We left on Thursday in brilliant sunshine and 20°C. By the time we'd ridden for an hour and were up on the plateau de Larzac at le Caylar service station it was 12°C and drizzling. It was also lunch time, but did we want to perch our lunch on the motorbike seat in a nasty drizzle and stand to slurp a soggy sarnie? No we did not, so we turned round and went back to Montpellier.
Wimps! Yes, we had to admit that although, in our heads, we are toughies ready to brave un-fair weather and foul in our search for adventure, in reality, we'd much rather go motorbiking in fine conditions only... So we had our picnic lunch outside on the terrace in warm sunshine, sitting at my garden table, not soggy at all.
Then we unpacked the bike, packed my car and drove to Auvergne instead!
While it was late spring in Montpellier, it was still winter in Auvergne. Even the Col du Pas de Peyrol/Puy Mary col was still closed so we had to take a lengthy detour via the north through Riom-ès-montagne to get to Salers, our first port of call. Could we see those famous volcanoes as we drove along? Not through the relentless rain and low clouds which shrouded everything in heavy mist, no. It was all too reminiscent of holidays in the Lake District...
|Typical view of countryside, volcanoes somewhere about...|
|Half a view from Salers|
|Audrey Hepburn room at Hotel Bailliage|
|Misty view from hotel window, temperature outside 5°C|
We washed it down with a red Côte d'Auvergne. Wine from Auvergne? Yes, we'd never heard of it either, but it has an interesting peppery note on the tongue, and the red was just right for the 5°C miserable weather!
Our decision to take the car was vindicated the next day too when the weather got even worse...