Italian Lakes & Swiss Alps Tour  2 – 13 September 2017

The group at the top of the Petit St Bernard Pass - a brilliant tour, great weather, great riding & great people - there are no apologies for the number of photos which follow!

The group at the top of the Petit St Bernard Pass – a brilliant tour, great weather, great riding & great people – there are no apologies for the number of photos which follow!

“Hi John & Jen, thanks for a great trip – we’re not sure where to start; the hotels were great, the riding was excellent and the views were awesome. We never thought we would see the Alps let alone touch a glacier. Both Sue and I were blown away everyday. Not only was the tour fantastic but when we had a couple of little hiccups…the way the group and yourselves rallied around and everything was sorted was something to behold. As ever Sue and I will be back and we look forward to seeing you both at the NEC.”
Gordon & Sue Bishop, 5th trip, Triumph Sprint GT, Dorchester

We always start with a pre-tour briefing...

We always start with a pre-tour briefing…

and there's always one who needs fuel!!

and there’s always one who needs fuel!!

Ready for the off...

Ready for the off…

“Just a brief note about a fantastic tour. As ever a very good, smoothly run and well organised tour with some excellent hotels and food. You’d even managed to arrange better weather this time! It was great to meet old acquaintances from previous tours and to make some new ones. Of course John and Jen’s hard work lays the firm foundations for each successful tour but it’s the people that make it fantastic. So, thanks to you all for making it a really enjoyable experience. Very much looking forward to the Monte Carlo or Bust tour in two weeks”
David Craxton, 5th tour, Honda Deauville, Rotherham
“Post Script…A great testimonials page Jen.
As I said,  it was a fantastic tour and I was considering doing it again, but having now done it twice I don’t want to do it again simply because I don’t see how it could be bettered. Neither the weather nor the company. See you soon…”

We always regroup before & after any stretch of motorway

We always regroup before & after any stretch of motorway

Sharron & Kieron enjoy cakes at coffee stop

Sharron & Kieron enjoy cakes at coffee stop

Chris's KTM needs a new battery

Chris’s KTM needs a new battery

Lunch stop

Lunch stop

Gordon & Sue in the hotel pool

Gordon & Sue in the hotel pool

Loads of us take a dip

Loads of us take a dip

Jen with a friend!

Jen with a friend!

“The Tour was fantastic;
Dave, we reckon you could write a book – Craxton’s Mountain Experience – with special mentions to:- Alpine views, and how to avoid them; Waterfalls, how do they work? Food to avoid – cold meats & cheese for breakfast ( a definite no no); 30 ways to safely carry a baguette on a Deauville; and rounding up with riding tips – how to thrupenny bit a perfectly good corner & gate crash ride outs!!
John, Jen, Dave and everyone,  top time – thank you.”
Claire & Martyn Wyatt, 3rd tour, BMW 1150GS, Somerset

Drinks on the terrace before dinner

Drinks on the terrace before dinner

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John bets Sharron...

John bets Sharron a euro…

Kieron even helps out!!

Kieron even helps out!!

“Well, how can we top all the rest of the crew’s comments!
Yet another fabulous holiday with amazing scenery, sweeping roads (ideal for our tourer!), hairpins, delightful hotels, wonderful food and a whole bunch of like-minded people, full of fun, energy and laughter.  John and Jen you certainly know how to host your tours, with all the careful planning, attention to detail and care given to ensure we all just have to ride along and enjoy ourselves.
Apologies to Steve for allowing me to share a toboggan with him only to find he got more of me than he thought!  I did wonder why he was screaming with me as we descended the slope  – just thought he was enjoying himself and scared of the fast corners???!!  Also can you ask John if he felt that his Euro was good value for money as next time I will be upping the stakes to a slighter higher bet!!!!!  So many great memories.”
Kieron & Sharron Haines, 6th tour, BMW K1600GTL, Norfolk

