Spain/Portugal/France TET Ride 2017. Day 11 Poitiers to Calais via Paris

New Year’s Day 2018

Happy new year !!

I woke up in the morning and checked out of the hotel. It was a wet windy day and the forecast was more rain and more wind.

I rode through and out of Poitiers up to the hill opposite the town where there was a golden statue of the Virgin Mary holding a baby Jesus with her arm outstretched blessing the city. The city looked nice from the hill top opposite, I took a photo a rode on towards Calais.

An hour or so later I was on the highway riding along when I saw the sky ahead of me starting to turn a very dark grey and the wind started to pick up, around 30 seconds later it started to hail huge hail stones and ahead of me all of the cars and lorries where putting on there hazard warning lights and all the traffic came to a standstill. I’d never seen anything like it, but it seemed to me that I was caught in the eye of the storm. I pulled over to the hard shoulder and could barley keep the bike upright I was getting bashed by the wind and hail so much. People in their cars were looking at me with sorry faces no doubt glad it wasn’t them riding a motorbike! But sorry faces didn’t make me feel any better, after a couple of minutes the worst of the storm had passed and I was able to ride on again. My waterproofs has done an amazing job of keeping me dry, my boots however have turned out not to be waterproof at all. With cold wet feet I rode on and an hour or two later I was nearing Paris.

I had not planned to stop in Paris, but when I saw the Eiffel Tower was so close I couldn’t resist riding up to the old lady of Paris in all her glory.

It was a busy New Year’s Day in Paris. Lots of traffic Parisiennes and tourists all out enjoying the city. Me being one of them.

I rode up to the Eiffel Tower and took a few pictures and then rode out of Paris via the Arc de Triomphe and a few other places along the way.

It’s always nice to visit Paris. But the road was Home.

I stopped for fuel again before the final push to Calais and made my booking for the Euro Tunnel at 6.30pm euro time.

The rain had kicked in again and it wasn’t a pleasant thing to look forward to riding in it. But that’s what we do. We ride in all weather to get to where we need to be….well…..some of us do!

The traffic heading towards Calais intensified around 80 miles out. I kept seeing lots of UK number plates all heading the same way. There were a few times the highway traffic came to and standstill and I wizzed through trying to keep my euro tunnel time. Sadly though I ended up being an hour late. The traffic was too dense and intense to make any real headway. I filtered the last 40 miles through heavy traffic and when I arrived at the tunnel, I was cold, my feet were wet and I had to wait in line with all the other cars. But they were warm, and I was not. So I rode up to the front of the line. A few cars beeped me, but they can run and jump, although when the French passport control spotted me they pulled me over and told me I had to wait in line like everyone else! Bugger!

After 35 minutes of waiting in line I was though the passport control and ushered down to the platform to wait to board the train. Motorbikes are always last on.

Tucked up And ready to roll I sat down waiting for the train arrive back in England where I then rode back up to London and finally home!