le Pain le Vin et le puncture…

My tour the France is nearly finished, and everything I thought I knew about France has been confirmed!roadsign
It is such a brilliant country for a bicycle, a million tiny wee roads with no traffic that take you over hills with forest, fields and picturesque towns. Behind each hill a church tower appears and you know the next coffee or banana isn’t far away.

I love the life and the people here. One of the first days I stood at the side of the road staring at my map when a man on bicycle stopped to tell me the next campsite would be at least 50km away. But he rang his son, who lived 15km further in a caravan behind a factory with two chicken, to tell him he would have a guest. that used to be something livingThere we discovered that both our dads took a Citroen 2CV to Turkey in ’72! And we eat little scary animals, who didn’t taste bad at all. He told me it happened only one or two times in his life that someone appears out of nowhere and goes to nowhere.

I had about two days of lovely sunny weather before the temperature plummeted again to 3 degrees and I cycled through rain and snow.
An afternoon I tried to get warm and dry in a wee cafe when a friendly looking man came up to me to say he has a guesthouse… it did sound tempting, warm and comfy instead of cold and wet, so I decided to splash out and stay at ‘Le Detour’ in Buffard. I got there and the friendly looking man told me that if I’d use my own sleeping bag I could stay for free! It was like a castle. And en-suite I’ve got the feeling it was partly because of my poor french he thought I was Australian, and they’re a bit more of a novelty here then the Dutch… ah well.another little church

Also I have discovered that my speciality of pasta with tuna and cheese does NOT work with sardines instead of tuna and camembert instead of cheese… yuk. The frogs I had the other day were a whole lot tastier.a plate of frogs

On Sundays many french people put on real fast looking clothes and jump on the race bike. I met a whole peloton with which I easily kept up for about 15km before taking another turn. 😎

Yesterday the impossible happened… I got a puncture! Big shock! since I’ve got special indestructible german tires who were bloody expensive… and I have only 1252km! I’m not impressed. Lucky for me Antoinne and Gilbert just passed and fixed it while I made them a coffee (I can do it myself you know)puncture and a coffee

But my legs feel good. I’m ready for the Alps which is just as well since I’m in Grenoble and I’ll be crossing them in the next couple of days. I dramatically changed my route when I was close to Lyon. I’ve been following the ‘Green Route’ to the mediterranean when I met Monsieur et Madame Guillerault, an older couple who cycle lots and live here (I’m staying with them). They told me it wouldn’t be a problem to get across to Italy from here. So I will find out if that’s true soon enough.
They both used to be math teachers, its funny. I met 4 cycling math teachers in Estonia as well. I’m always surprised math teachers do fun things too…on my bike

Today I’ll take a break, have a look around the town. Its gorgeous! surrounded by mountains. Gonna get my stuff sorted.

Au revoir!

10 thoughts on “le Pain le Vin et le puncture…

  1. Nice hearing from you …in my dreams (at the job;> ) I’m cycling with you!

    Another cycling dutch girl!

  2. Hey hey chick. Sounds like so much fun that guess what I’m going to do when I get to Argentina? Cycle 1000km south (maybe more depending on how that goes) to Viedma. No mountains on way just going along the coast. Ahhhh! Silly girl giving me ridiculous ideas!!!!

  3. Hey Mirjam – be careful what you say about Australians! I’m glad the French have been so friendly, they didn’t used to be.

    How wonderful that you are meeting so many cyclists and getting such good advice.

    The weather in the UK is very changeable – Monday it was 17c, Tuesday it was 10c!and rain. Hooray, Easter is coming and I have 5 days off to relax.

    Good luck with the Alps – can’t wait to see the photos.


  4. Dus het is gelukt met de foto’s, mooi! Ziet er goed uit allemaal, lekker eten, ook….
    Je nieuwe band is trouwens onderweg naar Andermatt,


  5. Yo little girl al alone in the big world. Doing stuff i had planned but never did 😦 enjoy you ride en i’ll keep in touch with you 😀 And if you are in all the other great places think at me ( you know what i mean)

    kiss greetz

  6. Hoi Mirjam,
    Eindelijk even de tijd genomen om je web-log te lezen. Wat een prachtig avontuur. Geweldig al die mensen die je ontmoet, dat doet je de moeilijke momenten weer snel vergeten. We genieten van je verslagen en blijven je volgen.

    groetjes Ad & Margreet Heij

  7. Hi, It’s a shame you didn’t tell me about your trip, my cousin live in Grenoble. I don’t know where you slept there but you could have stayed at his place.

    Anyway,keep going on. I send you good vibes.


  8. Im laughing and having a good time while trying to keep up with you epic journey. Good going! and what a great photos. From now on Im gonna check in with you and the adventures every morning when having porridge and reading the paper. Im so glad we now have summertime! Lots more energy. And you know what – I got my bike and tent almost sorted out. Good isnt it. Tomorrow dogwalk and now coffee! In´shala. X. M.

  9. Salut Mirjam….
    I hope the Lautaret pass was ok for you after the 5th april night…
    We were very happy to meet you and your smile! Be strong and carefull and enjoy everything you can live during your crazy trip….
    I send you some pictures from your stage near La Grave (05 – France) on the 5th of april…
    Good luck

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