Dinner is included tonight

Dinner is included tonight

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Always a morning talk

Always a morning talk

“We love the Italian Lakes & Swiss Alps tour so much we’ve done it twice in 3 years!  If you like superb roads, lots of twisties, sweepers and gorgeous scenery then we highly recommend this tour.  John and Jen’s usual attention to detail and organisation are second to none with fantastic hotels all shared with a very social crowd.  Lots of fun and laughter.  An absolute pleasure to meet up with old friends and a delight to make new ones.  The tour may be over but we both have massive grins on our faces watching our GoPro footage enjoying the thrill of the roads again.  Roll on June …”
Paul & Louise Saltwell, 3rd Tour, MT09-Tracer, Guernsey

Stephen & Anne on their BMW K1600TL

Stephen & Anne on their BMW K1600TL

Allan & Jane are "Backmarkers" on Tiger 1050

Allan & Jane are “Backmarkers” on Tiger 1050

“Hi John and Jen, many thanks for another lovely holiday. We really loved the places, the food and hotel accommodation were superb, and of course the company adds the icing on the cake – everyone was such fun and made great company! We particularly loved the pre-dinner drinks and evening meals together. Of course, the trip proved we were Welsh ‘wusses’ and our apologies for that, but thanks everyone for a really great time!  Hoping to see some or all of you on another trip. Steve’s already at the planning stage! I’m trying to persuade him to move to Lake Maggiore! Love and Best Wishes”
Steve & Anne Williams, 2nd tour, BMW K1600GTL, Mid Glamorgan

Morning coffee stop

Morning coffee stop

On the way to lunch

We pass on the way to lunch

Blue skies at lunch stop

Blue skies at lunch stop

Martin & Alison, Martyn & Claire

Martyn & Claire, Martin & Alison

Beautiful afternoon coffee stop

Beautiful afternoon coffee stop

“We had another wonderful trip and great to see old friends and meet new ones.  What a great, fun crowd.  To those concerned, I do apologise for my bloomer antics – I have been reprimanded and banned from Rose wine!!!! Hope to see you all on another of John and Jen’s fabulous trips…take care, stay well and always ride safe”
Steve & Kirsty Eaton, 9th trip, BMW S1000XR, Cambridgeshire

Ian & Heather with ice-creams

Ian & Heather with ice-creams

Sam & Steve, Gordon & Sue

Sam & Steve, Gordon & Sue

“Dear Jen & John, thank you so much for another fantastic holiday, we enjoyed every minute of it.  The hotels were lovely, the scenery & roads were amazing.  Fab company with so many laughs/giggles along the way, a brilliant 12 days”
Ian & Heather Phillips, 3rd tour, Kawasaki ZZR1400, Devon

Allan gets two!!

Allan gets two!!

Displays at coffee stop

Displays at coffee stop

Our second hotel

Our second hotel

Drinks in the hotel bar

Drinks in the hotel bar

“Hi all, thanks for a great trip and the company was great as ever. Thanks to BN for all their hard work in sorting out the trip – fantastic roads. Ride safe”
Steve King, 6th trip, Kawasaki ZZR1400, Northampton

Explore the back streets

A free night – explore the back streets

Kirsty accosts a local !

Kirsty accosts a local !

We opt for pizzas

We opt for pizzas

Us!

Us!

Annecy by night

Annecy by night

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Pretty coffee stop the next day

Pretty coffee stop the next day

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“I recently did the Italian Lakes & Swiss Alps Tour – I didn’t want it to end. John and Jen always organise an amazing tour with such stunning hotels and locations. The routes are out of this world, fantastic scenery and such fabulous roads, sometimes not for the faint hearted. The others on the tour are brilliant, everyone just gets along. There is loads of banter and laughter and it’s good to meet up with old friends and make new ones, it’s always a sad feeling saying bye… Highly recommended, the only stress you have to deal with is packing for a 2 week stress free vacation”
Sue Freyne, 2nd tour, Triumph Bonneville, Guildford

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Bill & Ben?? So where's little weed??

Bill & Ben? So where’s little weed? (Thanks Claire!)

