It was at this point that our glorious leader cybersofa, who had been uncharacteristically laid-back so far, began to fret about getting us all to the ferry in time, which meant that my top speed and I got chivvied back on the road before anyone else when we stopped for a break.
I'd really begun to think I'd managed to spend a week in France without encountering a hole-in-the-floor loo, but my hopes were dashed at a roadside rest stop. I'm no longer frightened that I'll fall down the hole (though I still don't like Superloos), but I'm not terribly happy about using the things either.
After a week of carefully locking the scooter on deserted mountaintops, I managed to leave the key in the ignition in the roughish town where we stopped for lunch and had to come belting out of the café to retrieve it. I could just see my holiday ending with some French teenager nicking my machine; luckily no such thing happened and I was able to rejoin the others, receive my rightful teasing and enjoy my croque monsieur.
We were all on the ferry in plenty of time, of course. Did I mention I love travelling by ferry? And as much as I love watching England recede as I set off for the Continent, I love seeing it come up to greet me again on the homeward voyage. Particularly if, as it did this time, the sun sets during the journey and my first sight of home is of bright, twinkling lights.
What did I like best about the holiday? The fact that such a diverse group, with very different vehicles, riding styles and interests, could respect and admire each other's skills - and all succeed in having a fantastic time.
I was very sad to part at the ferry terminal and head the opposite way to everyone else, along the M275 for another night at galahadwarhorse's. As I was driving back up the A3 the next day - much quicker and more safely than I drove down, I think - I saw a group of learner motorcyclists going the other way, and was cheered by the sight of a lone scooter among the bikes. Go to it, mate, I thought. You're going to have a lot of fun.
L-R: Sandie, John, cybersofa, huskyteer, Julie, Mick, Roger, Howard.
Image deliberately small to prevent anyone's getting cyberstalked as a result of it. But we're all smiling.
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