Good evening friends, comrades, companions, compatriots. Here I am slowly sizzling my sausages in the sunset after a day and a half on the TET in the South East of France. Sections 4 and 20, as my liaison to Italy. Dropped by my girlfriend and her chums in a most glamorous supermarket carpark, once the heavens closed it was time wave goodbye and head off for a few weeks of solo stupidity.
I’m sorry to say I’ve no touching tales of fellow travellers this time. Although I did very nearly touch the front wheel of a WR450 rider as we braked sharply to avoid smacking into each other. Must remember, the TET is not my private enduro track – although it feels like it is sometimes. Nobody out here.
Section 4 started off disappointing, very flat, very dull and I very nearly just skipped it. Glad I didn’t though because I ended up next to a runway, which looked kind of abandoned, so some drag racing against my shadow ensued. The subsequent sign suggesting that it is, in fact, an active military strip left me very glad I didn’t have a Eurofighter land on my noggin! Sacre Bleu!
As Section 4 goes up into the mountains it becomes markedly better trail riding. Lots of up and down, a heck of a lot of loose rocks and and a fair bit of mud after the rains I started with. I set up camp as the sun set, ate the last of my Spanish food and went to bed on a beautiful ridgeline. Not bad.
Up before dawn and on the road as the sun rose the morning was pretty tricky stuff. I even fell over once, due to a lack of testicles on my part. Kick-starting the bike is a bloody pest when you’re on a slope that needs both brakes to avoid sliding back y’know. Note to self – don’t be such a twat and give it some beans when you’re trying to climb steep rocky shit. The first part of the day was hard riding rewarded with fairly average views, the second half of the day – Section 4 – was mostly easier and rewarded by pretty special views.
South of Sisteron you’ve got this strange landscape that’s kind of flat, before the high alps burst into the heavens in the distance. But it also isn’t flat because there’s valleys cut into it. It’s… odd. The ridges are as if they’re man made, they are so straight. Maybe they are? Anyone know? In any case, they’re spectacular. Endless lavender fields (Google told me what it is, for those that see the video) in perfect military formation with the mountains in the distance. It’s gorgeous, especially with blue skies bursting out.
Now I’m in the foothills. Sausages scoffed. Big French craft beer still to be finished. Onwards to the high mountains tomorrow, then Mission Italia begins. Until then, beloved TET-icles!