Since '02 xBhp is different things to different people. From a close knit national community of bikers to India's only motorcycling lifestyle magazine and a place to make like-minded biker friends. Join us

Castrol Power 1

Learn & practice evasive maneuvers.

Our Partners

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

The French Misadventure

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • [Photo Feature]: The French Misadventure

    I am not very good with this and this is my first long trip on a motorcycle.Brevity has never been my cup of tea, so please bear with the long prose.
    I have been wanting to do a road trip to France for some time. But for one reason or the other I wasn't able to get everything going for it.But with the summer setting in and the forecast being very good I finally decided to apply for the Schengen. Wife was, to my utter surprise, not utterly disapproving of it- 'yes let's do it, sounds fun' is what she said. Dismayed, I double checked by emphasizing that the trip is a road trip and she would be riding pillion with me-not like Scotland where she took the flight. Nope, she had heard that right and indeed was ready to ride pillion.
    I couldn't believe my luck. I quickly arranged for an appointment with the French consulate in London and had the Schengen in a week's time.
    I stay in Bournemouth on the south coast and the ferry from Poole to Cherbourg takes under 5 hours. Cherbourg is barely 90 miles from Poole after all, so had booked ourselves tickets on that one.Cherbourg is a small seaside French resort in Normandy region of France which is certainly not one of the most stunning places I have seen.
    But it is the shortest route to France from where I am and was pretty close to all the places in Normandy and Brittany I wanted to visit. We packed light since it was summer.Only the Rynox tankbag I brought from India and a backpack were enough. All set,I was getting excited at the thought of riding in Paris the night before the start,little did I know it was going to be an unforgettable trip and not necessarily in a positive way!




    Day 1 - Idyllic Normandy
    The Ferry Crossing and a damaged passport!


    We ,as usual, started a little late in the morning. Ok, a lot later than we should have. Brittany ferry advises a checkin of at least 45 mins in advance. We could only start with an hour in hand
    and the ride to the ferry port takes at least 30 mins. Wifey, the way she always does , gave me that stare-which I could instantly recognise as 'you-can-never-be-on-time' stare. Unperturbed I fired the bike up and was making good progress, but I realized 10 mins into the ride that I was not carrying the wallet. A mad dash back home and by the time we started again, we had 20 mins left for departure.After some more cold stares from wifey and nervous riding later we reached Poole ferry port. We were the last one, and realized that it's not really as strict as an airport. We were let straight in and handed our passports for checkin. I was getting confident againand let slip my favourite line- 'See we made it'. But hold on, drama was just beginning. The guy at the counter somehow managed to detach the booklet from the passport cover.I got a lump in my throat seeing the passport in two pieces.
    We could be simply turned away at French immigration or worse still if allowed to enter but later stopped on the road by a Gendarme? Got the officials at Brittany Ferries to write a letter explaining what happened and rode onto the ferry with all kinds of negative thoughts racing in the head. Not the best of starts to a trip then? Little did we know things were about to get worse, but more on that later!
    From then on there was nothing very eventful. Passed the time on the ferry to read up on French traffic rules and soak in the views from the deck.The French immigration officials at Cherbourg were pretty cool with that.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	cherbourg.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	99.9 KB
ID:	1997848

    Perhaps,a couple on a motorcycle is as far removed an image of a suspect(s) as one can think of so the detached passport wasn't a problem.First hurdle down-We were let right through. Fueled up and changed the speedo to kmph(UK speed limits are displayed in Mph) and reminding myself one last time to keep right we set off to the commune of Le Mesnil Garnier in Normandy, around 150 kms away.
    I had booked two nights in a cute little BnB called the Flowerpots in the village of L'Orail in Mesnil the Granier. It was a quaint little village as far removed from an urban setting that you can have in this part of the world.We reached just before dusk was setting in. The acco was wonderful with loads of character, wife was ecstatic.It was peak summer and the north of France was baking hot.We were tired and decided to have some beer and retire.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	flowerpots 2.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	101.2 KB
ID:	1997838
    This was the view we were greeted with the next morning. Truely idyllic.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	flowerpots 3.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	88.8 KB
ID:	1997839Click image for larger version

Name:	flowerpots 4.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	106.3 KB
ID:	1997840Click image for larger version

Name:	flowerpots 5.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	107.3 KB
ID:	1997841
    The chalet had two rooms separated by a stair and it had this wonderful rustic charm about it.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	flowerpots 6.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	109.8 KB
ID:	1997842Click image for larger version

Name:	flowerpots 8.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	97.7 KB
ID:	1997843Click image for larger version

Name:	flowerpots 9.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	99.3 KB
ID:	1997844Click image for larger version

Name:	flowerpots 10.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	100.1 KB
ID:	1997845Click image for larger version

Name:	flowerpots 11.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	106.3 KB
ID:	1997846Click image for larger version

Name:	flowerpots 12.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	103.8 KB
ID:	1997847

    The place gets its name from the numerous flowerpots dotting the property. I wholeheartedly recommend this place should anyone want a misadventure of their own in the North of France!