Fab scenery

Fab scenery

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You MUST be happy with hairpins!!!

You MUST be happy with hairpins!!!

Wow!

Wow!

“Hi all, I honestly thought the Alps tour 2 years ago could not be bettered. … how wrong I was!  This tour was even better.
Fantastic flowing roads and alpine passes, breathtaking scenery, and a brilliant mix of like minded people enjoying themselves, with, at times some very enthusiastic riding,  thrown in with very good humoured and friendly off-bike socialising….topped off with unexpected surprises and stunning weather…Just Brilliant.
John and Jen deserve recognition for once again going above and beyond to pull off another spectacular tour.
I’m now looking forward to next year’s Picos Tour. ….and hoping to meet some of you again soon on other tours.”
Andy Dunmore, 3rd trip, Honda VFR800, Chichester

Our sticker's there!

Our sticker’s there!

Kirsty & Sam

Kirsty & Sam

Jen & Sharron

Jen & Sharron

Pic-nic lunch at the top

Pic-nic lunch at the top

Ian & Heather with new additions!

Ian & Heather with new additions!

Jen

Jen

Sue

Sue

“We had an amazing tour. The scenery was fantastic and the hotels were great. Made some new friends too. Can’t give you a favourite day as the whole tour was full of new experiences. Loved it. Thanks John and Jen for some wonderful memories xx”
Steve & Sam Barnes, 2nd tour, Triumph Trophy, Dorset

Gordon & Sue on their Sprint GT

Gordon & Sue on their Sprint GT

Ian & Heather - Kawasaki ZZR 1400

Ian & Heather – Kawasaki ZZR 1400

Sue on her Bonneville

Sue on her Bonneville

The van follows our back-markers

The van follows our back-markers

Even something to see on motorway

Even something to see on the motorway

Sue has a new passenger!

Sue has a new passenger!

How many men does it take...???

How many men does it take…

to fit a cap on Chris's KTM ???

to fit a cap on Chris’s KTM ???

Dave's Ducati Supersport S has an oil leak

Dave’s Ducati Supersport S has an oil leak

Arriving at our next hotel

Arriving at our next hotel

The view of Lake Maggiore from our hotel where we stay for two nights

The fabulous view of Lake Maggiore from our hotel where we stay for two nights

Amazing view from the hotel's rooftop bar

Superb view from the hotel’s rooftop bar

Drinks (if you're lucky!) before dinner

Drinks (if you’re lucky!) before dinner

Dinner is included tonight

Dinner is included tonight

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The next day is a free day, some take a boat trip to visit the islands, some take a cable car up the mountains, swim & relax…

Rooftop pool

Another sunny day – rooftop pool

Fab views

Fab views

Isla Borromeo

Isla Borromeo

Lakeside pool

Lakeside pool

Take a cable car up the hills

Take a cable car…

for fab views of the "Pearls of Lake Maggiore"

for fab views of the “Pearls of Lake Maggiore”

Toboggan run at the top!

Toboggan run at the top!

Sue F & Steve K on the way down

Sue F & Steve K on the way down

Ready for a fast ride?

Ready for a fast ride?

Allan & Jane

Allan & Jane

Sharron & Kieron

Sharron & Kieron

Martyn & Claire

Martyn & Claire

Martin & Alison

Martin & Alison

Ian & Heather

Ian & Heather

David C - mind your hat!!

David C – mind your hat!!

Whoa!!!!

Whoa!!!!

Not for the feint-hearted!

Not for the feint-hearted!

Entertainment in the square

Entertainment in the square

Chill out at the hotel

Chill out at the hotel

Kirsty & Steve

Kirsty & Steve

Sharron retrieves her cardigan left on the boat!

The next day Sharron retrieves her cardigan left on the boat!

Dave's happy this year - it's not raining!!! (see 2015 review)

Dave’s happy this year – it’s not raining!!! (see 2015 review)

We board the ferry

We board the ferry

All aboard

All aboard

Chill...

