I took to the road at 5am on Thursday and arrived at Folkestone without incident. Motorcyclists, I didn't realise, get grouped together by Eurotunnel and made to wait until all the cars are aboard. Only then do we ride on - not very equal ops. I couldn't help but notice that all the other riders had very expensive and powerful models, as well as the 'right' gear. It must have cost them thousands. For my part I must have looked like some vagrant to them - dressed as I was in my non-standard clothing and sitting on my weedy little bike. But it didn't bother me. I don't need to look a part - I just want to get up an go - and go. And you don't need to be flash to do that.
My baggage is minimal - just one smallish rucksack (or do people say 'backpack' nowadays?). Choosing luggage has proved to be tricky, not least because I have to cater for crossing the alps on the one hand and the dead heat of Calabria and Sicily. Hard to accommodate all those conditions with the amount of baggage space I've chosen. It will be intersting to see which bits I got right.
I found myself fascinated by the language style of French motorway announcements. The English seem to favour the imperative rather a lot, e.g. "GET in lane" features frequently. The French illuminated boards seem a little more diffident. One - a reminder about seat belts after leaving a toll displayed, "Moi, j'ai mis ma ceinture. Et toi?" (I've got my seat belt on. What about you?). Sounds like some form of playground persuasion. Maybe we're more accepting of orders in England.
Shall conclude. Off to Mulhouse in Strasbourg tomorrow. Here's hoping the sunny weather continues.