Monday, 9 May 2011

France - Massif Central

13th April, 74km, Cohade - Aydat

Surprise frosty morning. I exit the tent feeling some strange joy at the return of the chilly morning. With a cup of coffee I go to watch the mist rising from the river until my body feels ready for further exertion.

Our days ride starts slowly - this is entirely my doing. I take the time to try and bodge up the cracked weld on the trailer and some other bike tinkering.

For the first few hours on the road we see only a handful of cars. As the pattern goes - we climb steadily for some time. Once in the high country we get great views out over the rolling hills.

All bus stops should look like this!

Food of champions!!

All day Red Kites escort us. The riding is slow but very pleasant. I we decide to finish off a long climb before stopping for lunch. Thanks to an insufficient breakfast I get dizzy at the half way point. A handful of peanuts and scoop of dodgy Nutella copy sees me back in the game to finish the climb.

Equally bliss afternoons ride. In the evening we head for a lake on the map in hope of some camping opportunities. We cook up a huge feast on the lakeside and then seek out a campspot. Dedicated camping car area fits the bill.

14th April, 66km, Aydat - Mainsat

Snoozing trout

We get moving early and get a good mornings riding out the way. We stop at Carrefour for lunch and hit the jackpot. We pilfer enough “bingredients” to make Spagetti Carbonara. Win!! We bask in the sun with full bellies for some time.
Bin Carbonara - yum!

After an easy afternoons ride our thoughts eventually turn to camping. Our hope is to find a good spot at which we can have a fire. Richard asks at a house for some water and our plans soon change. Veronique fills our water bottles and then invites us to unofficially CouchSurf at her place for the night – result! Richard leads the conversation most of night – his French being better than mine. He also wins Rock Paper Scissors for the spare bed and so I roll out my matt on the floor.

15th April, 88km, Mainsat - La Cellette

Breakfast with Veronique

In the morning we are treated to a typical French breakfast (much like we often eat on the road) but with one very important addition – real butter. Veronique very kindly gives us the butter and jam for the road. We say our thanks and goodbyes and get on our way. Today we hope to reach the Helpx farm.

In search of some fresh drinking water - many of the wells in the area are no longer used

A wee note on Helpx. Much like Wwoof it's an online database for voluteers to find work. There is a fair old variety of placements available including organic farms, building work, hostel work, ski seasons etc. The deal is always similar – work a set amount of hours each day for your food and board.

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