Italians have a key sense of hearing. Before leaving the parking lot of Hotel Galant more than one Italian notified me there was something wrong with our exhaust. Thanks for the heads up guys, I guess our brightly colored ear plugs weren’t visible enough. After a short photo op with our Galant in front of Hotel Galant we headed to the biker bar starting location.
As my co-driver had some issues with the fairer sex back home
we he spent a long time texting before breakfast. As a result we were rather late. When we arrived at the starting location it was abandoned. Gates were locked shut and there was no sign of any Carbagerun crew. We were hit with a tiny bit of panic. How were we going to receive our route and assignments for the day? Luckily we spotted one brightly colored Dutch plated 20 year old wagon behind the building: the standard issue carbagerun vehicle. They were also met with a closed gate, but did manage to procure photographs of the route and assignment sheet from yet another carbagerunner. Thanks to the internet bluetooth we soon had what we needed. When we left the sacred beer saloon biker bar property it was after 11 am.
The first part of the trip wasn’t too interesting. Relatively flat landscape with relatively straight roads. After about an hour the landscape changed, and we driving through mountainous terrain again.
The snow chain sign pictured above was promissing. The promise held true. We quickly moved from a part of northern Italy that seemed relatively poor and unattractive to a pretty and affluent ski region in the Italian Alps.
As we were driving in France for most of the day the assignments we got had a French theme. They were of the now standard ‘drunken brain fart’ category. Photograph a teammate inside a
chicken ‘duck’ (slang for a Citroën 2CV) while holding a taxidermic duck. Also: stand on your hands on top of a typical French highway toilet (hole in the floor). Last one: lift your car at least 2 meters above the ground with a crane. No forklift or equivalent allowed.
Boring as we are we decided to just enjoy the route and skip the assignments. Again. It’s a decision we didn’t regret.
Crossing over to France the views were absolutely stunning. We stopped at a hairpin turn to take some pictures and watch the other Carbagerun cars drive by.
The road slowly took us closer to the edges of the now French Alps. While the roads became less interesting, the views certainly did not.
While out of the Alps something changed we had not expected. Sure, the handsome mountains were gone, but these roads. After the lake at Savines-le-Lac we took the D3 to Espinasses, and from there the D951 to Sisteron. Great driving roads themselves, but during that time we took a detour we didn’t record which was an even smaller route. It was abondoned, curvy and you could see ahead. Great for having some fun. The landscape wasn’t as pretty and the passenger needed to brace himself constantly, so there are very few pictures from that time.
Sisteron is a 4000 year old town. Due to taking a wrong turn we approached it from an alternate angle. Looking back through Google maps showed what we missed: a famous 11th century citadel and a 12th century (former) cathedral.
After Sisteron the Col de Macuègne led us to the Gorges de la Nesque. It offered some very impressive scenery. After the Gorges de la Nesque we headed to the finish, Crazy Jerry, in Le Pontet on the edge of the city of Avignon.
When we stopped at the Gorges de la Nesque to take some pictures, like the panorama above with a whopping 12416x1856 resolution, we got the chance to talk some other participants. They somehow lived in the same town I live in. Small world.
This time the finish location wasn’t an Italian biker bar. Crazy Jerry in
Avignon Le Pontet is a large and fancy bar/restaurant, with a window showing you the kitchen when you enter. My co-driver saw something he considered very unhygienic (ah, the French) when he looked through that window, so we skipped eating there. For the first time this trip we took our time sightseeing the city. Without a camera.
Next: day 4. Avignon - Toulouse.
(picture time stamps as provided by the camera. I’m unsure about the accuracy. It was probably still featuring summer time, so it’ll be 1 hour off)