Day 13 – Ornans to Lausanne

Good day – 105km in hilly terrain. Paul and Treena were right, the climb out of the valley from Ornans was really nicely gradiented, I didn’t use my ‘granny’ gear once all day. Climbed to 1046m (3431ft), and crossed the north sea – mediterranean watershed. Got a stamp in my passport going into Switzerland, and found the campsite in Lausanne.

Other notes from today – I changed the rear tyre. The sidewall was splitting in 6 places, with the biggest two joining up.
– Special thanks need to go to Jo and Alex. Wherever in Europe/Australia you are now, travelling for the couple of days with you really picked up my spirits and got my on my feet. Thank you.
– My beer gut is gone, and my legs are huge now!
– It feels really good finally crossing an international border.

Day 12 – Gray to Ornans

The day started well, was on the road by 8:30, and in Besancon by lunch. There are some lovely villages between Gray and Besancon – I could see myself living here one day! But the day worsened with roadworks, diversions up very steep hills, and rain. I sheltered in a warehouse in a village during the worst of it. I didn’t make Pontarlier, and instead stopped in Ornans. There I met a British couple Paul and Treena, cycling some of the mountain climbs of the tour de france. Special mention to them – they fed me a delicious dinner with wine! Thanks again!

Day 7 – Laon to Reims (Val-de-Vesle)

This was the first rainy day, and the first with proper hills. I left Jo and Alex in the morning, since we were going a different route to Reims (pronounced ‘flem’), and struggled up the hills into driving rain and a horrible headwind. I stopped at another war memorial. I’ve been to lots in the past, but as before, it was very emotional. It was certainly of the beaten track, and on a hill side, and it must have been a bloody battle. A lot of the graves were unmarked, just saying ‘known unto god’.

I made it to the tourist office in Reims, to once again find out there is no campsite, but guess what – there’s one 15km down the road! I went to the internet cafe, and sent a few quick emails, and then on to the campsite. I wasn’t expecting Jo and Alex, but later in the evening they turned up 🙂