    Day 2- Beautiful seasides!
    The splendour of Mont Saint-Michel


    The next day we were off to the Famous Cathedral of Mont Saint Michel in Normandy-the 2nd most visited monument in France after the Eiffel Tower. It was truely beautiful.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	DSC_0542.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	105.1 KB
ID:	1997791

    I clearly remember this place.I was a bit lost and we ended up in the middle of this field. We had a proper fight there, don't really remember why, I mean I know it was my fault as always, but not sure what exactly
    The Mont is completely surrounded by water at high tide, only accessed by a bridge. We visited in the afternoon and it was not really hight tide, but it was still pretty.The Mont is almost a mini town with shops and cafes lining the narrow winding streets/stairways to the top. It looks really pretty.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	DSC_0557.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	93.0 KB
ID:	1997792Click image for larger version

Name:	DSC_0596.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	103.7 KB
ID:	1997793Click image for larger version

Name:	DSC_0614.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	99.4 KB
ID:	1997794Click image for larger version

Name:	DSC_0628.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	97.5 KB
ID:	1997795Click image for larger version

Name:	DSC_0631.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	99.7 KB
ID:	1997796

    You can get this expansive views of the ocean from the top.Majestic isn't it?

    Click image for larger version

Name:	DSC_0654.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	100.6 KB
ID:	1997797Click image for larger version

Name:	DSC_0664.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	100.8 KB
ID:	1997798Click image for larger version

Name:	DSC_0669.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	94.9 KB
ID:	1997799Click image for larger version

Name:	DSC_0679.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	103.5 KB
ID:	1997800Click image for larger version

Name:	DSC_0689.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	100.8 KB
ID:	1997801Click image for larger version

Name:	DSC_0691.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	105.2 KB
ID:	1997802Click image for larger version

Name:	DSC_0706.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	100.6 KB
ID:	1997803
    That's the bridge to access the Mont. It's needed since at the time of high tide, the Mont is completely surrounded by water

    Click image for larger version

Name:	DSC_0729.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	103.5 KB
ID:	1997804

    St Malo-
    After the Mont, we headed to the city of St Malo, known for its beautiful harbour and vibrant cafes.
    Click image for larger version

Name:	st malo 1.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	96.1 KB
ID:	1997805Click image for larger version

Name:	st malo 4.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	102.5 KB
ID:	1997806Click image for larger version

Name:	st malo 5.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	101.5 KB
ID:	1997807Click image for larger version

Name:	st malo 6.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	115.0 KB
ID:	1997808Click image for larger version

Name:	st malo 7.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	107.0 KB
ID:	1997809

    Had crepes and gallates at a cafe and absolutely loved the food.It was getting late so we headed back to L'orail.
    Came back to Flowerpots and the hosts were waiting with a good bottle of wine. We chatted under the bright and clear night sky, sipping French
    wine(of course!) and gazing at the stars.It dawned on me that the last time I did this-I mean gazing at the stars, not sipping wine-was when I was a kid.Somehow between the rigors of my studies during my teens and in the hustle and bustle of Mumbai during my adult life I forgot what really made me happy.
    The host, Geoff used to race dirt bikes back in the days and liked Royal enfields. We had so much to talk about, he even fixed the rear indicator on my bike after we had gone to bed.Sandra, the hostess was one of the nicest ladies we have met and took great care of us during our stay. If you ever visit Normandy then I'd highly recommend this place.

    Day 3: Bonjour Paris!
    Normany-Omaha beach, Paris- Eiffel tower


    We set off for Paris after bidding adieu to the Flowerpots.We took the autoroutes which were boring but were the quickest route to reach Paris.
    We stopped at Omaha beach enroute to Paris. I always wanted to see that beach after watching 'Saving Private Ryan'. It is a long stretch of sand and has a monument erected by US military
    which reads-'No mission too difficult, No sacrifice too great, duty first'. Thinking that so many guys lost their lives in these waters, gave me goose bumps.It's not the prettiest beach.I have seen but certainly the most historic one!

