So i arrived at the Dover Euro tunnel train to early however this is not a problem as they let me get on the earlier train, the guy checking my passport before i got on looked at my bike and said "Paris to Dakar" i replied with " No its Norwich to Tajikistan" with a smile
Once on i took my jacket off and made my self comfy on the floor expecting this train to be 2 hours or something (iv never been to France/Euro train before and as it was a last minute decision my planning was pretty p@#s poor) i had only got my Garmin GPS a few days before and never really had time to read the instructions or get fully used to how it worked. i did however managed to download Walters waypoint files he has on another site but with not knowing how to use my GPS (Garmin 650T) it was about as good as a DRZ with no wheels.
Before i could make myself comfy everyone was getting ready to get off as it only took around 30 minutes. i quickly packed all my gear up and set off.
So i was in France, The National French flag
So i set off heading East and after around 50 miles my battery on my GPS died and my 12v charger was not working as it was cutting out so i stopped at a petrol station to buy a coffee and draw some euros out of the cash point however this petrol station had no cash machine but the night time cashier/worker at this petrol station could see i was tired and passed me over a euro coin and pointed to the coffee machine with a smile, this really surprised me as this would not happen in the UK.
I then set off heading East with out my GPS on as the route looked pretty straight forward and then when it was day light i stopped to get some food and refuel. I got off my bike on the right side and my foot caught the top of my side bag and i fell forwards and as my stand was on the left side the bike came crashing down on to me (quickly found out the hard way to only get on/off the bike on the left side where the kick stand is)
The lady working in the shop looked in horror and came rushing out to help me and i stood back saying "iv got this iv got this its ok" and then dropped the bike again as i was lifting it up, it was a pretty comical situation to be fair but to top is all off once inside the lady who helped asked me where i was from and then said "what do you think of our country so far" i replied with "France seems very nice" she stared at me for a few seconds and replied back with "You are in Belgium!"
Belgium National Flag
A familiar site of anyone trying to make it as fast as they can across Western Europe
So i brought some batteries for my GPS (takes batteries and internal also) and headed off to Nancy in the East of France where i would stay with a girl from couch surfer, this would be my first and last couch surfing experience and i was never good with timings and always changed my mind last minute where i would head off to as i had no real fixed route just a end destination of Tajikistan.
My new route of the day (or should i say hour) would take me through Luxemburg and once in Luxemburg i decided to take a rest and came across by chance the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial of the soldiers who died in the Battle of the Bulge. i then laid on a near by bench and fell asleep for a few hours
Luxembourg National Flag
Once i woke i made my way to Nancy i was meet with my host who was not french but a Russian from Novosibirsk who was studying in Nancy she made me feel at home with some Russian style food, i sleeped on the floor adjacent to her bed and will talked all night about many things, her family, my family and various other subjects, we both woke up late after she gave me a giant cup of porridge i set off around mid afternoon
And the traditional plasma drink
I then headed towards Germany and just before the border i took a break for a few hours at McDonald's making the most of the free WiFi and meet some cool french bikers and spent around a couple of hours with
The plan was to then gun it as fast as i could across Germany & Czech Republic to Slovakia as fast as me & the Sputnik Explorer (DRZ) would go so i could spend time riding the High Tatras mountains in Slovakia.
German National Flag
Taking a quick break from the boring motorway riding
The to familiar site i started to get use to every 5 hours or so
Once in East Czech Republic my GPS keeped changing its mind what direction i should take so i just switched it off and looking confused i noticed a small older gentleman looking at my curiously across the road he waved me over and pointed at my bike and then himself saying "meeee bikkker tooz" so i followed hin back to his workshop and as soon as i got off the bike he showed me his work shop and whilst i was looking around he started checking my bike over and decided he should adjust my chain
Czech Republic National Flag
He feed me and made me coffee and offered for me to stay however i was right on the Czech Republic / Slovakian border and was to excited to sleep and decided to head straight for Slovakia as i wanted to see the High Tatras mountains first thing in the morning. Also one of my very close friends is Slovakian who i shared a house with for a few years and i nicked named him the " Best from the East" and also the " Butcher from Bratislava" i think he threatened to crush my wind pipe once when i first came up with these names , anyway i wanted to see where my friend grew up so i headed of to Slovakia
Slovakia National Flag
It was late in the night by now so the plan was to get to the edge of the High Tatras Mountains and find a hotel for the night and then start exploring first thing in the morning
Slovakian national flag on top of a tank