This being Sunday morning in rural France, the roads were almost empty. The few drivers we did see gave us a headlight flash and a wave, while other bikers did that French-biker hand gesture.
Sunday lunch was at a farmhouse in the countryside. Before the meal we were served glasses of what looked like orange juice but tasted far more lethal. It is ponche, we were told. Ponche? Aha - punch, of course!
Not on the menu were two donkeys and an adorable kitten, the latter submitting to cuddles from twenty bikers in turn with delighted purring.
After lunch, at the Super U's 24-hour petrol station and at the afternoon's sightseeing stop, the French and Belgian scooterists began to slip away home. We made one final stop for fuel and said farewell to the last of our French friends with much double-cheek-kissing. César, who had performed various noble services over the weekend including getting our fallen comrade's scooter to Rennes, excelled himself by waving me down as I was riding off and tying my shoelace for me.
Three of the Brits were spending another night in France, while the rest of us were headed for the overnight ferry. We managed to give the GOGs the slip - or rather, they went haring off ahead - within minutes of hitting the autoroute, and had a leisurely journey with one hot chocolate stop.
Usually I hate driving on unlit motorways at night, but four scooters make quite a lot of light and I was perfectly content with the stars twinkling above and The Definitive Monkees on the iPod.
Arrived at the port in good time; Kit Kats all round for the gang and the other biker in the queue as we compared our weekends. After an enquiry at passport control, I even found a post box for my postcards.
You don't get much sleep on those reclining seats, do you? After three hours of listening to other people snore, I gave up and lay on the floor, where I got a couple of hours' kip - enough to get me to Winchester services, where a fried breakfast fuelled me for the rest of the journey. The four of us said our farewells at the service station, finally parting company at the M3/M25 split, and by eleven on Monday morning I was safe in my own bed.