    Click image for larger version

Name:	omaha 3.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	97.3 KB
ID:	1997810Click image for larger version

Name:	omaha 4.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	101.6 KB
ID:	1997811Click image for larger version

Name:	omaha 5.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	89.5 KB
ID:	1997812Click image for larger version

Name:	omaha 6.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	88.5 KB
ID:	1997813Click image for larger version

Name:	omaha 7.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	106.1 KB
ID:	1997814
    Click image for larger version

Name:	omaha 8.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	89.9 KB
ID:	1997815
    No mission too difficult, No sacrifice too great, duty first

    Click image for larger version

Name:	omaha 9.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	104.3 KB
ID:	1997816

    After spending an hour there, we got ourselves back on the autoroute towards Paris.
    Everyone in my office I spoke with had told me it's a bad bad idea to do Paris on a motorcycle and suggested I park the bike at Normandy and take the train to Paris. I used to just nod the suggestions away telling myself I used to ride in Mumbai, I own chaos, but entering Paris I quickly realized that it's Mumbai. First of all the heat. Having gotten used to the temperate climate of the UK, Paris was a jolt we hadn't prepared for. It was peak of summer and was like a furnace. The CBR quickly lost its calm and the fan started running frantically-reminding me of my duke back home(oh how I miss it ).I quickly ditched the idea of taking the CBR to India when I return, it won't be able to cope with the heat surely or may be needs a coolant change.
    Anyways the heat combined with the bumpy ride on the cobbled streets of Paris quickly sapped all our remaining energy reserves and wifey signalled to pull over.
    The one thing I really liked about Paris is we can park our Moto-motorcycles are called Motos there-anywhere, much like Mumbai and it's free. So we parked the bike on the promenade and caught some breath.
    I looked around while the CBR cooled itself and suddenly realized, I was in the heart of Paris, on a freaking motorbike. This must have been impossible in the wildest of dreams for a guy doing the eastern express from Powai to Ghansoli each day 2 years ago lol.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	paris heat.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	102.5 KB
ID:	1997821

    I got some shots on the DSLR of the lovely architecture and then fed in the pincode of the hotel into the sat nav app and set off.Then comes the other reason people suggested not to ride to Paris. It's chaotic with people having scant regard for traffic rules. There are scooters everywhere and I mean everywhere. These guys just zip in and zip out of gaps you wouldn't have thought possible. It really was Mumbai. My riding has now been a lot sensitized after riding in the UK where you follow and expect others to follow all the rules and general well behaviour of car drivers who give ample space to the Bikes to pass through but Paris was a shock.
    I now understand I have a mountain to climb when I get back to Mumbai. If I quickly don't regain the 'art' of riding in Mumbai I'd be a sitting duck there such has been the extent of 'defanging' the UK has brought to my riding style
    We reached the hotel after I parked the bike at the side of the road, which brings me to the last thing about riding in Paris-It's a hotbed of motorcycle theft, along with London.
    Granted the CBR is no MV Agusta, but the bright yellow colours and reasonably good condition can fool any untrained eye. So I walked away with just a disc lock on the CBR knowing full well it won't withstand 2 mins in front of a determined thief.But that was all I had to secure the bike.
    It was a budget hotel in the 16th Arrondissement , nothing of the fancy stuff we saw in Normandy but the room was reasonably tidy.Paris is famous for its cramped hotel rooms, but this was ok and the bed was inviting enough! We fell asleep within 2 mins of hitting the sac.
    Woke up in the evening, wifey got all dolled up to look her best in the customary Eiffel Tower shots. I had decided not to ride around in the night and was apprehensive about parking near the Tower, but the reception in the hotel strongly recommended riding as it was the easiest and fastest way to reach the Tower. So we did.We rode out just wearing helmets and gloves, the last time we did that was so long ago in Mumbai
    Paris reminded us of Mumbai in so many ways you see
    Paris may be chaotic and hot and humid but one thing is for sure, it's beautiful and there's no escaping it. The architecture, the roadside cafes and then the Jewel in its crown-The Eiffel Tower.
    Approaching it from the narrow cobbled streets it looked majestic in the night sky with the beautiful lighting on it. It looks the best in night, probably cities in general look their best in night time.
    Click image for larger version

Name:	paris 1.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	104.2 KB
ID:	1997817Click image for larger version

Name:	paris 2.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	103.9 KB
ID:	1997818Click image for larger version

Name:	paris 3.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	111.7 KB
ID:	1997819
    Click image for larger version

Name:	paris 4.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	110.0 KB
ID:	1997820
    And we finally met the Eiffel at night! Beautiful indeed



    Day 4-Bliss and then Nightmare in Paris!
    Paris -Eiffel Tower,The Louvre, Notre Dame and ...disaster



