After breaking camp from Cernay, we refilled the bike and retraced the Route de Crete….another amazing ride! The riding conditions were even better than yesterday and we had a fantastic time following it to its end this time at Saint Marie Aux Mines. Here we left the mountains and made our way to Reims via the mind numbing motorways for a total of 6 hours covering 470km. The first 112km took us about 2 and a half hours.
We encountered some toll roads. The first was relatively simple (5.60 Euro), other than Vince going into the NO MOTORBIKES ALLOWED lane, because he saw a picture of a motorbike with a red circle around it, the next time I almost lost my head….literally! Each time I had to get off the bike and feed the machine with coins, when I did it for the second time (8.50 Euro) I left my gloves on my seat and as Vince took off when the barrier opened they flew off backwards onto the road. I had moved out of the way of the oncoming traffic and was planning to catch him up when I could cross the multiple lanes of cars (these toll booths are NOT designed for foot passengers!) when a driver alerted me about my gloves. I went back and saw them being run over by a large truck. I went to the next truck, which also ran over them, and the driver saw me pass and I went to the rear to try to retrieve them. I indicated to the lady driver in the next car that I needed to get my gloves. I proceeded to get the first one from just underneath one of the tyres and then leaned in to get the next one but my hemet stopped me…so I went lower to get under the truck and get my glove and the wheel in front of me started to move ….which of course meant the one behind it was coming towards me….the lady in the car behind sounded her horn to warn me….but I was already onto it and got out of there quick smart! I then still had the multiple lanes of traffic to deal with before getting back to Vince, who had pulled over in a slip lane and was waiting patiently and totally unaware that he almost had a flattened wife! I don’t like toll roads!
Having survived the truck incident we made our way through peak hour traffic in Reims from one end to the other to locate our dingy but cheap (49 Euro) hotel. At least we can now charge our electrical devices (everything is flat – we had no cameras today!) and dry out the tent! We deserved our beer and glass of champagne with dinner tonight! The waitress did everything she could to discourage our dining at the restaurant but we ignored her and were punished as a result! I don’t think she could have picked fattier cows to choose our steaks from if she tried!