Chill…

Coffee on Lake Lugano

Coffee on Lake Lugano

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Lunch on Lake Como

Lunch on Lake Como

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Lovely

Lovely

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We head for the mountains…

Fuel stop first...

Fuel stop first…

The pass is open...

The pass is open…

Oh no it's not!!

Oh no it’s not!! At the border we’re stopped as an avalanche has closed the pass!!

We plan an alternative route...

So we plan an alternative route…

The Bernina Pass

The Bernina Pass

En route to our hotel

En route to our hotel

Dinner is included...

Dinner is included…

the next two nights here

the next two nights here

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The Bernina Express is included

The Bernina Express is included

The next day is a free day, most choose first of all to walk to the nearby glacier, some then take the Bernina Express to explore the local sights, some do a ride-out to tackle the Stelvio Pass amongst others…

Breakfast area

Breakfast area

Our hotel for two nights

Our hotel for two nights

Which way?!

Which way?!

Steve & Sam at the 1900 marker

Steve & Sam at the 1900 marker

Chris at 1920

Chris at 1920

Gordon & Sue at 1950

Gordon & Sue at 1940

Martin & Alison at 1950

Martin & Alison at 1950

Claire & Martyn get 1960

Claire & Martyn get 1960

Andy at 1970

Andy at 1970

Amazing view as we get closer

Amazing view as we get closer

Andy reaches the glacier

Andy reaches the glacier

Fissures in the ice

Fissures in the ice

Gordon & Sue can't believe they're touching it

Gordon & Sue can’t believe they’re touching it

Steve & Sam made it too!!

Steve & Sam made it too!!

Martin & Chris over the other side

Martin & Chris over the other side

Kieron & Sharron

Kieron & Sharron

Heather & Ian

Heather & Ian

Jane & Allan

Jane & Allan

Us!

Us!

Stunning!

Stunning!

Take the rack-railway

Some then take the rack-railway

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Thanks Gordon for the photo

View of St Moritz

Thanks for the photos Gordon

Thanks for the photos Gordon

Some go for a ride-out

Some go for a ride-out

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Steve stops for a photo

Steve stops for a photo

Steve & Kirsty on their BMW S1000XR

Steve & Kirsty on their BMW S1000XR

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Where’s Steve going?!

We stop for coffee & cakes

We stop for coffee & cakes

David C missing - in the shade!

David C missing – in the shade!

It really is that hot!

It really is that hot!

David C heading up the Stelvio

David C on his Honda Deauville riding up the Stelvio

Steve K on his Kawasaki ZZR1400

Steve K on his Kawasaki ZZR1400

Superb views

Superb views

We see Sue on the way down

We see Sue on the way down

Dave, Paul & Louise also on the way down

Dave, Paul & Louise also on the way down

A pillions view on the way up

A pillions view on the way up

Steve at bend 14

Steve at bend 14 of the Stelvio Pass

Our ascent

Our ascent

This is how Jen gets the photos!

This is how Jen gets the photos! (Thanks Steve K)

The famous Stelvio Pass

The famous Stelvio Pass

David followed by Steve & Kirsty

David followed by Steve & Kirsty

We've made it - where's our sticker?!!

We’ve made it – where’s our sticker?!!

Coffees at the top

Coffees at the top

The long way down!

The long way down!

Jen's view heading into a tunnel

Jen’s view heading into a tunnel

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Watch out for trains!!!

Watch out for trains!!!

Steve & Kirsty followed by Steve

Steve & Kirsty followed by Steve

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Back at our hotel

Back at our hotel

Drinks before dinner

Drinks before dinner

Alison, Claire & Heather

Alison, Claire & Heather – beers aren’t just for boys!

Dinner is included again tonight

Dinner is included again tonight

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John’s telling a joke…

Martyn & Claire are the target

Martyn & Claire are the target

There is a knack to wafting a towel!!!!

There is a knack to wafting a towel!!!!

