Here is a short summary of our first days. Sorry for not writing more often. We end the days exhausted and there is no energy to take out the laptop and write. Thanks all of you for the support message. Looking forward to your comments. Next posts will surely be small stories of events and elements of our trip. Stay tuned.
C’est parti – On the St. James way
20-25 June 2016
We left home at 14h on Monday, with a strong sun shining over us. Charging our bicycles with over 30kg each of luggage, some food and water. First change of itinerary, we needed to leave a copy of our keys at Gio and Anne’s place on the other side of the Geneva.
The way to Soral, on the border, was slightly going up but after we went up a pass on a busy road which was not so pleasant. The day ended after 40km in Frangy, on the local camping where a nice French lady says “choissisez où vous voulez, vers la droite”.
The light rain started during the night and remained with us the next day. It’s the best weather for a cyclist. Refreshing and not enough to make you wet. In the afternoon the sun come back and completely wet (from sweating) we stopped early in front of a camping with the sound of kids splashing in the swimming pool. The 4-star camping would have been perfect without the music from a party next to it until 2h30 followed by the noise of the gas getting out of the bottle from our neighbor caravan (Eva eventually got up and closed the bottle, which had lost its connected hose).
Having not slept so well, we took sun, sun, sun, heat, heat, heat while going up and down some nice small roads. Near Vienne we had to choose between a hotel on the other side of the road or ride 20km more. We ended up paying a bit too much but having again a refreshing pool. For dinner in this Pont Eveque village there was nothing else than a low-quality pizza place.
The morning started with a quick 20km ride along the Rhone until we turned right to climb up to the highlands of Loire. Soon we were on the 600-900m altitude range. The air was a bit fresher and roads quieter. A brief stop at Bourg-Argental tourism office to confirm the existence of a camping place at Saint Sauveur de Rue where we slept.
The first few kilometers after leaving the camping were in the direction of a pass at 1048m. We took now an old train line road converted to voie verte until Montfaucon. The day was once more quite hot, the thermometer on the bicycle computer showed 38 degrees. At lunch break, by shade of the roadside trees, we cooked flat breads (specific posts will follow) and merguez bought at the market during the morning. The day ended a bit lower at Le Puy, one important starting point of the St. James pilgrimage. We took a hotel (Saint Jacques…) and less than an hour later a violent thunderstorm started, making us thank to having chosen a hard ceiling for the night.
In Le Puy we took our first rest day to buy gas, some isostar, new flip-flops for Miguel, map for the next region, do laundry, backup pictures, write the blog, etc. Le Puy is a nice town, with an old center, cathedral and a statue on the top of a steep hill.
The first five days we did 328km and almost 26h of pedaling.