Thursday, 15 April 2010

Gently cycling to gent

Two weeks gone now and 600 moiles not counting the extras around town etc.. The wind persists from the NE as Ihead that way, but its not raining. Apologies for punctuation, I have trouble coping with a non UK keyboard.

Now I am on the flat bit the days are easier and ,ake me realise how tough some days have been. Rest days as in Vernon are a good thing in some ways, but last Thursday as I set off from Vernon out of the Rhone Valley going North with a 25 mph wind against me I really felt like a snail towing its shell. Lyon La Foret is a lovely village well worth going to and all along the way, as here I am looko,g for church towers to tell me where settlements are. The day ended with 60 miles covered by 7.30pm which is when the front pannier frame fell off. Luckily I had a great place to stay and was only 2 miles away, the distance Patrick drove to pick me up.

Have just added the pictures, sorry that they are in no order, but the house is where I stayed that night. Following that I crossed the lower Somme not far from where Dad did in September 1944. After that I passes through Hesdin where he hjad been and then hqd my first camping session. A very cold start, but I soon warmed up ctcling up hill for about 17 miles going past the straw horse en route.
Then I got onto the high plateaux passing Crecy well known for where Ed III thrashed the French. After that it was donhill towards Flanders and a night in an F1 at St Omer. Going east from there took me to the First World War battlefields, crossing the Messine Ridge; You cane see why that area became a main front as the armies fought for the only high land in a very flat landscape, especially as you go further east towards Kortrijk the flax centre.
Yesterday I cycled from there to Gent, see night scene, expecting to do 35 miles. I did 55 having not noticed the canal to Roulers while listening intently to the I pod. But Dad went through Roulers and I said I would follow his route, so I think he played a hand in Yesterdays blunder.
So today its a (( miler along the Scheldt River to Antwerp. As you ride you get to muse on the things that have gone well and not so well. After two weeks the wells are
  • Mark cycling back down a 2 mile steep hill to get the pizzas when I was too knackered on the first day
  • Patricks lift
  • The chemist who printed a google map for me to get to a Hostel
  • Finding a contact lense after it blew onto a field
  • The tail wind to Trun aznd the Mpnt Ormel Museum
  • Hilde in a bar in Gent who introduced me to Orvel beer.

So thats it for now, next write up probably from Amsterdam

Love to all


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