste of Germany epitomised by thick slabs of smoked pork, strong vinegary salad and scalloped potatoes at the Hausbraurei Feierling in Freiburg.

Washed down by the brewery’s beautiful beer

Across the Rhine

Across the border to southern France

The taste and river different

At Nueville Sur Ain

The river was the Ain

The village French in style

Nueville Sur Ain

Still castles on the hills

But the taste was different veal in the thick tomatoe sauce with green beans

Washed down by Cotes Du Rhone at the Le Faisan Dore

The Rhone alps as a companion

Till reaching the Mediterranean at Sete

Canal in Sete

A bit of reflection 

Adventure, Europe, France, history, Motorbikes, Netherlands, travel

In the just over a week I have ridden through six countries in Europe

Open borders

Free travel

Wonderful friendly people

I’m reflecting on a this

And thinking of the past

The tragedy and waste of war so poignantly captured at the memorials at Villers Bretenneux

And the at the main train station at Nijmegen there was this sign

And I think

Let’s all just keep kissing

Let’s keep riding

And keep war and death in the past

Other side of the world 12 months on

Adventure, Europe, France, history, Motorbikes, photography, travel

Its hard to believe 12 months ago I was in  Cooktown

Vast savanah plains

Tropical rain forest

The iconic tale of Captain Cook saving his ship in the Endeavour River

The marvellous aboriginal rock drawings

At Cooktown 

And now I’m at the site of another iconic Australian story at Villers Bretenneux in northern France.

At Villers Bretenneux

Today rode a bit over 400 kms today visiting three countries. The Netherlands,  Belgium and France

What a contrast to last year’s trip.

Densely populated villages

Fields green at the end of summer

In northern Queensland

Maybe one or two roadhouses on the parched dry land was all to see in 400kms.

The Villers Bretenneux is a significant story from a couple of aspects.

Firstly the village, in the Somme Valley was liberated by Australian soldiers in WW1.

It was a scene of vicious fighting were far too many died.

Monument to Australian soldiers at Villers Bretenneux

So the oh so many young men who died were collected and buried near Villers Bretenneux.

But the story doesn’t end there

And I believe this is the most moving part

The people of Victoria, Australia,  many of whom had lost family in the war,

Raised money to by donation to raise money to help build a new school in Villers Bretenneux

The school still stands today

And the kangaroos at the entrance show the eternal connection across hemispheres.