    Next day we went out to see the Eiffel Tower in daylight and it was great ,not as beautiful it looked in the night, but impressive nonetheless.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	paris 6.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	111.5 KB
ID:	1997822Click image for larger version

Name:	paris 7.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	107.5 KB
ID:	1997823

    The building in the background is the Trocadero where the nightmare happened

    Click image for larger version

Name:	paris 8.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	110.0 KB
ID:	1997824Click image for larger version

Name:	paris 10.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	107.9 KB
ID:	1997825

    We then rode to the Louvre to see 'Monalisa'. After fighting the jostling crowd and clicking the customary 'I was there picture' realized it was all a little underwhelming.How that painting became the most famous painting in the world is something I don't understand lol.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	paris 11.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	112.8 KB
ID:	1997826Click image for larger version

Name:	paris 12.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	108.8 KB
ID:	1997827Click image for larger version

Name:	paris 13.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	108.5 KB
ID:	1997828Click image for larger version

Name:	paris 14.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	101.6 KB
ID:	1997829Click image for larger version

Name:	paris 15.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	108.4 KB
ID:	1997830Click image for larger version

Name:	paris 16.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	104.2 KB
ID:	1997831

    Anyways after roaming around in the huge Louvre and getting awed, we headed towards the Notre Dame Cathedral.
    Security was tight after the recent attacks but that didn't dampen the energy around the place. We sat at the bank of Seine soaking in the atmosphere and views.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	paris 17.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	106.5 KB
ID:	1997832

    Notre Dame Cathedral

    Click image for larger version

Name:	paris 18.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	128.0 KB
ID:	1997833Click image for larger version

Name:	paris 19.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	117.1 KB
ID:	1997834Click image for larger version

Name:	paris 20.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	103.4 KB
ID:	1997835Click image for larger version

Name:	paris 21.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	106.6 KB
ID:	1997836
    Click image for larger version

Name:	paris 22.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	103.1 KB
ID:	1997837
    River Seine

    We headed back to the hotel in the evening to freshen up and went out for dinner.Decided to ride to the Tower for a tour and enjoy the views from the top.That's when my luck finally caught up with me.
    The tower top floor was closed when we reached-it was past 11 in the night- so thought will walk to the Trocadero and will sit and enjoy the views. That is when disaster struck. In between the photo shoots and animated discussion with the wife and random conversations with other tourists I realized I couldn't see the the backpack anywhere-it was stolen. I quickly ran through the stuff I thought were in the bag-

    My 35mm prime lens-gone
    2 pairs of motorcycle gloves-gone
    Ram mount and mobile phone case-gone
    Spare Honda Key-gone
    Spare motorcycle bulbs(required by law in France)-gone

    These were not cheap but nothing to loose sleep over so I was calm. Then realized I had a pair of travel documents called passports in the rucksack as well! Yes, Passports, the last thing you'd want to loose especially when you are abroad.
    This is when the enormity of what had happened dawned on me and my eyes started to well with tears. We were Indian citizens who stay on a Visa in the UK and are now stranded with no documents in France-a 3rd country. This couldn't get worse I thought. Our return ferry the next day was from the port town of Calais which is infamous for refugee trouble and I reckoned checks would be tough, no way we'd be allowed into UK without documents. We had plans of visiting the Moulin Rouge and the palace of Versailles the next day but everything was going to go for a toss now. Heartbroken we decided to report the incident at a police station and walked back to the place I had parked the bike,praying to at least find it still there.
    We called at a police station at 1 am in the 5th Arrondissement and sat there for good 2 hours while an officer noted down everything, details of our possession and the circumstances.He did wear a wry smile when we told him where it was lost. Eiffel tower and the Trocadero are notorious for thefts and bag snatching and we really should have been careful.
    The officer was very professional and gave us copies of reports and we made our way back to the hotel, cursing our luck.
    From here on wife was for some reason not posing for pictures anymore and I stopped finding the architecture magnificent! so no more pictures, only heartburn below

    Day 5-Sleepless in Paris!
    The next morning, showed up at the Indian embassy in Paris in a quite nook in the 15th Arrondissement.
    The Haryanvi security wasn't really helpful initially, but I haven't really lost the north Indian 'swagger' I picked up in my teens after all these years and a few jokes and forced banter later he was like an old friend and let us in. The officials were really helpful and explained what to do quickly. Apparently you can get a new passport issued at the embassy in 4 hours time.
    We were asked to fill all the forms and come back by 12, because it'd be lunch break soon and it'd spill onto next day if we don't hand over the forms before the break.Yes, lunch break-you read that right-the bane of every Indian who visits a sarkari daftar-the creative hour when babus free their minds and think about solutions to the problems India is facing-Lunch break!
    May be I am being harsh given the situation we were in and they were merely doing their jobs. In their defense they were rather professional and were helpful with the forms, offering to do some of it themselves. We would have gotten our passports the same day had we not decided to visit the British Embassy in Paris.That was a bad decision especially since the office was closed. It was Aug 29 of course, summer bank holiday in Britain.That day wasted in stupidity, we retired to our hotel room in the evening, wifey almost in tears in bed.That was not what she signed up for!


