After the disastrous trip to Portugal for the HOG European Rally in 2004, we decided we would have another try - in 2005 the Rally was in St Tropez - or Port Grimaud to be more accurate. Nick was over the moon when Grin was declared fit to travel by our friend Kev from Le Rock Motorcycles. Grin had spent most of the last year in his workshop having various problems fixed and now Nick could fulfill his dream of once more taking the bike to France. Not only that, Grin would be able to sit proudly alongside the hundreds of other fabulous bikes that were going to be there.
Unfortunately, this was not to be. We set off early evening to catch the 11.00pm train. About 50 miles down the M1, Grin ground to a halt. Frantically trying to work out what the problem was, Nick had the carburettor in bits at the side of the motorway by the time Kev turned up with his van. Kev had also brought along Nick's Harley so we switched the luggage from Grin to the Harley and off we set again. Grin disappeared back to the workshop and Nick never really rode it again after that.
We missed the train of course. We also arrived just after the 1.00 am train had left and the next one was in 2 hours' time. We finally arrived at our hotel in Calais at 5.00 am. The young man at the desk informed us that the room was ours until midday and he would ensure we were not disturbed.
Some things French hotels do so well - fountains and staircases.
We had another great trip through France, visiting some of our favourite places. The rally site was actually a large caravan site, completely taken over by HOG. Our accommodation was "4 berth" but it was tiny. It was barely big enough for the two of us with all our stuff and we chuckled as we watched other people actually try to squeeze 4 people into theirs.
Port Grimaud was a pretty place, in a wealthy touristy sort of way. We took the boat over to St Tropez one day, just to say we'd been and seen how the other half live. Nick was in heaven - surrounded by boats and Harleys (not to mention bikinis!).
The pretty harbour at Port Grimaud
A St Tropez street
St Tropez harbour
Bikes and boats - and fancy dress
Then we had a great trip back through France, arriving at Forcalquier in a tremendous thunderstorm to find all the electricity off. The only place in town we could get a meal was, you guessed it, a Chinese restaurant.
Another thing the French do so well - outside wiring in Forcalquier.