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400 kilometers in 5 days: sore legs, cold hands, smile!

400 kilometers in 5 days: sore legs, cold hands, smile!

Our map is updated! :)

To further appreciate this article, here is the song “Merde in France” by Jacques Dutronc:

Bourgogne – Loire (400 kilometers in 5 days)

promenade familiale

Monday, September 16, 2013, 9.00 am, it was raining. We left Virginie who was looking at us moving away. This morning, our sunglasses didn’t hide our tears but the rain did it. Once again, it was hard… we could’nt stay longer… we could be tempted to turn back.

Back on this week in the Elsa’s Burgundy paternal family:
- a jar of jam customized ;
- a successful public presentation ;
- a birthday meal ;
- full of parties with the family (6 that’s good!) ;
- a lot of family photos ;
- good funs ;
- 6 nights in a bed ;
- a light that was down from Ireland repaired with PF; ;
- a walk in the cemetery ;
- homeworks made with the cousins ;
- a pancake party ;
- the connectors USB-werk repaired ;
- too many drinks ;
- salad and tomatoes… from the garden!
- wonderful memories…

In short, with the beginning of September full with family visits, we understood many difficult things to admit when you have to leave your family for a few years : we are more loved than previously thought and we love them much more than we aware! So, to all of you who follow us, who were visited or that we think very strong from where we are: we love you and we will come back very soon but before, we will enjoy our youth, our heedless and our love! :D

So during this rainy Monday, as Jean-Luc has gone travelling and his girls have gone to school, we pedaled as fast as we could to go away and not think about the possibility of stay. Take risks, change lifestyle, to come back stronger. The energy we got in our families helped us to go quickly, with a lump in our throats, along the canal du Nivernais.
Today, we did our biggest step since our start and finished in our tent to drink a well-deserved soup. It is no doubt that autumn was coming in the French countryside.

Riddle of the day: In your opinion, how long did we traveled in our biggest step?

In the morning, everything was calm … no noise on the tent, it wasn’t raining! During the breakfast, Ewan was attacked by a giant slug (as he told his misadventure) and we followed the road along the canal. No energy, it was cold! We were frozen and Elsa couldn’t move. Moreover, the hallage was ascending to the liberating lake from which the gradient was negative. We regained strength and arrived at the end of the day in a friendly undergrowth to drink our hot soup and get into our sleeping bags. We love them!

The meeting of the day: a journalist interviewed us a few minutes to write an article in the newspaper “La Montagne”, edition of Moulins … but we still have no news. We will put the article in the topic “In the press”!

The irregularity of drops on the tent woke us early: we had no motivation. One thing was certain: outside, it was raining! So we read. The sun came when we were still reading and it was already 11.30 am when Elsa finished her book .. it was time to hurry, especially as the weather seemed to be calm on the outside. We ready to pedal around 1.30 pm, we approached the woods and suddenly, a drama! It was pouring! We were dismayed. It was not really hot, everything was folded, packed, stored in bags and it was badly raining … We watched us us, we swore once and we waited. We said we could go but we waited again. We swore louder, tried to motivate but finally we waited. We looked at the clock, we waited. Tired of waiting , resigned by the incessant, cold and wet rain, we left in this rain thinking it would fall for ever. The day started badly: it was 1.45 pm, we did 2 kilometers, were soaked and cold. With this weather, no photos , no visits, we continued headlong and arrived at the end of the afternoon in the village we talked about at noon… demoralizing! It’s difficult to dry when it’s cold, Scottish summer was very far!

We went to the supermarket to take our soup for dinner and we left again. It was gray, we were wet and still cold but at least we progressed! We finished this pathetic day in a closed municipal campsite where the soft grass made us forget the absence of sanitary facilities.

The phrase ” heard ” of the day: “Normally, from Monday, the weather should be fine ! ” (Um, it’s Wednesday !)
Ouf! Il ne pleut pas! 8h30, motivés, on déjeune, plie bagage et partons pour pédaler le plus que nous le pourrons. Plus nous ferons de kilomètres aujourd’hui, moins il nous en restera demain pour arriver chez Karine! Pourtant pleins d’entrain, notre motivation sera coupée court par un dénivelé inattendu qui nous tuera les jambes: les kilomètres ne défilent pas! Heureusement que nous nous sommes levés tôt. Pas de pluie, un peu de soleil, un vent glacial. Les lunettes de soleil ont plus fait leur sortie pour le folklore que pour leur utilité et le relief semble d’accentuer! Seul point positif: la beauté de la diversité du paysage qui vient casser avec la monotonie du canal. Le vert domine, le gris le souligne. Le camping de la soirée n’égaye en rien l’ambiance automnale: caravanes trouées, délabrées, absence de lumières dans les sanitaires et eau moins que tiède… heureusement, personne ne nous demandera de payer.

Phew ! The rain Has stopped ! 8.30 am, motivated, had breakfast, packed up and started pedaling as much as we could. If we did enough kilometers today, we could be able to arrive faster at Karine tomorrow! Yet full of vitality, our motivation was stopped by an unexpected slope. Fortunately, we got up early. No rain, a little sunshine, a cold wind. Our sunglasses were useless and the relief became more pronounced. One positive thing :a beautiful landscape was breaking with the monotonous canal. Green was everywhere, the grey weather too. Our campsite was made in the same autumnal atmosphere: caravans in a poor state, no light in the bathrooms and cold water… Fortunately, nobody asked us to pay.

5006km! :)

“Ewan! We are going to see Karine!” Elsa on the alert: breakfast, putting away, tooth brushing, and start. We did only one kilometer and a 18% hill was already announced! Then two others again before doing 5 kilometers and one again before 10 kilometers. It was cool but the weather was more pleasant than these last days, and above all: we were going to see Karine! No time to lose, we were guided by GPS. We were on the crest of the hill where we could have a look at the landscape, the Forez (in the Loire). 3.10 pm, the last hill before arriving at Bouthéon. 3.15 pm, dring, the bakery’s bell is ringing ! We were arrived, happy, with a big smile, ready for these reunions. We spent two lovely days in this bakery, discussing, laughing, remembering the past and we enjoyed being together. Sunday, we took the road to the Haute-Loire where our next beekeeper awaited us!

To see every photos : click here!
To read the receipt of the Eton Mess (English dessert): click here!
And to see the Cranachan’s one (Scottish dessert): click here!

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