DifferencesJuly 1, 2019 in France ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C
Right now I'm on the outskirts of Chalons en Champagne which was a convenient stop on the way north. Tomorrow will be Saint Omer.
What a difference today's ride was. I came out of the heat wave which is affecting most of Southern Europe and the temperature dropped by 15c over yesterday so for the first time in weeks I arrived at the end of my day not needing to jump in a shower or a pool or a river to cool down.
I told the sat nav to avoid the toll roads as I'm not in a hurry and it brought me via long straight empty roads through forests and little villages so I'm going to do the same tomorrow which will be 5 hours riding.
I'm a couple of miles out of town in one of those budget hotels business men use conveniently near the main road. It's surrounded by discount stores and there is a gypsy camp across the road. They have very nice and very clean caravans and I notice they are connecting into the street lamp supply for electric and down a man hole for water.
I went for a walk to find a restaurant and decided on the one which had an acronym for a name which I presume means King French Cuisine. I chose chicken.
As I was riding today I thought about the differences I've experienced in the adventure. The lowest temperature was at home on the first day when the screen of the bike froze as I took it out the garage next coldest was in Montenegro in the mountains when I started the day at 5c. The highest I've seen was 42c in Sardinia. I rode on a road which had snow 3 metres high each side in Austria and I had so much rain coming down the Balkan coast I abandoned my plan to go to Greece and caught a boat to Italy from Albania.
I described today's accommodation. I've also stayed in four star hotels, three and two star. This is a two star. I've used Airbnb staying at people's houses. I stayed at a family house who invited me in when my hostel was closed. I've used four or five hostels and enjoyed them all. I slept in a chair on a ferry and in the restaurant of another ferry. I slept on Andrews settee for two nights.
So it'll be nice to get back to a familiar bed and not have to pack and move on in the morning and not spend the evening planning the next days ride and finding somewhere to stay.
I'm taking a night off from sight seeing as I'm out of town. Saint Omer will be nice, I remember it from staying there when Mandy and I traveled in the MG.
Not brilliant photos today. I took one to try to show the straight and empty road. Just as I took it a car appeared on the horizon. I took another in a bar I stopped at for a coffee at lunch time. It had a 1930s BSA on a plinth in the restaurant area. It belongs to a friend of the bar owner. I also took a photo of the view from last night's hotel in Dijon just as the sun set over the railway station.Read more