Sunday 13th July

ImageNone too early a start, everyone a bit tired from last night, particularly the driving party. We ate breakfast in the hotel watching the light rain fall outside.

I set off on the quickest route to Clermont Ferrand, which was of course the Peage. Much cooler than the day before and there was some very heavy rain. I had to stop to put n some trousers and thermals on under my m/c gear.

First stop way Royat for lunch, a modest restaurant/bar for a salad. I think they had underestimated the demand as the service was pretty slow. Then on to Les Puy du Dome.

Motorcycles can drive to the top along a very well made and not very challenging road. On balance I think I'd have preferred the walk that Lynn and Charlotte took to the top. The view is spectacular but was much obscured by drifting cloud. I spent an hour waiting for it to clear from time to time then took off for Mount Dore.

The rain set in however and the sights become rather of a trudge when it's that heavy, In the end I set course to tonights hotel in La Bourboule, Hotel ImageLes Fleurs. I arrived dripping in their lobby but Olga (our hostess) took this quite within her stride.

Olga and Gerard are a charming couple who made us most welcome in their old style and exquisite hotel. We had several drinks with them and they cooked us a really splendid dinner. Olga said it would be steak but this was something of an understatement and the 5 course meal rather surpassed our expectations.

We had just retired to our rooms when the fireworks started, literally. Mary and I wandered down to the nearby bridge, we couldn't raise Charlotte or Lynn, we later found out  they were watching it form their balcony. A magnificent display. We also found out that there was a dance of the firemen in town, something I'd have loved to have seen but no deal.