Entering France to sunny skies and 24km of downhill we thought our endless summer of cycling had truly begun. It quickly turned unseasonably cold, but camping in the snow, cycling through prehistoric gorges and learning how to make bread were all things that made us forget the weather. We left this baguette-rich country with the sun again shining and our legs aching from the slopes of the Maritime Alps. Here are some facts and figures from our time in France:
- 1194 km cycled (longest day 85 km, shortest day 40 km)
- 1 punctured rear inner tube (Emma’s bike, Emma helped Justin to fix)
- 1 punctured tent fly!
- 9 nights in campsites, 10 nights free camping, 6 nights in real beds
- 9 different varieties of French bread consumed (inc home made bread from Yves)
- 9 rainy days but plenty of the others were cold and/or windy
- 76 fresh French pastries consumed (estimated) including pain au chocolat, pain au raisin, pain au chocolat et raisin, almond croissant, blueberry tart, regular croissant
- 2 times the Rainbow Warrior bombing was mentioned
- 4 meals eaten at French restaurants/cafes
- 1 dishes washing kit lost (disappeared from back of bike in l’’Asse)
- 1 time we were chased by a dog
- 4 gorges we cycled the length of
Justin’s best day: Canoeing down the Gorges de l’Ardeche with brilliant blue skies, rapids to shoot and picnic lunch along the way.
Emma’s most memorable meals of France: Fish soup with boats with Ingrid and Yves tied with goats cheese, potatoes and beetroot in a mint-carpeted free camp.