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JahTours International 1986
After a sensational winter which brought snow to the coast the weather was doing it's best for the easter break. Down on the beach it became hot and I took a bath in the last days of March. The exceptional good weather should continue during May for the Formula One Grand Prix in Monaco and as Baden-Baden has a good connection to Menton we got a springbreak invasion.
The Monaco Grand Prix Formula 1 was a good success for the Jah Tours team, we invited ourselves and moved around the track without any limitation. After the race we were joking that the next year we would end up on the VIP stands. Monaco was still quite exciting, but over the years I learned to see the other site of all the glitter. menton became a much more worthy place to stay, we made local friends and my french made good progress.
This summer I had a somewhat delyed start but I took my time to ride my bike to Menton. After my first middle-distance Triathlon early July I was in good shape and I did a Tour de France with my heavy loaded bike. From Bochum to Paris was a breeze in 1 day and a half, then I drove through the famous Loire Valley between Orleans and Tours. The following day I made it on the RN10 from Poitiers through Bordeaux to the beaches of the Atlantic.
After 4 days I arrived in Hossegor where I had a 'rest day' but needed to get my bike repaired and drove to Bayonne. The following day I packed the bags on the bike again and climbed up into the Pyrenees mountains. Weather in the mountains was not that good, so I called it a day and made it to Menton in another 3 days. I made 2500 kilometers (1500 mi) in 9 days and what a relief it was to be back in Menton!
1986 was the first difficult year. During the winter Menton not only got snow but also a new town mayor and the police lost its tolerance for people sleeping on the beach. As we knew the beach very well we quickly figured out a way to stay on the beach without being hassled by the police. just a few hundert yards from the Helios beach was a small hidden place and we spent many quiet nights there.
Our other exclusive place became the waterfall, after the year 1985 it was well known and the slightest mention of going up there quickly assembled a crowd.
Dusk settles over Menton '86
Over the years many people came to the beach for fun and incredible cheap holidays. Whether or not you were a part of the Menton beach gang of the 80s, we'd like to hear from you.
mail to bernhard