our last day of cycling! we have about 70 kilometers planned back to where we started ten days ago. the weather is supposed to be fine and though the description in the guide book is not very promising – roads under construction, long boring stretches, .. – we are excited about finishing the tour. we’re pretty well adapted by now and have perfected the routine: efficient packing, a good cruising speed, how to plan lunch and so on. we’re not really faster than the first days, but at least over the last few days the little aches have disappeared and we’re as comfortable as can be expected.
the canal is wide here and crosses green country side, though there is definitely more activity here. the villages are closer together and we see the occasional farm: huge buildings to match the huge fields. we stop for lunch in Tonnerre and despite it being a bank holiday we find the perfect spot: a shaded terrace looking out over the Hôtel Dieu, from where we can keep an eye on our parked bikes. we have the plat du jour but splurge on a glass of local rosé wine and dessert. best chocolate mousse of the trip!
we put on a second layer of sun screen in the afternoon, since the sun is out and there is little shadow on the tow paths. the little insects actually stick to our skin, tickling until you wipe them away. after Tonnerre we encounter two very bad stretches, one extremely rocky stretch where they are preparing to lay asphalt and one old dirt road full of holes. I think we did an extra 30 percent of kilometers, trying to avoid the large rocks or holes. during one of these manoeuvres I narrowly avoid a weird shape on the ground, so I yell SNAKE and immediately stop for investigation and pictures. it turns out to be a deaf adder (Anguis Fragilis), posing prettily for the photographs.
we get to our bed and breakfast around five thirty, early enough to go to the local store to get picnic supplies for an impromptu picnick on the roof terrace of the B&B near the river. we enjoy freshly baked baguette with cheese and rillettes and polish off a bottle of red wine between us to celebrate our achievement.
- total distance: 696,1 km
- distance today: 78,6 km
- cycling hours today: 5:18 h
- average speed today: 14,8 km/h