Sunday, 25 April 2010

BOG's on Tour .... Again!

So here we go again, off to soar the Alpine mountains of southern France, after weeks of planning we set off on Friday morning, Dickie and Stu with the ASH and I travelled with Pete towing the Ventus. Although we crossed on separate ferries the plan was to meet up half way at.( somewhere north of Macon)........... for a leisurely night stop. The forcast was not so good for Saturday so we planned to take an easy drive down to arrive Saturday afternoon. During Fridays trip I was toying with not writing a daily blog because I didn't think there would be much to tell. How wrong was I?

Me and Pete set off from the hotel 07.30 Saturday morning with Dickie and Stu not far behind, all was going well bright sunshine and a forcast for the Alps that looked great for Sunday onwards, good conversations and chewing over prospects and goals for the coming expedition.
Everything going to plan with a meet up at Sisteron with the RAFGSA guys who were already there and looking forward to a really good 2 weeks .......RING RING goes the phone "
Hiya Tel", from the tone of Dickies voice I knew all was not well.
errrrr "wossup Dickie"?
"We have a slight problem, the engine on the galaxy has just thrown all its toys out from under the bonnet and it doesn't look good"
Great - we were 4 hours from Sisteron around Lyon, and Dickie n Stu were 30 miles behind us near Macon totally stranded. We pulled into a parking area and considered the options. This may sound bad but it made perfect sense to leave Dickie and Stu behind, after all we were all right weren't we!!!So we left them to organise a tow off the motorway and pressed on to Sisteron to await news on the fate of the Galaxy.

Some time later Pete and I were told the bus was terminal, "never a dull moment with Dickie is there" Pete was heard to say, "You can say that again" was my reply. So we pressed on to Sisteron arriving at around 3.30, checked into the Gite , unloaded and without even a cup of tea, left Pete to sort himself and the gite out while I set off back to retrieve Dickie and Stu.... and they hadn't even landed out.

So you might think the story from here gets a bit boring.... It doesn't. Never a dull moment did Pete say? Check in tomorrow for the next installment of the retrieve from hell.TM


So here I am driving as fast as the law permits back up the motorway to Macon, a quick call to Dickie I need to leave at junction 29, they had detailed instructions but told them would call for them later. Three and a half hours and 325 km later 3 mile from junction 29 give them a call......bling bling..... battery warning on my phone, I tell Dickie to send directions by text cos my battery is going, this is what I get
Simple I thought, followed instructions to the letter took me to an industrial estate, no sign of them, text.... where are you? SAME MESSAGE AGAIN. Sent another... bling bling battery!!!! Thats where I am but D17 is at least 5km west of motorway motorway.... bling bling bling!
Hell if this battery goes we are really in the guano! Reply ON D17 1KM FROM MOTORWAY I sent.... Dickie I am 1km west of motorway Reply N 46deg 18 658 E4deg 47 484Oh great now I have to work out how to use this sat nav, after a while punched it in. I sent...Dickie that location is 20 miles from here! bling bling flaming bling
So now we are east! and all signs lead to Charnay de this and Charnay de that. Dickie sent SORRY WEST J 29 1KM WEST J29 ON D17
I've been there!!!!!!!!! By now I am east of the motorway and virtually lost.
bling bling bling ( if it goes to four blings we have had it!)
No use to me at all, then I get
Pulled into another hotel asked for directions to the hotel Moulin. Nice receptionist then produced a map for me that filled an A4 sheet with about 6 roundabouts and junctions to negotiate....bling bling bling bling.. One and a half hours of driving in circles after arriving at J29 finally found them! After we had a good punch up on the side of the road we hooked up the ASH and retraced our way back to J29, Dickie and Stu went very quiet when they saw how far out their directions were, so then Stu blamed Dickie for abbreviating the detailed instructions they had been given, nearly another punch up in the car!!! Back to Sisteron arriving 2am, 10 hours after I had left the previous afternoon, absolutely knackered. Stand by for the next installment of SOG's on tour!15:46 28/04/2010TM

Weather is looking great for the week the first couple of days were spent re-acquainting ourselves with the local terrain and on Tuesday Terry and Dickie set a racing 313km and were back by 3pm, so a further 180km was set which they completed at 120kph by Wednesday we were setting tasks into the northern Alps with Dickie and Stu paying a visit to Mont Blanc for a 506km flight at 99.8kph!, most days we flew 5 hours plus. and evenings spent relaxing in the usual French style, Vin, Pastis etc etc.

On Thursday Stu and Terry completed a close inspection of the lower rocks of the Ecrin for a 400km plus flight.

Friday, weather not looking great waving everywhere so went for some French pavement cafe culture, with Pete and Stu leaving in the morning a quiet dinner with Chris and Nigel from Lasham in a Sisteron town restaurant followed by an early night!