DAY 10 – VERONA TO THE FRENCH ALPS

Our bright red tent was not very well camouflaged at the petrol station so it was up early and on the road for 06.00.

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Our plan for today was to just hit the E70 motorway from Verona heading towards Milan and Turin, then enter France from the South avoiding much of the Alps, we arrived at Verona a little after 07.00, we didn’t stay long, Linda was having  a moody.

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Progress towards Turin along the E70 was swift, until we encountered the Turin one way system that was determined to hold us captive, on our third attempt to escape I pulled over at a roundabout to remove a few layers of clothing, it was hot in Turin and I was fed up of going around in circles.

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Our newly purchased map did not have a large enough scale to be of use to us, no matter how long we stared at it, after 15 minutes and two ciggies I heard a distinctive sound coming down the road.

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I flagged down the two Harley riders and asked them the way through Turin towards France, they said it too difficult to explain but a better route into France would be to cut through the Alps, I explained we only had warm weather riding gear and we were not keen on riding through there. The older rider said he had been up there only last week and the roads were clear of snow, the younger rider, Fabio, offered to show us short cuts from Turin through the villages to where we would pick up the road through the Alps.

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We followed Fabio for about 20 minutes until we picked up the trans Alp highway, Fabio and his friend are shipping their two Harley’s over to the States this summer and are going to ride route 66, he is practicing his English at the moment so they can communicate easier when they travel America. We swapped bracelets and wished each other good luck with our trips.

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The motorway through the Alps started of bright and sunny,  but as we climbed higher the weather deteriorated and became colder.

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We stopped to put on every layer of clothing we had.

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My Transalp on the Trans-Alp highway.

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We rode through dozens of tunnels up in the mountains, the longest being the Mont. Blonc tunnel at 13Km long, the tunnel slopes downhill all the way from the top of the Alps to exit much lower down the mountain range. As you can imagine, its bloody cold up in the Alps, but the strange thing was the Mont.Blonc tunnel was like a hair dryer, the heat that spewed from the tunnel entrance and half way down the length of the tunnel was very welcome.

We entered the tunnel in bad weather but exited 13km later to a sunny sky.

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From exiting the Mont. Blonc tunnel it takes another hour or so to descend the Alps to very welcome warmer air, the Tolls for the tunnels were very expensive, it cost over 30 Euros to pass through the Alps, the Mont. Blonc tunnel alone was a 22 Euro Toll for a motorbike, the toll was 33 Euro for a car……Ouch !!

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We rode into the evening looking for ATM machines so we could get some Euros, we found a town where all the banks were together around a market square, I tried my bank card in the first cash machine….NO!

I tried my bank card in many different ATM’s belonging to different banks, every time it was rejected, it was not a good situation to be in, I had Turkish Lira cash, 11 Euro cash, and 165 Pounds cash…..we needed 100 pounds to get across the channel, we were therefore left with 11 Euros and 65 Pounds to get all the way across France to Calais.

After much searching around burnig precious petrol, we found a petrol station that would accept English Pounds, so I filled the bike up plus my reserve can once again and we camped for the night at a another petrol station further along.

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~ by travelswithmymotorbike on May 15, 2009.

10 Responses to “DAY 10 – VERONA TO THE FRENCH ALPS”

  1. I used to have a book entitled optimistically “Europe on $5 per day”..that was published in 1965 I believe!

    • Hi Nikos,

      5$ a day in Europe lol……more like 50$ a day, if you dont drive lol….

  2. I love the way that you two change your plans(?) on a chance meeting with a couple of bikers. This is my philosophy of travel: Go with the flow, go where the journey takes you.

    I too was amazed how much colder the Alps were than the Adriatic. Maybe that was me being dim. I too opted for the tunnels – expensive but warm. You do miss out on some stunning roads though – I had ridden these on the way down, and wanted to see them on the way back, but it was just raining and raining and raining.
    Several times you have opted for motorways to save time/miles. Are you 100% comfortable with this?

    • Hi Andy,

      Our trip is split into two parts, the journey to UK was to be faster because the points of interest were less than our UK to Turkey leg, the second part will be much slower calling in at much more points of interest, also we really liked Greece and the bikers we met, so money permitting we are going to send a week bumming around Greece with them.

      We found UK much colder than the Alps…really !!

  3. Helpfull bikers again Dave, as Andrew said above…I like the way you can change your plans and just go with the flow, your very brave and tough going up in to the Alps with just summer clothes on!

  4. Oh forgot to say good pics of the mountains and your light hearted attitude in a crisis does you credit sir !! I know people who would have fallen to pieces in your situation.

    J

    • Hi James,

      Unfortunatly the weather was bad on the Italian side of the Alps and we did not get as many photos as we would have liked.

      Cheers

      Dave

  5. Ha,Ha,Ha…..So your up the Alps, No cold weather clothes, No money….You really like to give your wife memorable trips sir !!

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