Rolled out of the small hamlet of Savoyeux after a lovely stay at the Chambres D'Hotes of Madame Monique. Besancon at 55 km away was our first hopeful destination and anything beyond would be a bonus.
The delightful Madame Monique. Owner of the Chambres D'Hotes at Savoyeux ....
The previous evening had involved a 7km chauffeured car trip (restaurant owner's son) to the only "local " restaurant that could accommodate us. A Mexican restaurant too. Uh-huh. Mexican in the French countryside. Who would've thought. Having said that, they still managed to have snails on the menu. There's a first. Snails and Mexican food.
The roll out today was under threatening skies and, after holding off most of the morning, as we pedalled through undulating and picturesque countryside the heavens gave way. This wasn't your typical, ultra light, London mist drizzle either. It was industrial sized rain drops beating their way through every gap of my protective clothing.
The rape seed fields of the last week gave way to the more forested, cow-populated hills around Besancon where we took refuge and indulged in a Vietnamese lunch of hot Pho.
Buoyed by the warmth of lunch in our bellies we pushed on to Ornans some 25km away and as we left Besancon encountered some of the steepest climbs yet on the trip. So steep that in the first 67 minutes out of Besancon we covered just 6km . Do the maths on that and you'll discover we weren't travelling that quickly.
Once the serious climbing had been done, the back roads through the waterlogged forest and country lanes was stunning. Particularly the drop down into the valley where Ornans lies. As we rolled down a 5 km stretch of winding road we found ourselves on the base of a valley floor surrounded by cliffs on one side and forests on the other. Ornans. Our pit stop for the night . Simply stunning. Trout fishing Mecca too by all accounts.
Dinner was pizza at the local Italian so that made the last 24 hours : Mexican for dinner - French for breakfast - Vietnamese for lunch - Italian for dinner . Gotta love the cosmopolitan nature of the world we live in.
The perfect sign to describe the mindset of this broken man ....
Besancon artwork ....
More Besancon art work ....
Meeting Monk "Jacques" was a highlight of the day ....
One of the seriously steep hills we encountered today. This photo doesn't do it justice ....
Ponderings of the day
Number of people in Besancon I said "Bon-joo" to as I rode past - 76
Number of people in Besancon who relied "Bonjour" to my "Bon-joo" - 36 .... welcome to the city Nick !
Number of cows passed - 1,450
Number of cows sitting down - 1,450
Quote of the day
"Pain is weakness leaving the body"
This coming from the man who was virtually broken human we piled up yet another gruesome hill between Besancon and Ornans.