Day 6: Solo motorbike tour of France (Chur, Switzerland – Belfort)
For an overview of my 8 day tour of northern France through the Alsace region and the Vosges Mountains, click here.
Route: click here for the interactive map (206.2 miles): Chur - Thal National Park - Belfort.
The mountain roads from the previous day were so thrilling, that I returned to France on a similar route. My boots and gloves were still soaked through from the 10 hours of rain the previous day but I used plastic bags in my boots to at least keep my feet dry. It only rained for the first 7 hours on this day, so this was an improvement of sorts.
The scenery at the Thal National Park was just lovely and it was easy ride back to France through the Lucelle crossing. I rode through a few quaint French villages and filled up my water at a local fountain where stray dogs grinned at my helmet hair.
On the way to Belfort, there was a road closure. Unlike England, they hadn’t put up a diversion route so I used my map and spotted a tiny, unnamed road through Morvillas. When I got to this avenue, there was a handwritten sign stating, ‘Rue de Jacques’. I ought to have cottoned on at that point that Jacques was probably a local farmer and this was how he got from one farm to another.
I trundled along this waterlogged, potholed, gravelly stretch of path desperately trying not to drop poor Saki into a bottomless, muddy hole. Mud splashed over both of us, we slid and skidded and bumped along, me cooing words of encouragement at Saki and promising her a high-pressured shower at the end of the journey, if we made it.
Belfort was a sight for sore clutch hands and I parked my dishevelled moto up alongside a group of very clean, touring bikes and attempted to dry out my gear.
Belfort is, as its name suggests, a beautiful fort town. At 7pm, I entered a little, empty restaurant for dinner. However, when I spoke to the owner and he realised I was an Anglaise, he was suddenly ‘complet’ (fully booked). I went down the street to the ‘au bois de feu’ next to the water fountain – this was a welcoming place with an open-fire speciality menu.
After my steak dinner, I wandered around the quaint little town as the sun set. Very relaxing after the muddy drama of earlier.