Day 39 Friday 1st July 2016 118km (3632km in total)
“To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.” – Bill Bryson
I love it when other foreign travellers think their the only people who speak their language. There were some British lads on tour, obviously just been so see the football in Nice. I heard one of them commenting as I walked past “I bet everyone’s laughing at us, just because England’s terrible at football”.
They had a small camper van which seemed to fit all eight of them in. A tent was somehow fixed to roof, with a ladder to climb up into. The sides of the van were covered in pictures, graffiti and things like “there’s never enough beer in the world!”
Before, I could often start early in the morning and make the most of the cool parts of the day. Now, since I’ve started doing longer days back to back, I arrive later, meaning I wake up later in the morning. It also seems to be getting warmer earlier, which doesn’t help! At least my arms seem to be getting used to the heat, with less sunburn and skin pealing!
I seem to be riding on bigger roads now, partly as I’m going a more direct and flatter route but also just as I mainly follow the garmin. The bonus in France is that even the big main roads often have a meter or so marked out for bikes at the side. Not raised or a proper cycle path but still is great to not have lorries overtaking just inches away from my panniers!
The bigger roads do often seem to have plenty of glass a the sides though! Small fragments of bottles or windscreens seem to line the sides, just where I’m cycling! I managed to miss most of it but just 20km away from the campsite I noticed the rear wheel becoming wobbly. First I thought the spokes may have worsened, but it was a puncture. My first proper one this trip!
However after mending the puncture in the full heat due to lack of hedges, I noticed one of the spokes had snapped again! I couldn’t believe it! This is the worst wheel I’ve ever had! It was still rideable, and the weekend I knew I wouldn’t pass any open bike shops for at least two days. I just had to hope it would last!
In one of the towns I must admit I got a little lost. Well, actually more not sure where to go, it’s near impossible to get ‘lost’ with a GPS. You always know where you are but doesn’t mean you know where to go! I saw a cycle lane on the map which cut out the main roads and traffic though the town. At the entrance that had placed some barriers to prevent motorbikes going down. However, they were only wide enough to fit a bike though. Not a bike, a person and four wide panniers! I couldn’t be bothered to get all the panniers off and after a few failed attempts I had to go the long and busy way.
The campsite was fairly expensive and people travelling by bike seem to be discriminated! The cost to camp is often the same for bikes or cars, although bikes take up much, much less space!
When I arrived, I almost thought I was in Ireland! All the people camping around my had very strong Irish accents. All very loud cheering on at the football! I could hear them right across the campsite!