🇫🇷 France Offroad Love: With the tiger through Burgundy’s vineyards

Diary Entry

After a café in Luxeuil-le-Bains I finally reach Burgundy. I come through many small villages and drive through the fields on lonely roads. Where are the vineyards? Isn’t Burgundy famous for its wine? Shouldn’t one venerable winery line up next to the other?

I come through countless villages that still look like they did a hundred or more years ago. However, I don’t see a soul on the streets.

Time has stood still in the villages

I have to fill up at least once every day. The prices are as high as in Germany. After Russia’s attack on Ukraine, prices have gone through the roof in most parts of the world and a year into the war, prices are no lower. At that time, one liter of E10 petrol cost 1.85 euros.

While in Germany you at least still have the option to fill up with E5, in France there is mainly fuel with a higher bio content. I just hope that my Tiger’s engine can handle the biofuel.

France? Castles, villages and vineyards

From Luxeuil-le-Bains I first drive to Dijon via numerous detours. I look at the city for a long time before I set off and drive on. From there it goes to the nearby town of Beaune.

On the way to Beaune, I first follow the Canal de Bourgogne, which leads west and through the mountains. Then I turn south to set course again towards Beaune.

On the course to Beaune I finally get to the vineyards. The landscape is characterized by winegrowing. Small villages with churches stand out between the vines.

Often I just follow dirt roads through the forest or the vineyards. The tiger is happy to leave the asphalt.

A very rocky slope leads steeply up the mountain. Up there I hope for a good, lonely place for me, the Tiger and my tent.

The slope is very demanding and corresponds more to the “washed out creek bed” category. I steer the heavy machine through the scree and over the boulders.

After some thrills, but without falling, I get to the top. I find a beautiful clearing where there is no human sign. I was hoping for a view of the region, but nature alone does the trick.

On my way through Beaune I picked up a delicious, fresh Tarte Flambee and an expensive but excellent bottle of local red wine. As soon as the tent is pitched I enjoy my French dinner, the sunset, the summer and my independence.

Sobald die Dämmerung einbricht wird auch der Wald um mich herum aktiv. Kleine Rehe schreiten wenige Meter von mir aus dem Gehölz und sind von mir vollkommen unbeeindruckt. Auch ein Wildschwein lässt sich von mir nicht stören. Obelix scheint nicht in der Nähe zu sein. Glück für das Wildschwein.

Wild camping in France

On my way through Burgundy with the tiger, I always camp somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Using the iOverlander app, I can find recommendations for off-the-beaten-path locations where others have stayed. The rules for wild camping in France are not very strict. If you don’t harm anyone and are tidy, you can find a place quite flexibly.

As long as you keep a low profile, get in someone’s way and ask the people who own the ground, nobody minds a humble stay in their campervan or tent. Everyone leaves the place better than they found it – that goes without saying. I am never bothered when I pitch my tent in France.

A motorcycle, a tent, nature and a bottle of red wine – the world is even better

The next morning I drive down the mountain again. Strictly speaking, I slide very slowly down the washed-out creek bed. Again, it works without a problem, but it is demanding.

In Beaune, I have my obligatory croissant and café-au-lait for breakfast and tour the town before heading southeast to discover more of Burgundy.

In France you can find castles on every street corner

I thought a lot about what to take with me on my first long motorcycle trip. In the end I don’t have much luggage with me and there is still a lot of air in my boxes. I don’t need much and realize that I haven’t forgotten anything. Everything is there and everything that is there is used. Feel good.

I cross the south of Burgundy. The vineyards end not far from Beaune.

But I keep seeing castles with the beautiful colorful roofs in the area. I will soon reach the small town of Arbois. The weather is going crazy this summer and I have to depend on the weather app which way I fall asleep. I’m considering making the return trip via Switzerland and the Alps. Even if the weather forecast is uncertain, the high mountains appeal to me.

The best trips come with light luggage

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