The biggest bottle of Limoncello arrives

The biggest bottle of Limoncello arrives

Fab views as we leave our hotel

Fab views as we leave our hotel

Our morning briefing

Our morning briefing

Morning coffee with a surprise

Morning coffee with a surprise

Take the ski-lift up,,,

Take the ski-lift up,,,

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and toboggans down

The brave ones!!

The brave ones!!

Jen sets off first

Jen sets off first

Sharron shares with Steve - but where are her hands?!!

Sharron with Steve – but where are her hands?!!

Steve & Sam

Steve & Sam

Sharron & Steve K

Sharron & Steve K

Steve & Kirsty

Steve & Kirsty

Gordon & Sue

Gordon & Sue

Andy's next

Andy’s next

And finally John

And finally John

Allan & Jane descend in the ski lift

Allan & Jane descend in the ski lift

Lunch stop

Lunch stop

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A pensive Dave in the Susten Pass

Dave takes in the view in the Susten Pass

More glaciers

More glaciers

Time to relax

Time to relax

The group in the Susten Pass (with an unwell Sue in the van)

The group in the Susten Pass (with an unwell Sue in the van)

With kirsty driving the van...

With Jen leading & Kirsty driving the van…

John rides Sue's Bonneville

John rides Sue’s Bonneville

We arrive at our next hotel

We arrive at our next hotel

More superb views

More superb views

Our hotel for the next three nights

Our hotel for the next three nights

Gordon & Sue in the hotel pool

Gordon & Sue in the hotel pool

Drinks on the terrace

Drinks on the terrace

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Dinner is included the first night here

Dinner is included the first night here

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The next two days are free – some choose to take a boat trip on the lake, visit Interlaken, walk to the nearby nature reserve, or go on a ride-out – with two days free we can alter the optional itinerary depending on the weather…but see later!!!

Paul & Louise, John & Jen go on a ride-out

Paul & Louise, John & Jen go on a ride-out

We stop for photos of the view

We stop for photos of the view on the Grimsel Pass

Rain at the top

Rain at the summit

Marmots at the top

Marmots at the top – so cute!

Alan!!!   Steve!!

Alan!!! Alan!!! Alan!!!  Steve!!!

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Dry roads as we go down

Dry roads as we go down

Paul & Louise on their MT-09 Tracer

Paul & Louise on their MT-09 Tracer

Riding down the Furka Pass

Riding down the Furka Pass

Coffee & cakes for lunch

Coffee & cakes for lunch

A ride-out the next day

A ride-out the next day

We ride alongside the lake

We ride alongside the lake

Martin & Ali on their Ducati Diavel

Martin & Ali on their Ducati Diavel

Interlaken

Interlaken

Chris on his KTM 1290 Super Adventure

Chris on his KTM 1290 Super Adventure

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Dave has a new friend

Dave has a new friend

Who comes closer for crumbs

Who comes closer for crumbs

We visit the Trummelbach Falls

We visit the Trummelbach Falls

Most visit the waterfalls

Most visit the waterfalls

Take a lift inside the mountain

Take a lift inside the mountain

David's description didn't do justice!!!

David’s description didn’t do justice!!!

The force is amazing

The force is amazing

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The corkscrew

The corkscrew

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Martyn & Claire ride our Street Triple

Martyn & Claire ride our Street Triple

Back to the front already!!

Back to the front already!!

Pretty towns

Pretty towns

lunch at Grindelwald

Heading to lunch at Grindelwald

Procession en route

Procession en route

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Steve & Sam on their Triumph Trophy

Steve & Sam on their Triumph Trophy

Back along the lake

Back along the lake to the hotel

We spot David in a garage...

We then spot David in a garage…

Some continue for another ride...

who turns around & gatecrashes our next ride-out!

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Andy on his VFR800

Andy on his VFR800

Andy again

Andy again

Martin & Claire on their BMW 1150GS

Martin & Claire on their BMW 1150GS

We ride up the Grimsel Pass

We ride up the Grimsel Pass

Unbelievable! Snow at the top!

