Day 79 – Pontarlier – R&R (Relax & Research)
Today was pretty much a nothing day actually. Well not nothing but a bit of rest and research for my up and coming trip to peru. I sat in the main room of the campsite for most of the day and just organised a few things and made some calls and spoke to a few people. I did happen to ride into town and get some food but that’s about it. It’ takes a lot of preparation to think about the next stage of tyhis journey. It’s getting colder now and tomorrow will be -2 in the night so the weather forecast tells me. Not much to say about today actually other than it’s good to have a room to sit in and research – exactly what I needed and I feel as though I got a bit done so that’s good. Off to finish my last leg tomorrow – that is a weird feeling.
Day 80 – Pontarlier to Lons Le-Saunier (FR)
KM – 81
Saddle Time – 3:37
TOTAL K’s OF TRIP – 4359.4
TOTAL SADDLE TIME – 253hrs:07min’s
COFFEE’S – probably 160
FLAT TYRES – 3
TOP SPEED – 79.5 (down the side of Col de la Schlucht – France)
OTHER BICYCLE PROBS – loose rear cassette to be tightened, rear derailleur adjustment – new outer cables for rear shifter – new set of Schwalbe marathon plus tyres – thats it – no major dramas
PROBLEMS WITH PEOPLE/CRIME – 0
HIGHEST CLIMB (Touring) – 1300mtrs
STEEPEST GRADIENT – 14%
ACCIDENTS – 0
NEAR MISSES – 1 (a very slow silent train in the heart of Dresden I think it was)
TIMES I WASHED MY CLOTHES IN A WASHING MACHINE – 2
TIMES I WASHED MY CLOTHES IN THE RIVER – 4
BEST COUNTRY – Slovenia & France tie – I’ve never been to a more scenic place in my life – from the lakes, mountains, the cities and villages – the culture everywhere. Both places are absolutely breathtaking.
BEST COFFEE – Italy wipes the board clean with that one – every coffe in Italy was great
WORST COFFEE – – Poland (Ostrava) – Styrofoam cup, 2 tablespoons of grounded coffee plonked in and floating there all lovely like on the top, there ya go – GROSS!
BEST BAKERY/PATISSERIE – every single one in France by a long shot
BEST BICYCLE ROADS – Netherlands the clear winner there
COUNTRIES CROSSED – 11
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT – honestly can’t say – i’ll have to read through the diary again – there’s just too many to mention – Highlights though are (in no particular order)
– Seeing a lot of family in Netherlands
– Meeting countless amounts of strangers and experiencing their kindness to a random weird red head that stinks and has a massive travellers beard (you all know who you are)
– The awesome scenery in France, Switzerland, Slovenia
– The huuuuge downhill rushes
– The coffees
– Watching the world go by as I eat food from all around the world
– Pushing through mental and physical barriers that i’ve never reached before
– Viewing so many changes as soon as you cross a border
There’s just too many to mention
WOW – I am totally …I don’t know what actually hahaha. Mixed feelings to be honest. It’s a sad part to think that i won’t be hopping on Thor anymore (well for touring anyway) – I still hope to do Alp d’Huez but that’s about it. Today was the last touring day and Thor and myself and we were a bit sad. We were reminiscing the whole day as we viewed the scenery all day and thought that it’s the last time we’ll be doing this for a long time if not ever – time will tell but it was a good feeling though. It felt good to be powering those legs feeling good about the whole thing and coming away with nothing bad and the best of memories. Honestly, I had a touring adventure of a lifetime and enjoyed (almost) every single minute of it. As i’ve said a million times there is ups and downs but as a whole the memories from the touring part of this holiday will stay with me forever and the whole thing was running through my mind all day. A lot of the day was downhill and it went really quick. Three short breaks in 80km’s for a coffee and my lunch and a toilet stop and that’s about it. A few nice little towns and great weather again until 5km’s from camp so that was great timing. I had great weather all week and it made it easy to enjoy the last part of the trip. I think the weather will turn now and that sucks because My cous is going to pick me up tomorrow and I am hoping the rain stays away.
The final downhill was a windy road that made for a perfect finish. I streamed on down and sped down the hill as if I was going through a finishing line – what a finish – watery eyes from the speed and cold wind (I swear) and a smile on my face as I arrived in my town that I planned previously as it was about the k’s I wanted to do and in line with my taxi service and i am in a closed campsite just chilln and happy i’m in the bed as it starts to rain again. Perfect timing.
So onto the next part of this adventure and hang with my cousin for a week in the French Alps and then off I go on the train to Milan to catch my flight into south America for what i’ll call ‘the third leg’ of my trip and meet my wife Karina in Cuzco. That is going to be so exciting. I will not have seen her for about 3 months and the first time i’ll see her will be in a hotel, in high altitude and on holidays in a totally different part of the world– sooo cool – it’s going to be out of this world.
I will continue this blog even though i’m not cycling and i hope to keep it as frequent as I have been but i’ll have to see. I have read on forums that the internet in Peru is haphazard at best so at least i’ll have text but probably not as many photos – they always take the longest to upload.
Thanks everyone for sharing this part of the journey with me and see you on the next stage
SORRY – ONE CRAPPY PHOTO TODAY
TOTAL ROUTE OF TRIP
Coming soon – i’m running out of battery so will have to do it later