    Day 6-Trying our luck!
    The next morning showed up at the Indian embassy and promptly paid the fees for new passports. An eye watering Eur 300 a piece.
    They kept to their word and we got the passports same day by 1 pm.Then I went out looking for a mobile phone holder as it's impossible to follow the confusing road signs and layout in Paris without sat nav and of course gloves as they are needed by law. Last thing I wanted was to stopped and having to explain the lack of travel documents to an officer, especially since I stand out with GB number plates on my bike.Paid EUR 70 for 2 pairs of shit mesh Furygan gloves and Eur 40 for a cheap mobile phone case and mount and headed straight to Calais, praying all the way.
    But we just had the passports now, but no UK visa, so there was every chance of us being turned away at the port. In fact everyone I spoke to at the embassy and back in UK suggested we stay back and get a UK visa, but it would take as much as 7 days for an emergency Visa to be issued by UK embassy and frankly wifey was at the point of breakdown now, so i thought what the hell I'd take my chance, the worst that could happen was a refusal at the port and a 300km ride back to Paris.
    Turned out it was the right decision as we were let through after 2 hours of checks at the UKVI office at calais.
    They were rather considerate but I think if it were an airport we'd have stood no chance.
    We boarded the huge DFDS seaways ferry at 11pm at Calais thanking our stars, but home was still a good 300 km away so it was not over yet. At this point I was so filled with negativity that I thought I'd really crash the bike in some hedge or something in the thick of night as it's only expected after what had happened with us. It was crazy. We set off towards Bournemouth from Dover at 1:30 am in the night and a frantic ride began. After riding almost non stop for 2.5 hours I thought fine, nightmare may finally be over soon.

    But obviously it cannot be that straightforward for me.

    Entering Hampshire at 4 am, we were greeted with a thick blanket of fog. Yes fog,the kind which limits vision to may be 5 meters(not exaggerating) in the middle of a freaking summer in the south coast of UK. This was unreal and I took it as a sign of all the negative things I was thinking about in the ferry coming true, petrified I though of just stopping and waiting for the damn flog to clear, but something in me just kept me going.
    I just wanted to get it done with. Thankfully nothing happened-may be because traffic was scarce at that time in the morning- and we reached home at 6 in the morning,both of us in one piece .Bringing an end to the most eventful journey in my life, till date and I hope that it stays this way


    So what I took away from this trip? A few things-

    1)France is beautiful. And this was only the North. I am already salivating at the thought of doing the south next summer.
    2)Paris is Mumbai-chaotic, vibrant and beautiful.
    3)My luck is wretched-I just received a letter from the travel insurance company informing my inusrance claim has been denied
    4)This was the first and last long tour with the wife on a bike. She made this unequivocally clear during the pit stops on the last day lol.
    5)The CBR is a great little bike.Although no goldwing when it comes to touring ,it gobbled up the miles with ease.
    It has enough for all situations, at least for me.110 bhp for those blasts when you want them, sporty position and the fairing to avoid wind blast
    but not as much to make it very uncomfortable. Again, you'd be much more comfortable on a KTM 1190 adv but the CBR gives you a great compromise between sporty dynamics and comfort.It has fully adjustable suspension both front and back is light, agile and fast and has proper continuous seat, so no compromise on pillion comfort as well.
    6)I need an action camera or some other way of capturing shots while I am riding. When I am off the bike, I end up clicking photos of only my wife(not voluntarily always!).I did some rough counting-95% are of the wife. rest 5% are the bike, me or us together.Either an action camera or I need to go on tours alone which given 4) above looks very likely now

    That's it guys, sorry for the long post. If you somehow don't get bored of all the photos above, will post more. Cheers!
    Last edited by Doga; 11-22-2016, 01:50 AM.
    The hero always RIDES into the sunset!

