Normandy Invasion


The lure of a Normandy beaches and Calvados run drew nine bikes to Portsmouth for the overnight ferry to Le Havre. Very early the next morning we pulled off the boat and headed for Caen to drop the bags at the hotel. What fantastical sights. Countryside shrouded in mystical fog, tree and hilltops peeking through the surreal landscape for all the world like the cover of a YES Album all those years ago. Tiny French signs and a total brain freeze resulted in the nine bikes rumbling through the same village three times from opposite directions!

Nice run of roads got us down through Suisse Normande and on to Falaise, home of William the Conqueror. Many took the opportunity for a kip in the sun and then we enjoyed a relaxed lunch in the square - what broken chair?

Next stop was a Calvados distillery for a tour and a tasting. Special recommendation is their version of Bailey’s which has a wicked bite. Conor McAnally was now so spaced that he couldn’t lead a retreat and eventually everyone got bored, opened up and roared for home.

Nick Page sat at the back and shook his head as bike after bike blasted off into the middle distance. It was a bit like horses galloping home to the stables. Unlike the wild stallions, however, he took the right exit and was parked up, checked in and having a drink before anyone else arrived!

A quick refreshing nap was followed by a fantastic diner and a huge amount of wine - closing the restaurant in fine humour. Next morning was overcast cold and grey as we hit the Normandy landing beaches. Awesome and moving, a feeling for the senseless loss, indomitable courage.

A quick blast back to lunch at Honfleur in the misty rain, before grabbing the ferry back to Blighty. It was a black night for the blast home and none of us could keep with John Warr. His disappearing tail-light left us with our thoughts and reflections on a great weekend.

Michael Howers - C&F Road Captain