Couliore

The journey led me to the Spanish-French border, more precisely to Couliore. If it hadn't been so expensive there, I could have stayed there. This picturesque picture only gives a small impression of what it looks like there.

Oh yes, on this trip I was with .....
.... my beloved duck - and my today's wife and my today's boss!
That is the little one there in front on the hood.

France and duck ( 2CV ), two which belong together irrevocably. Unfortunately my ducky did not survive this 3000 km journey long. Not that this was due to the trip, it was simply too old.     

But I did not only get to know France in the duck. Already two years before we are four through France. With what ? .....Exactly, it is to be recognized clearly, on the bicycle.

Expensive France

October 1993 - vacation together with Stefan and Magda (and Philipp, who was still on his way) in France, more precisely on the Mediterranean coast near Cape Cerbère near Perpignan.

Silvia and me packed our duck (for all who don't know the part: Citroen 2CV) with everything we needed and then we started. Only the bikes brought the others by train. Well, the space in the duck is a bit limited. And off we went across the rain France towards the Mediterranean Sea.

So, I have to say, a duck is really waterproof - there was absolutely nothing left that was inside. Only good that we had enough dishtowels with us to drape the car with. In the Massif Central a short sag in braking power, in Perpignan the seat cover gave up, but otherwise the part ran well.

By the way, we repaired the upholstery with a clothesline, which did not inspire the TÜV at all a few months later. I had completely forgotten this at the TÜV appointment.

In Agde at the Mediterranean coast we were allowed to park our luxury vehicle under the canopy of a hotel, somehow the people admired us because of our resistance against the water that had penetrated into the vehicle.

Unfortunately the weather conditions in October are no longer such that one could still bathe, but the vacation was nevertheless worthwhile. Fortunately we had our bicycles with us, so that also smaller trips into the surrounding countryside were no problem. Well, no problem is somewhat understated. Silvia, my beloved has the ability to orientate like a cow in the dark. This resulted in more than a discussion about where we were and how we had to drive.

1992 - the promise

How do you think ego trips come about?

Maybe the way ours came into being. You make a promise to an old friend and then you are nailed to it. In order to keep the promise you think about something special and all of a sudden you are in the middle of an ego trip that has washed itself.

Enough of the introduction. Conny has been working in Spain for years, more precisely in Ampuriabrava. And at some point I was there close to the "working holiday" (you know, I was working with handicapped people at the time), so I also visited them and promised to come back with old friends. Weeks later, the regulars' table and the idea was born:

We ride our bikes !!!

Who doesn't know it yet, we come from the Saarland, had to cross France with Central Massif and Pyrenees, altogether about 1300 km. So for the track the training program was quite poor, a few trips over a few hours, nothing else.

We upgraded the hardware. Beside 21-speed trekking bikes there was a lot of repair stuff. At some point we started, everyone with about 25 kg of luggage on the bike, the muesli (since then I can't see any more) in the bags and the tents packed we started first to Drittt, Peter, Markus and me, Waltraud had only 4 days later vacation and then followed.

Actually we wanted to see something of France and had planned country roads, finally we drove only "Route National", the race track next to the motorway. Unfortunately we had a time schedule and not every stage went as planned.

1200 km in 20 days, not exactly Tour de France record, but not bad. And all this only because we wanted to visit a friend in Spain.

Besides a lot of rain there was also ...
still a lot of pastis and vin rouge, as Markus proves.
But the weather was the same, and it was also a lot of fun.

We reached one of the most relaxing intermediate destinations after 9 days and an ascent to the Massif Central ...    

    ... Vallon Pont d'Arc at the "Ardeche". Unfortunately our time was so short that we had to cancel a canoe trip on the "Ardeche".

Well, 10 days later and the Pyrenees behind us we reached our destination, Ampuriabrava in Spain. Back we went one week later by bus !

France

France is a democratic, intercontinental unitary state in Western Europe with overseas islands and territories on several continents. Metropolitan France, i.e. the European part of the national territory, stretches from the Mediterranean to the English Channel and the North Sea and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. Its mainland is known as a hexagon because of its shape. France is the largest country in the European Union in terms of area and the second largest in terms of population (after Germany). It comprises (after Russia and the Ukraine) the third largest national territory in Europe. Paris is the capital and, as an agglomeration with the Métropole du Grand Paris and the surrounding areas of the Île-de-France region, the largest conurbation in the country, ahead of Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse and Lille.

German source: Wikipedia

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