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All in a day’s work ... (day 6 & 7 of The Grape Escape)

Updated: May 16, 2018

If the first five days of The Grape Escape were anything to go by, then Day 6 was pretty uneventful. It consisted of breakfast at McDonalds and a stop at Services (or Aires to some) to don the hazmat suits and get ready for the rain.

And surprise, surprise – it didn’t rain!!!

We were headed on the coastal road to Nice, when we took an exit to get a quick drink and take off the spacesuits.

Happened to stop in a town called Frejus; which seemed to be full of motorcyclists. The sun was shining and we had covered quite a lot of distance, so we decided to just stop there for the day.

Nothing much to report after that for the day, it was all quite fairly sedate and civilised.

The next morning, which is Day 7 of The Grape Escape, we left Frejus and headed towards Nice and Monte Carlo. We were not taking the motorway but instead, we took the winding roads of the Alps.

We were in motorcycling heaven. The winding roads, the weather and the scenery; it was all the perfect setting for motorcycling, heaven, paradise, nirvana …call it what you may!

We spotted a beautiful view point, with an awesome view of the gorge. We wanted a picture but as we had already passed it, I decided to turn around and take a photo. I went to a spot in the road where I had sight of both sides of traffic and decided to make a U turn.

Unfortunately, Bonnie wasn’t really interested in the view and decided to put her foot down. She threw her toys out of the pram and decided to lay her 224 kg (that’s almost s quarter of a tonne) weight on the ground.

So, we were in this situation of Bonnie hovering precariously on the ground and both of us trying desperately hard to lift her up. My right leg was on the right exhaust, burning …The adrenaline rush of lying in the middle of a 70kmph speed limit highway meant I couldn’t feel the heat of the exhaust burning through my skin but oh boy, did it hurt later!!

I don’t know what I was feeling at that time – fear of dropping Bonnie on the road, embarrassment of not being able to lift up my own bike or the fear of being run over by a speeding truck.

Suddenly cars screeching to a halt on both sides and people ran out to come to our rescue. I think the scene of Bonnie pinning us down was enough to shatter any motorcycle ownership dreams that the occupants of those cars had.

Note to self: Do not get pinned down under 224 kilos for the sake of a photo.

Oh, dear me would have thought that would have deterred us from any more photo shoots, but no!! No, the pillion rider took a photo of the spot where it all happened. Look at the photo above - that is the spot where it all went wrong. I still can't believe that she actually took a photo ...!!

After being rescued, we carried on to the view point and took a photo. At that time, we realised that Bonnie had crossed 1000 miles and we hadn’t realised. No wonder she was cross.

(You can see our post on Bonnie crossing 1000 miles on Instagram - we are @ridingwineco on Instagram)

After quickly toasting Bonnie (dry toast that is) we were on our way. Please remember - do not drink and ride.

Rest of the journey was smooth. We went through Cannes, Nice and got to Monaco. The plan was to ride on the Grand Prix circuit (for those who are not into Formula 1 racing, Monaco circuit is the only one that goes through the actual streets of the town)

At this stage, remove any visions you might have of us zipping through the circuit. It was peak traffic hour and we were only able to inch our way through the circuit. Monaco, it seems, is mecca for scooters.

I have never seen so many scooters in one place as I did in Monaco!!

Landed up spending about 2 hours in the traffic there, and then carried on.

Crossing the border

Great excitement was we were approaching the Italian border. We were looking (or shall we say, hoping) for some kind of border crossing but it was only a few policemen and army officers standing there. They weren’t too interested in us, so we just went past and carried on until we reached Sanremo.

Sanremo is a small town, close to the border. We decided to call it a night there. Apparently, you aren’t allowed to park two wheelers in underground parking lots in Sanremo, so we had to park Bonnie in the town centre, in a specified motorcycle parking. We debated whether to put the bike cover on or not.

Putting the cover on meant that it would be more conspicuous as ours was the only bike with the cover on. But not putting the cover meant that one could easily spot that amongst all the scooters parked there, ours was the only 1200cc motorbike. We decided to put the cover on and check on the bike periodically (we were living quite close to where the bike was parked).

Had a glass of wine in a wine bar near the hotel and then wandered a bit and found an amazing café / restaurant. The restaurant owners used to live in London, and actually just in the adjoining lane from where I live now.

Great Barbera wine and homemade pasta for dinner. Then gelato and we were done for the day. All was good with the bike as well, so we made our way back to call it a day.

We then realised that we had crossed 3 countries in one day – France, Monaco and Italy (well... technically Monaco is a country). We had to celebrate (note: the emphasis here is on the words “had to”) but were too tired, so postponed celebrations to the next day.

Keep following us and come back to read our blog to see what actually happened the next day – did we celebrate? Or did other events overtake any celebration plans ….

If you want to live each day on The Grape Escape with us, follow us on Instagram. We are @ridingwineco on Instagram!


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