since we just passed the divide we can start our day at the highest point of the whole region. we cycle on a bicycle path on top of the canal tunnel until it pops out again and we can rejoin the tow path. blue skies, good asphalt, downhill along the locks: pretty much ideal cycling conditions. there is a strong variable wind: it will work against us for ten minute and then quickly change directions to push us along, so it never gets annoying. it feels like 25 º Celsius in the sun, out of the wind, but while riding the temperature is a bit cooler due to the strong wind. lots of sun screen is required and soon bugs and bits of dirt are decorating our bare legs.
my penpal invited us for lunch at her home along the canal and we have a filling meal of pasta and meat, afterwards we seem to pick up speed and are making better progress. today is Sunday and we see some more people on the tow paths: some trekking with luggage, others obviously out just for a short ride.
the area here is bucolic: just fields, pastures and woods, dotted with tiny villages. the TGV streaks through the landscape like an arrow: straight, fast and without making much sound. the highway between Paris and Lyon comes close occasionally, but mainly we hear bird song and wind in the trees.
- total distance: 617,5 km
- distance today: 86,9 km
- cycling hours today: 5:23 h
- average speed today: 16,1 km/h