    My Touring Logs-
    French Riviera
    https://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/38345-biking-french-riviera.html
    Scotland-
    http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/3...-3600-kms.html
    France -Normandy and Paris on the CBR
    http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/3...adventure.html
    KTM chronicles-
    http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/2...hronicles.html

  • #2
    Re: The French Misadventure

    Travelogue Approved

    Haven't read it yet, will at leisure

    The pics look good though!
    Biking is not about what you have between your legs, its all about how well you use it!!!!!!!

    Give your details here if you want to help your fellow xBhpian stranded in your city

    Touring Blog: Cycling in Mongolia!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: The French Misadventure

      Wow! Really great pics and narration. I am sure now that it's over it will make for some really interesting memories later!
      The way you ride is the way you are..

      My Harley baraat!! |
      Ooty through a bike's perspective | KTM Duke 200 : A 20000 km experience

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: The French Misadventure

        Hope you are safe. Be careful bro. Travelogue is amazing.
        "The Bourne" moment. The Passports. The Police. The Embassy. A woman with you. The motorcycle.

        Share more about the bike, the riding experience and more pics please.
        Cheers!
        game for anything on wheels

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: The French Misadventure

          That is really a misadventure. Hope this ordeal is over of Visa's.
          Bad things happens with everyone, but we need to get up and enjoy more.
          Hero Honda Dawn-2009-2011
          Hero Honda CBZ Xtreme-2011-2017
          KTM Duke390 2016- till now

          Comment


          • #7
            Re: The French Misadventure

            Doga bhai, an awesome write up! Unfortunate that you faced all the issues, but these are lessons learnt for you as well as us, the readers. And not just for France.

            And please don't mind but do pass my warm regards to bhabhi jee and kindly let her know that she just earned a fan back here in India. For all she went through (pillion on a CBR, all those hassles etc) and might I add - she's beautiful.

            My favorite pics are:
            1. Your pic from the bnb stay with CBR parked below and bhabhi looking on (sorry .....)
            2. Eiffel at night (the tower alone) and
            3. CBRs pic with both of your helmets down and a blurred French building in the background.

            Other pics are lovely but I've seen similar ones before. The above 3 stood out for me.

            Time to get married, plan a honeymoon, get UK visas, IDP and rent a motorcycle.
            Last edited by Divya Sharan; 11-21-2016, 08:33 PM. Reason: Grammar.
            Got a $5 head? Get a $5 helmet.
            Because everyone who passes, isn't a martyr!

            Bullet Service Guide CBR 250R Parts Manual Fz16 service manual - https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1-...VFQmJzakk/view
            Hero Moto Corp Bikes' Parts RE STD 350 Wiring Diagram (CI) Service Manual - Classic 350/500
            ZMR parts - https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-U...it?usp=sharing
            P200NS Spares' prices - https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...taGd5R2c#gid=0

            Comment


            • #8
              Re: The French Misadventure

              Originally posted by The Monk View Post
              Travelogue Approved

              Haven't read it yet, will at leisure

              The pics look good though!
              Thank you Monk!

              Originally posted by Deathmate.Zed View Post
              Wow! Really great pics and narration. I am sure now that it's over it will make for some really interesting memories later!
              yes it is. There is this photo where wife was posing with the Eiffel tower in the background which was the last photo taken in that trip moments before we noticed the theft.We now look at that sometimes to have a hearty laugh.

              Originally posted by zincha View Post
              Hope you are safe. Be careful bro. Travelogue is amazing.
              "The Bourne" moment. The Passports. The Police. The Embassy. A woman with you. The motorcycle.

              Share more about the bike, the riding experience and more pics please.
              Cheers!
              Thanks mate. We are ok now. It turned out to be ok after everything and we are glad it did. The Bourne series is one of my fav btw, I remember watching all 3 in the series in one sitting in my hostel room-2 days before by final semester exams Wouldn't it be great to be a spy who rides a tech laden motorcycle? Bond to ditch the aston martin for a triumph speed triple?
              The bike, as I said did well. It was very reliable and comfortable.Just the right riding position and enough grunt for two up riding. It is an inline four so is peaky but the torque is spread decently across for a 600 so is not anaemic(like say an R6) low down-I think the current cbr 650f has the same characteristics but with lesser power may be.There are no canyons or anything in the north so the rides themselves were not so exciting frankly, so looking forward to the south of France next summer. The biking routes there are spectacular.
              I had to watch out for the speed traps and general speed limits. The speed limits are not properly displayed everywhere in France like they are in the UK. In the UK, they like to hammer it down your head with speed signs every few meters, but the French like to keep it implicit. Especially on B routes and around villages and smaller towns. You'd just have a sign displaying the name of the village when you enter and the name crossed out when you exit. You need to stick to 50kmph between these signs. On long rides when you are in the flow, it's sometimes difficult to remind yourself to slow down while entering and it happened to me a few times, but luckily I escaped any fines. Then there are these photoradar regions where speed is monitored and you need to be extremely careful else you'd be slapped with a huge Euro fine.Also donot speed on the highways, they monitor average speeds so it's not as easy as just slowing down when you spot a camera, your average speed in a stretch of road is calculated so if you have sped after a camera, you better slow down or stop much before the next camera.
              Also need to remind yourself to keep right. On the move it's easy and natural. I had no problems at all going anticlockwise in roundabouts as the road layout makes it 'natural'. but you need to be really careful when you start riding afresh after taking breaks. That's when you are most likely to be switched off and can start riding on the left. Other than these riding in France is pleasant and rewarding.
              Oh and in France bikers greet you by waving a leg and not by nodding your head like in the UK-it's funny

