Sunday 7th July We rode off the ferry after an extra hour in bed as the clocks went back again, Alan decided to try and get home by the motorway as his clutch seemed usable, my final drive bearing was loud so we opted for the smaller roads. 6 miles from the ferry port it started to really crunch!
So before it completely collapsed, this was how, after 3932 miles our journey ended with our first ever breakdown, and a the last 79 miles like this, not the glorious end we imagined!
Saturday 6th July We set off the 280 miles to Rotterdam ferry port with Alan's clutch still not working properly. trying to stay on the main roads to minimise gear changes. One stop and a fluid refill, and we coasted in to a very quiet ferry port, through customs and onto the ship.
Although we made it my rear drive has a very grumbly bearing! You can hear it on the video! We were booked into the buffet restaurant, so all ate way too much, then crashed in our cabins.
We waited till Alan found out about the BMW garage, then found out it didn't open till 2pm! The remaining two bikes set off for Reims (pronounced rass) and kept in touch on the way, despite both me and Bryan nearly being hit by an eagle at about 60mph, I kid you not!
When we arrived at our hotel we got a message to say his bike was fixed and he was on his way.
Alan arrives at the hotel late in he day (about 8.30pm) but all is not well.
We went out to discuss it over some dilerium tremens red, a lovely cherry beer about 8.5%
Everything seemed better then, as we walked back from a packed town (Friday night and students just finished their exams)
We came across some strange happenings at the cathedral
Set off on a fairly long ride to Orleans when about 60 miles up the road we had to pull in as Alan's GS was having clutch problems. He was losing all pressure at the lever, but not seeming to lose fluid.
After Bry sucked out the old fluid, which was a bit manky, and we put some fresh in, it seemed to improve.
We continued on the toll roads so there was less gear changes but, as we entered the city and the stop start it got worse. Alan was constantly pumping the clutch to try to get up or down the box.
We limped into the hotel and calls were made, luckily there was a BMW garage in town and the bike was recovered.
We went into Orleans old town and saw Joan hopefully she will give us some luck
We thought the traffic in Barcelona wasn't too bad, but we rode in on a Sunday, and today was a work day! After clearing the city we rode up into the Pyrenees coming across a cow in the middle of the road eating grass off the roadside, at 1900 metres (6230 feet)! No photo as we were all that surprised!
The road disappeared as we tried to cut across country and turned to single lane track
Eventually we reached Carcassonne where Rach eventually got her modules and frites
We were woken from the sleep of the just by the church opposite calling everyone to mass at 8am!
After staggering down the hill to get coffee (the owner and his wife were still in bed) we packed up and moved on.
We rode into Barcelona via the coastal road, one of those must ride roads, others had the same idea but it was still fun (video to follow when the connections better!)
We arrived at the hotel and the guy at the desk said 'you can put your bikes in our garage' oh that's great thanks, is it free? ' no €21 per night, per bike!' Can't we just park for free on the street with scooters? 'Hmmm, yes'
Our hotel backs onto a square of other buildings with yards on terraces over parking etc. From our window we can see people in their flats and apartments going about their daily lives, it reminded me a lot of the Hitchcock classic Rear Window.
We rode back towards the coast through the Serra d'Irta mountains on some lovely twisty roads to reach Peniscola - the city in the sea, this was where the 1961 film El CID was filmed it was supposed to be old Valencia.
On the way in we passed a few more girls wanting lifts, some seemed to have lost most of their clothes! But had found chairs and umbrellas to shelter under.