Our Basil at our Fawlty Towers mentioned at breakfast that last night was the warmest night in France in over one hundred years. I can’t vouch for the veracity of that statement but I can vouch that it was warm overnight!
Today in fact was a bit overcast so the sun wasn’t beating down as ferociously, though the temperature still hit 33C in the afternoon. Tonight we found accommodation in Baume-les-Dames with air conditioning which should make sleeping easier.
According to the Strava app which records our actual cycling, we have cycled 1,366 km over 16 cycling days, an overall average around 85 km per day. We are meeting friends next week and will cycle with them from Passau to Vienna. Passau is 681 km away according to Google maps so we still have ground to cover.
We had breakfasted and were on our bikes by 7.30am – Sunrise is 5.34am so don’t think we are up too early.
I was confused by a double lock on the canal today so Denis took me off my bike and gave me a lecture on double locks and locking and canals and rivers and water and and … Now I can explain every single lock! In fact if Canal du Rhone au Rhin need a guide, I’m your woman!
Mosquitoes are the bane of our lives these days but we’re so focussed on cycling that we haven’t even thought of a deviation to a pharmacy.
This tunnel at Le Doubs was really interesting. A tunnel on the bike route beside the canal. We are cycling through very varied terrain!
Today’s route was in a valley between two ridges. The sides were quite rocky. We knew we were in a hilly area but because we were following the river bed, we were protected from the worst of the uphill. Or so we thought! After two hours cycling we made TWO detours to nearby villages to get morning coffee and that was a mistake. A big uphill climb and no coffee. We were feeling sorry for ourselves! (We always have snacks and water so we will never starve!)
Coffee-less we arrived in Besançon at about 11.30am. The French are sticklers for time – lunch does not begin until 12. We were beside a few restaurants in a line together and chose what looked like the nicest to see if we could get coffee or anything before curfew was lifted. The nicest was a ‘no go’ zone. We asked the man next door who was putting out tables and chairs, when – realising that he was second choice he waved at his empty restaurant and said he was complet! Served us right for asking next door first. The third welcomed us and served us coffee and food. Did we love them.
We cycled on for the afternoon and arrived into Baume-les-Dames. Our accommodation was lovely overlooking the equally lovely town. The fact that it was air conditioned in this heat added to the bliss.
We had a beautiful dinner down town. The two waiting staff in the restaurant seemed under pressure – there were lots of diners. I don’t think it was the many diners that were the cause of the pressure – I was sorry that my French wasn’t good enough to understand the chef because we could hear him shouting from the kitchen and he had a lot to say! I think the two waiting staff emerged to an oasis of calm once they left the kitchen. No pressure from the many diners in the restaurant, we are pussy cats compared with the tiger in the kitchen! Having said that, that tiger can cook! Dinner was really delicious.
We had a beautiful air conditioned sleep in a very warm Baume-les-Dames.