              Originally posted by tusharxtreme View Post
              That is really a misadventure. Hope this ordeal is over of Visa's.
              Bad things happens with everyone, but we need to get up and enjoy more.
              Thanks Tushar. yeah these things happen to make you stronger.

              Originally posted by sajalsheth View Post
              [ATTACH]222634[/ATTACH]



              nice pictures and places.
              Thanks a lot mate!

              Originally posted by Divya Sharan View Post
              Doga bhai, an awesome write up! Unfortunate that you faced all the issues, but these are lessons learnt for you as well as us, the readers. And not just for France.

              And please don't mind but do pass my warm regards to bhabhi jee and kindly let her know that she just earned a fan back here in India. For all she went through (pillion on a CBR, all those hassles etc) and might I add - she's beautiful.

              My favorite pics are:
              1. Your pic from the bnb stay with CBR parked below and bhabhi looking on (sorry .....)
              2. Eiffel at night (the tower alone) and
              3. CBRs pic with both of your helmets down and a blurred French building in the background.

              Other pics are lovely but I've seen similar ones before. The above 3 stood out for me.

              Time to get married, plan a honeymoon, get UK visas, IDP and rent a motorcycle.
              Thank you sirjee. Yes a lesson learnt indeed. I'd probably add the details of how to go about getting new passports and visa, who knows may be useful for some other unfortunate souls. Bhabhiji would be flattered to have a fan in India lol, but do keep in mind she doesn't really like bikers, especially since she met me lol
              But seriously it was very brave of her to go through all these. Ladies usually think of grandeur and romance when they think of Paris not a lost passport saga.
              Btw you don't really have to be married to visit Europe. In fact it's best done when you are not married. You will get all the freedom and time in the world to do things.
              Believe me it's much better to just take your bike out on a long tour on a whim than to convince the wife, plan for hotels and change itineraries
              Last edited by Doga; 11-22-2016, 02:37 AM.
              The hero always RIDES into the sunset!

              My Touring Logs-
              French Riviera
              https://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/38345-biking-french-riviera.html
              Scotland-
              http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/3...-3600-kms.html
              France -Normandy and Paris on the CBR
              http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/3...adventure.html
              KTM chronicles-
              http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/2...hronicles.html

              Comment


              • #9
                Re: The French Misadventure

                [MENTION=48967]Doga[/MENTION] brother, do post pics if you have more. And please share with us a detailed report on how to get the necessary paperwork done for anyone planning a visit to France.
                Got a $5 head? Get a $5 helmet.
                Because everyone who passes, isn't a martyr!

                Bullet Service Guide CBR 250R Parts Manual Fz16 service manual - https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1-...VFQmJzakk/view
                Hero Moto Corp Bikes' Parts RE STD 350 Wiring Diagram (CI) Service Manual - Classic 350/500
                ZMR parts - https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-U...it?usp=sharing
                P200NS Spares' prices - https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...taGd5R2c#gid=0

                Comment


                • #10
                  Re: The French Misadventure

                  Quite an adventure the two of you had. Thanks for sharing some lovely pictures, places to stay and points of caution when traveling the other side of the pond. Well done!
                  Ride To Live

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Re: The French Misadventure

                    Wow! Finally read it.

                    I have just two words for your bad luck, okay two emoticons
                    Biking is not about what you have between your legs, its all about how well you use it!!!!!!!

                    Give your details here if you want to help your fellow xBhpian stranded in your city

                    Touring Blog: Cycling in Mongolia!

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Re: The French Misadventure

                      Here is the route we took. Google says ~ 1500 km, but I remember my triplog reading way above the 1100 mile mark, may be we got lost a lot more than I think and rode around in Paris a lot more than I realize.


