Sunday, long day of rail from Paris to Charles De Gaul airport to pick up the rental vehicle and then drive to Liege, back in Belgium to watch the last of the spring classic monuments, Liege, Bastogne, Liege. Great finish with Valverde passing Dan Martin in the last 100 meters to take the win.
The car rental deal was screwed up, the vehicle that was reserved by the travel agent was tiny, we both left our passports back at the Paris hotel (Never do that again when you are over seas and need to do something, anything, official) so between my MN driver’s license and Bushy’s credit card that was used to first reserve the car and the reservation paperwork Bushy had, we got a vehicle that would work but costs a ton more, had to have the extra insurance plan but was big, with GPS and things were good for the drive back to Belgium.
The race was great, small town, big video screen at the last finishing corner 250 meters out, fun day, Valerde won over Dan Martin by a significant margin. A long drive back to Paris and a great dinner at the tiny local Japanese place. Prep for another long driving day on Monday to get from Paris to Grenoble, southern France.
Driving in Paris is not a lot of fun but I managed to get us in and out with no problems. Traffic to contend with but not so bad. Both times traffic was a little lighter, Sunday night and early Monday morning. Before we know it we are on a toll way in France, more things to learn. A driver switch about 80 kilometers into the toll way so Bushy could get used to driving on the right while on an open road. That didn’t last long, we had a tire fail while Bushy was driving and the vehicle had no spare. We limped down the road to a safety zone and parked it. Bushy tried calling the rental company but the language barrier was a major issue. Eventually a roadside helper stopped and ordered a tow truck which had to drive us back those 80 plus kilometers to get another vehicle from the work shop of the car company. Glad we took out the extra cost insurance because the tow was free and it looks like we won’t have any additional charges. We got another vehicle, a Renault instead of the Ford Galaxy wagon this time. Great more Paris traffic again but finally out-of-town past the infamous 79 kilometer marker. Into Grenoble about 7 P.M., time to assemble bikes and go to dinner at the next door chain restaurant, Buffalo Grill and try to sleep. Tomorrow we climb Alp Duez!!