My experiences from the dark side

The sun always shines somewhere.

November, 8th

by Norbert Elek ( @norbi )

When the darker days arrive, it is often difficult.
I get up in the morning, everything is in the fog, sometimes it rains.
The whole gloomy, dark mood descends on my mind, and it too gets dark.
I’m falling back.

But a small corner of my brain is already whispering, “go on the road, go on the road.” This repeats the mantra to me.
And I know it will be right: many times the city swims in fog, but I know the sun is shining up there.
I take advantage of today’s technology, quickly looking at images of higher webcams from the mountains.
And I can already see what the mantra contained: the sun is really shining up there, you have to go on the road!

I’m leaving.
It’s a fight day in and day out, somehow mapping out the characteristics of life for me.
And I know I’m braver than the elements.
It solidifies my faith, even if I sometimes sway.
As I make my way up the hill, I can already see where the border of the fog blanket is.

I got up, I still struggled with my weakness, I sucked in the energy, and happiness pervades my body and soul.
I know back, I’ll get into the realm of darkness again, but already with the experience of doing it, and I know where the way out of the darkness is.
Sometimes it’s hard, but we have to fight, we can only win at the cost of a fight.
As it is stated in one of my favorite films, “Fight up, you have to win here!

Fighters. I’m with you.
Always ahead.

Covid Travel restrictions or how we rediscovered France

A travel range of a Solitude Seeker and her husband.

September, 21st

by Valérie (@valsfactory)

We are travelers. We are wanderers.
As long as we have been together, we never went on holiday in our beautiful France.
Prices too high? Too many tourists? Depending on the season, bad weather? Maybe all of that.

This year, as for many of us, travelling, going on holiday has been more complicated than ever. Covid-19 has made it difficult to plan anything.

After a lot of consideration, the decision has been made. Why not put our bikes in the car, and start exploring France

Suitcases were packed, car was ready. Now what? Where do we start?

First stop: Auvergne
The hotel was booked while we were on the road. Let’s go for 2 nights in Clermont Ferrand.
To be honest the city has nothing special. Everything is built in those dark volcano stones, so it can easily be oppressive. But it has its charm.

The real interest in the area is the Volcanos National Park with the Puy-de-Dôme. That’s where our first ride took us.

Where next?
As we did not find anywhere to sleep in the next national park, we went straight south in the Pyrenees.
But not before making a small detour to see the famous Viaduc de Millau.

Next Stop: Lourdes
Pilgrimage city in the heart of the Pyrenees. Definitely a touristic city. Perfectly situated for our next rides.

Col du Tourmalet

Col du Soulor and col d’Aubisque

And Hautacam to finish here.

Spanish Basque country was now awaiting us. Unfortunately the weather did not play along so, change of plan.

Back to France, where a long day in the car led us to the Provence in Avignon.

Of course we had a specific ride in mind…

The Mont Ventoux…
This was the one that scared me most. But even the Mistral was blowing, it was one of the most beautiful climbs we did.

More than a week had passed, but we wanted ( more I ) to do one last stop before heading home.
Some personal challenges were waiting for me in a region where I spent most of my childhood. I wanted to climb the mountains I hiked as child, teenager and young adult.

Last stop: Hautes Alpes, Briancon

First climb right after our arrival: col du Granon
Just so our legs would know what they would be up to the next days…

Plan of the day:
Col du Lautaret – Col du Galibier – Valloire – and back.

Side number 1

And side number 2 (Yes, I am proud)

And of course we couldn’t leave the area without climbing the col d’Izoard

That climb ended our road trip.

When I look back at those 12 days, I can’t help already planning the next one.
We still have so many more regions and beautiful places to discover in France.
As the virus doesn’t seem to stop, we might have many more adventures like these in the coming months / years.

So, for once, thank you Covid for pushing us to do this road trip.

I hope I could make you travel a bit with this article. Thank you all for reading.