Unbelievable! Snow at the top!

This wasn't here yesterday!!

This wasn’t here yesterday!!

Snowball fight at the top!

Snowball fight at the top!

Snow...whereas two years ago...

Snow…whereas two years ago…

and a week later...sunshine!!

and a week later…glorious sunshine!!

Then the sun did come out

Then the sun did come out

Marmots in the snow

Marmots in the snow

The route back

The route back

Martin buys "car-park" beers!

Martin buys “car-park” beers!

Back on dry land!

Back on dry land!

Oh Gordon - put it away!!!!

Oh Gordon – put it away!!!!

Lovely sunset on the way into town

Lovely sunset on the way into town

A reminder of Kirsty's antics for those who dined at the hotel again!!!

A reminder of Kirsty’s antics for those who dined at the hotel again!!! (Thanks Steve K)

Pizzas in town

Pizzas & desserts in town

Breakfast area

Breakfast area

Another beautiful morning

Another beautiful morning

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Our bed rolls onto the balcony!!!

Our bed rolls onto the balcony!!!

We want this room next year!

We want this room next year!

The group with the hotel owner

The group with the hotel owner – Spike Milligan?!

Morning talk

Morning talk

Backmarkers Allan & Jane

Backmarkers Allan & Jane

Coffee stop

Coffee stop

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Not what you want to meet on a hairpin

Not what you want to meet on a hairpin

Lunch stop

Lunch stop

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Fun in the park

Fun in the park

Tough guys!

Tough guys!

Mont Blanc is hidden

Mont Blanc is hidden

Chamonix for coffee

Chamonix for coffee

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We always regroup for any stretch of motorway

We always regroup for any stretch of motorway

Our next hotel

Our next hotel

Ian & Heather - young love!!

Ian & Heather – young love!!

A free evening tonight

A free evening tonight

Sue's happy...

Sue’s happy…

Bev the beaver's been returned!

Bev the Beaver’s been returned!

Morning coffee stop

Morning coffee stop

Afternoon pit-stop!

Afternoon pit-stop!

Our last hotel

Our last hotel

Pre-dinner drinks

Pre-dinner drinks

Drinks in the lounge

Drinks in the lounge

Dinner is included our final night

Dinner is included our final night

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John says a few words of thanks...

John says a few words of thanks…

to Jane & Allan our "back-markers"

to Jane & Allan our “back-markers”

Frederick & Cecil are having fun...

Frederick & Cecil are playing a game…

it seems Sue has played it as well!!!!

it seems Sue has played it as well!!!!

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Gordon has been practicing a joke...

Gordon has been practicing a joke…

Paul cheats!! Reading from his phone!

Paul cheats!! Reading from his phone!

Kieron's up next

Kieron’s up next

Sue tells a tale of an Indian massage

Sue tells a tale of an Indian massage

Allan takes a turn

Allan takes a turn

Paul & Louise start the Mr & Mrs

Paul & Louise start the Mr & Mrs

No match!

No match!

Gordon & Sue are up next

Gordon & Sue are up next

Decision needed Sue!

Decision needed Sue!

Martyn & Claire can't decide...

Martyn & Claire can’t decide…

A match for the winners!

A match for the winners!

Steve says some words of thanks too

Steve says some words of thanks too

Jen reads Ken Cullern's cheese scones joke

Jen reads Ken Cullern’s cheese scones joke

Ahoy there - are you in the air force?

Ahoy there – are you in the air force?

Martyn takes a turn

Martyn takes a turn

Kieron & John want a "Dithco"

Kieron & John want a “Dithco”

Drinks after dinner

Drinks after dinner

And that's it...our final morning briefing after which several guests make their own way home. The remainder finish the tour at Le Havre.

And that’s it…our final morning briefing after which several guests make their own way home. The remainder finish the tour at Le Havre.

A really fun tour with lots of laughs along the way. Thanks to everyone for making this such a good tour. We look forward to seeing many of you again on future tours. Regards, John & Jen