FRANCE 1972

For the 1972 Easter holidays I had planned to make a long trip so on April 1t I left with the Ducati 450 Scrambler for Paris. The plan was to introduce myself to the home of Marcel Muffat, the nephew of a dear aunt of mine, who was on vacation in Pegui, the village where I spent the summers as a boy. It would have been about 2500 km, I had planned the trip with care, prepared the equipment for emergencies and chose the clothing: blues jeans, white turtleneck sweater, low boots and brown leather jacket, for the rain I had the Kway and ski overpants. I also had a helmet that almost nobody wore in those days, ski goggles and a red scarf to protect my face. At the American market in Livorno I had bought two military bags and I had filled them with all my things, even a carton of HB, my favorite cigarettes. I crossed Liguria from east to west with a first stop in Borghetto Santo Spirito, in the evening I stopped in Solliès-Pont, a small town near Toulon, where my uncles Luigina and Bruno lived, I spent them happy holidays as a child. I was a guest on Easter Sunday and the following morning, with the precious Michelin map of France given to me by my uncle, I left for the desired destination by taking the RN7. The day was beautiful and the temperature pleasant, the roar of the Silentium made itself heard, the motorbike was a wonder even if the vibrations were not lacking, my thoughts retraced the road made and fantasized about what to do. At a stop to eat baguettes and camembert, the police passed and greeted me with a “promenez vous bien!”. I continued on the RN7 to Lyon and after the city I took the highway to Paris. In the last 3/400 kilometers I continuously changed position on the saddle putting my legs on the left and then on the right, I was tired and I was in a hurry to get there, the more I went north and the faster I went, at the beginning I traveled about 110 km / h, at the end I made long bets on 130 km / h. Perfect journey, pity that before entering the city the return spring broke, at 20.30 I arrived in Paris in front of the Notre Dame cathedral, 821 km.. I showed up at Marcel’s house, at 24, Rue de Tanger, in the 19th Arrondissement and spent one of the most beautiful weeks of my life, Irene, his mother treated us lovingly and in the evening she always prepared something good to eat, I discovered how good the radishes with butter dipped in salt were. I had bought a small guide / map Taride which became almost useless because after the first moments of surprise Marcel, his brother Eric and their friend accompanied me far and wide through the city, in the places that only Parisians knew. We moved with the Metro and when we got home we had hot feet, sometimes we even went out in the evening, one of them went to a very small art cinema where I got to see Charlie Chaplin’s “Les temps modernes”, I was thrilled! I also spent some time on the bike, I tracked the gearbox spring from the Ducati dealer who allowed me to use his equipment, so I parked the bike on the sidewalk, mounted the spring, oiled the chain and did some maintenance. A week had passed quickly and I had been really well, I remember many details of those beautiful days, but the time available was over, the moment of kisses and hugs came, then I took the road back. The itinerary coincided with that of the outward journey to Dijon, then I turned east towards the Alps, France was really beautiful, after about 300 km of plains the mountains started and it started to rain. A hundred kilometers in the rain and I arrived in Morez, in the Jura, I entered wet and exhausted in an inn trembling from the cold that I could hardly speak, I drank a hot chocolate and asked for a room. After arranging the motorbike on the back, I went up to my room and undressed; except the hair repaired by the helmet I was soaking wet, I dried myself, put everything on the heated radiator and slipped under the covers and fell asleep immediately even if it was just 7.30 pm. The next morning I woke up perky and ready for new adventures so, after a nice breakfast with pain au chocolat and café au lait, I oiled the chain that was stretched like the strings of a violin, set in motion and set off home. The sun was shining and the asphalt, with yellow signs like car headlights, dried quickly. I quickly crossed the Alps thanks to the Mont Blanc tunnel inaugurated only a few years earlier and with emotion I crossed the border, I was in Italy. I stopped for lunch in Vercelli, at my brother’s house, I had to make the last stop, having passed Piedmont from the parts of Genoa, I took the Aurelia and with the Passo del Bracco, I arrived in La Spezia, but before going down to city ​​I stopped on the Foce hill to admire its gulf, it was about 6 pm, in time to meet friends and tell them about the splendid journey. SI know Irene is gone and who knows what Marcel and Eric did. I’d love to meet them somewhere! 19720401_La-Spezia_Parigi_La-Spezia.GPX 19720401_La-Spezia_Solliès-Pont.GPX 19720403_Solliès-Pont_Parigi.GPX 19720408_Parigi_Morez.GPX 19720409_Morez_La-Spezia.GPX