We arrived in Le Grand-Pressigny on the last Friday of June, mid afternoon, having set off from home in Derbyshire at 2 am. We chose to leave at this ridiculously unearthly hour in order to get to the south coast before the traffic built up on the M25.
It worked really well, the journey was easy, the traffic was light and we arrived chez nous at a good time in the afternoon to allow us to settle in, although we were, as you can imagine, incredibly tired. We would definitely travel at that time again. It’s worth being exhausted at the French end of the journey to avoid the horrendous daytime and evening traffic on the UK roads.
On the Saturday morning we decided to go to Loches market to get some provisions and a few extra plants for the garden.
With armfuls of plants we were walking back to the car as a strange vehicle passed by. It was a sort of trike, a cross between a car and a tricycle and Nick quickly identified it as a Morgan with a Harley-Davidson engine. It stopped at the traffic lights and Nick changed his mind, noticing that it was an S&S engine – the kind often used in American custom motorcycles.
Having deposited the plants in the car we walked back to town and got ourselves a table in one of our favourite restaurants for lunch. As we sat down I was aware of a man seated by himself at the table behind Nick. He looked somehow vaguely familiar and shortly later he was joined by a woman in a jacket with a fur collar – unusual attire for late June – and I found myself trying to listen in to their conversation to see if they were English or French.
After a few minutes the woman turned round and asked us if we were Nick and Jean from Derbyshire. I then recognised them and realised who they were – friends from our old motorcycle rallying days and we hadn’t seen them for many, many years!
They were on a two week camping tour of France in their Morgan and had stopped off in Loches on their way south.
Naturally we invited them to stay over with us for the night and we spent the rest of the day and the evening catching up and reminiscing about old times. Between us we worked out that the last time we met was on a campsite in Scotland about fourteen years ago, at a motorcycle rally that they organised every year.
As we enjoyed a convivial evening together the rain poured down outside – I was pleased for them that they had not had to spend the night on a campsite somewhere.
The Morgan was a beautiful machine and, Alan and Sue being well travelled and seasoned motorcyclists and campers, they had the packing and stowing of gear down to a fine art. It’s amazing how much stuff you can get into a tiny space (or on a motorcycle) for a two week holiday after years of practice.
The Morgan attracted a lot of attention in the village, people stopped to ask questions and take photos, which is hardly surprising as it’s a fairly unique vehicle.
We exchanged details so that it’s not another fourteen years before we meet up again. Not only that, Nick now has a Morgan on his Christmas list !!