Going North | Day 2: Pamplona – Saint Brice

While packing my bike this morning I got plenty of people asking me if I was about to leave. In a way I was, but loading takes time and car people don’t always understand that. I did get a hint regarding the lack of parking spaces last night when an old Spanish lady tried by using mind power to convince me that I wasn’t allowed to park on that spot, even though I knew I was and I told her so. She didn’t leave until I said it was according to the police and she said she would go and get them and I replied very good.

After I loaded my bike I went for breakfast. I had an alright stay last night, a room with no extras, clean but a bit smelly of cigarette smoke and no breakfast. So I went to a bar nearby to fill up my energy levels before heading off.

the adventurers breakfast
the adventurer’s breakfast

This day gave a couple of surprises. Riding out of Pamplona in the morning coolness I was thinking that I had a few hours before the heat would strike but I was so wrong. I left Pamplona in beautiful sunshine and entered France through the clouds on road N 135 shortly after Puerto de Ibañeta.

last view of Pamplona, and last sunshine of the day
last view of Pamplona, and last sunshine of the day

It felt exotic for a bit, then scary when visibility dropped to a few meters riding the hairpins. Fortunately, I soon went down to earth again and riding was less demanding and frightening.

it feels exotic to enter France
it feels exotic to enter France

 

I rode D933 and it was beautiful. Unfortunately, it is hard, if not impossible, to stop and take pictures in many places. I did get a good shot of these police officers though. They totally discouraged me to ask for directions.

the french traffic police geard up to guard the roundabout
the french traffic police geard up to guard the roundabout

After Mont de Marsan I had chosen to ride though what seemed to be a nature area but it proved to be just a long straight road that went on for ever. Finally it ended and I passed some more interesting scenery and villages and then I reached my destination. A cute bed and breakfast close to Saint Brice.

imagine this place in sunshine when it's so pretty even a cloudy day
imagine this place in sunshine when it’s so pretty even a cloudy day

After check-in and shower I went for a walk. I had declined the optional dinner thinking that I could find a light snack. The environment was beautiful and despite the rainy sky I went for a walk. Actually, my original plan was a swim, because this fantastic place has a pool, but since the sky was grey as ever I figured that a walk would do. I went into Saint Brice and had a look, there is a beautiful bicycle lane here, and I took advantage and walked by it and looked at the scenery.

if your waiting for the bus Saint Brice is a good place
if you’re waiting for the bus Saint Brice is a good place

My greatest thanks today goes to:
The Ducati garage that fixed my heated grips. I got good use of them today – thank you!!!
And to McDonalds France for having nice fish burgers and salads (should have kept the salad sauce from last year though, much nicer than this new one) and for providing picture menus in a land where both food and talking is complicated.

My worries to day regards:
My left foot. Both feet went a bit numb while riding. Especially the left one. While my right foot doesn’t do much during a ride my left foot is crucial because it handles the gears, it went a bit problematic at the end of the day when I couldn’t shift properly. I thought that a walk would fix it, but now I rather hope that a rest and sleep will fix it. This is something that I haven’t experienced in my feet before and it seems weird after only two days of riding.

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Åsa

I'm a passionate biker from Sweden. I love to travel, preferably on my motorcycle. Please let me know what you think of my blog! Post a comment or send an e-mail: asa@forza.greynorth.net

One thought on “Going North | Day 2: Pamplona – Saint Brice”

  1. Great post!

    The place in Saint Brice looks like a hobbit inn…

    Those French police are actually gendarmerie nationale – they’re supposed to look intimidating 😉

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