VaraDahu2 2019 (France)

Jess' Account

(en anglais)


International meetings continue under the supervision of

The Honda Adventure Riders Group

with no more reference to the Varadero name in their title.

They held their latest meeting in Denmark this year, but I did not attend.

My wife Theresa has retired from biking, so my Varadero rides a little quicker nowadays,

but without the enjoyment of sharing the experience. Also, the group has stopped doing

group rides during their meetings, so the fun has gone out of it for me. Andorra was a big disappointment.

Added to that I am 66 years old now and not getting any younger. Living in France, in retirement, has given me

a different perspective on life. The riding here is wonderful, added to by the fun of riding my TTR 250 on the

off-road tracks, of which there are many. I hope to continue with joining my French Varaderomania friends

for their annually held meetings, the next one being in 2020 near Perpignan.






Thursday J - Up and to packing the paniers and top box and to be ready by 8am. We got away at 8.50am, stopping at Carrefour at Bram to get some food for later and then on our way by motorway via Narbonne, Montpelier, Orange, Valence, Annecy, La Cluzas. Warm weather but very windy in places. Arrived at 5.50pm. A good welcome. Beautiful scenery. Two large 1664s, nibbles for a welcome chat and then dinner in the restaurant. Paella. To bed, quite tired. For some reason, my mobile phone didn't work, so I couldn't ring home. I spoke to the lady on Dave's phone however.


Friday J - Breakfast at 7.30am. Collected our picnic bags and then to get ready to gather for a 8.45am depart. All was going well until Dave got lost, probably because the tail-ender marshalls missing him when he was a sentinel. After a couple of stops at points of interest, we were making our way down a road when I caught sight of Dave, going the opposite way. All was soon good when he turned around and caught us up. He hadn't realised what the tail-enders looked like, so it was a mutual error. I should have stayed with him. He had done the logical thing and asked the sat-nav to take him on popular scenic routes, assuming that would be what we were doing. We were able to have dinner together at the Passy location where they were launching parachutes and hang gliders. Very warm. Then off again for more riding and back to base around 6pm. Dave had got too hot so went back a bit earlier. The problem with that being that he couldn't fill up with fuel as he didn't have a credit card. He had been using mine. Then, when he got back to the hotel, he realised that he had lost his mobile phone, all his cards and other important documentation. A good dinner, although I wasn't feeling too good after eating a whole packet of poulet crisps in my room. When Sim rang Dave's phone, luckily it was answered, having been handed in to one of the directors at the Passy site. Our Frenchies assumed that it would have been advertised and sold on 'Le Bon Coin' by that time. Not so. What luck! Dave rang the number that Sim had got and arrangement was made to collect it tomorrow. Good news.


Saturday J - Breakfast at 7.30 and away at 8.30. Good riding to Thone??// on Lac Leman for our picnic lunch. Then Dave and I left on our own to return to Passy to get the telephone. All good but a very warm day. We retraced the roads we had already ridden and back to camp via the beautiful Col de Colombiere. This was our last evening and, after drinks at the bar, we headed for the restaurant for the farewell meal, announcement that next year would be in Perpignan and to draw the Tombola. I won a nice bottle of wine and Dave got a bag of make-up products. Very funny, although he was not chuffed about it. We were joined by Swing (John) and his lovely lady, at our table.


Sunday J - Another hot day in the making. We had breakfast, packed our bikes, said our goodbyes and set off, intending to take the longer route via the Millau Bridge. Ha! The A47 was closed at Lyon and we spent a frustrating hour trying to find an alternative route, eventually giving up and taking the A7 south and home. The traffic in the opposite direction was horrendous but much easier in our direction. However, riding in the 32 degrees or so, it was very uncomfortable. We encountered a lot of traffic at Narbonne, through to Bram, filtering through the jams most of the way. It was great to finally get home at 6.15pm. Dave not at all happy with his bike seat's comfort. We had had a great adventure though, and a first for him. We left at Odo 29088 and got back at 30216 miles. A total of 1128 miles travelled.






To contact me please email to

Jess Jephcott, 11240 Hounoux, France

tel 04 68 69 60 77


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