                      Click image for larger version

Name:	Capture.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	114.1 KB
ID:	1944692


                      Here are tips if you get when you go touring to France(or any other big European country) and lose your passport -
                      1)Invest in a good sat nav-Tomtom or Garmin may be? Phone apps are good, but a dedicated sat nav is better especially ones which are motorcycle specific like tomtom rider which gives you interesting biking routes. Of course these are not cheap so you can get a tom tom app on your phone or get some other sat nav app.I used here maps on android and it was good.

                      2)Carry enough exchange. I didn't carry any and used my UK issued GBP card. Upon return I realized all these transactions cost me a lot in currency transaction charges.

                      3)Do get a good data coverage packs for any emergency. I just had the basic pack and couldn't immediately get the phone topped up so had to rely on the nearby McDonalds for emergency google lookups.

                      4)Always carry soft copies of all your important documents-passport/visa/travel insurance/driving license/all tickets in your phone, and I mean in your phone locally, not in some cloud account or email. When needed in emergency you may not have network coverage to access these. These come very handy when you lose these obviously

                      5)Always lock your important documents in your hotel room and don't carry them around. It was a big mistake on my part.Never ever do it.

                      6)Do not discard any receipts.Anything you spend get a receipt and don't throw them away.You never know when you need them later.

                      7)If you are unfortunate enough to lose them, calm down and don't immediately call at the police station to report. Of course if the situation involves an injury or physical assault then it doesn't apply but if it's pure theft then it's advisable that you go back to your hotel room or sit down somewhere calm and go through your travel insurance policy(If you are visiting Europe from outside like the UK then you'd need travel insurance but if you're traveling withing Europe then I suggest you still get one even though may not be required by law). Any policy wording is always loaded against you, we don;t realize this at the time of buying because we don't read it. In fact the terms and conditions make it virtually impossible to be eligible for a claim in most practical situations. So go through it carefully and then file the FIR describing the incident such that your claim is undeniable. Remember the FIR report forms the basis of any claims processing so you need to be careful here.

                      6)After filing police complaint get in touch with the Indian Embassy/consulate. Do not delay contact with them and initiate process of new passport issuance, but remember they won't entertain you without a police complaint report. One thing to be kept in mind is-if you are visiting from India and intend to fly back to India, then you can get away with just a temporary letter/document certifying your Indian nationality which would be acceptable to immigration in India. You can then get the new passport issued in India which works much cheaper. 2 passports in Paris cost me EUR 600, whereas in India it would have been Rs 2000 may be. Of course this doesn't apply if you are not returning to India.

                      7)If you travel ends within Europe you need not worry a lot. A police complaint copy and photocopies should be enough. We were allowed into UK which doesn't recognize the schengen without a Visa after scrutinizing our photocopies etc, so within borderless Europe you should be ok.

                      8)When visiting Urban areas, always recommend to park your bike in car parks overnight and avoid parking at roadsides. It is a bit expensive(approx EUR 15-20) for a night but that's better than a stolen bike.

                      9)Prefer airbnb as these accos may offer off road or secured parking unlike most budget hotels.

                      10)Skip big urban areas altogether. Let's admit it we ride to enjoy winding roads and stunning scenery, to actually run away from the chaos of the cities.If not for the wife I'd have not bothered with Paris at all. To wives and girlfriends France really is one thing-Eiffel tower, but hey do we care?

                      Hope this helps.
                      Last edited by Doga; 11-24-2016, 07:05 AM.
                      The hero always RIDES into the sunset!

                      My Touring Logs-
                      French Riviera
                      https://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/38345-biking-french-riviera.html
                      Scotland-
                      http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/3...-3600-kms.html
                      France -Normandy and Paris on the CBR
                      http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/3...adventure.html
                      KTM chronicles-
                      http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/2...hronicles.html

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Re: The French Misadventure

                        Awesome stuff, Doga bro! Beautiful captures, I must say.
                        Thanks for sharing.
                        BENEATH THE REMAINS.........
                        Instagram - chaosaddict666 (follow for atypical uploads on heavy metal, bikes, alcohol, chakna, life, fashion yada, yada)
                        YouTube - chaosaddict666 (Disclaimer: crappiest uploads ever, viewer discretion is advised)

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Re: The French Misadventure

                          Thanks for this virtual tour for us!
                          A bike on the road is worth two in the shed.

                          Weekend Rides Around Kolkata
                          My Ride To Sunderbans -
                          Hemnagar & Samsernagar
                          Saagar Kinare - Bakkhali Calling

                          Comment

                          Working...
                          X