From United Kingdom to France
I said goodbye to Sue and rode to Newhaven pier via A27. I was early and had to wait for a while. The ferry check in was very straight forward. It departed at 10am and the crossing took me 6 hours. I arrived in Dieppe, France and it took me only 10 mins to stamp my passport. It started to rain soon after and the back road (D2915) which I took was very slippery. It was a very chilly and exhausting ride due to the rain and because the back road was narrow with lots of traffic lights and roundabouts. Maximum speed limit was 70kmh only. I arrived in Paris during peak hour and it took me ages to reach my hosts’ house at Mozart Avenue. My hosts, Mejar Zakhir Asni and his wife, Zirah welcomed me to their home. Mejar was an Assistant Defense Attache for Msian Embassy in Paris and they had been living in Paris for about 3 years.
This was my 2nd time in Paris. During my 1st time here, I didn’t manage to visit Louvre Museum, so I took the opportunity to visit it this time. I did some research and I found out that the best time to visit this museum were on Wednesdays and Fridays late afternoon, as on these days, the museum opened until 8pm. I managed to view the famous Mona Lisa painting by Leornado da Vinci without having to haggle as there were not many visitors. I also reported at Msian Embassy in Paris to H.E. Dato Ibrahim. After that I shared my riding story with all the staff and families. On my last day in Paris, my hosts took me sightseeing around the city. It was a very wet day, but nevertheless, I still enjoyed the sightseeing as Paris is a very historical city. All the buildings are carefully preserved for the tourist and the next generation to enjoy.
After 4 nights in Paris, I had to say good bye to my lovely and kind hosts and proceed with my journey. Mejar Zakhir guided me to exit Paris as I didn’t want to be stuck anywhere since Paris Marathon Day was held on that morning and lots of roads will be closed. After that, I continued riding on my own, but taking the back road to avoid paying expensive tolls. Like the other day, it was a very slow ride as I couldn’t ride fast on this kind of road. The view was nice though.
After riding 350kms, I decided to take the toll road, or else I will only arrive my destination after it gets dark. It seemed that some of the roads on the highway were FOC, and some, you had to pay tolls. Whenever I approached a toll plaza, a camera will detect me and the screen will show the amount that I have to pay. This was different than the system in Malaysia. Finally, I reached Toulouse after riding for 724kms via N20 – D2020 – N20 in 10.30 hours. I was soooo exhausted. I went to my hosts’ place straight away. My host, Mejar Nurul, studied Nautical Engineering at a university in this town. She and her husband brought me out for a little sightseeing in this canal town. It was very windy and chilly, so we didn’t stay long and went back to her place.