Jun 5, 2010

Montpellier-Maastricht: the flatlands

Day 6: The gently rolling hills...

...and the North wind that has something personal against me.

No mountains = pleasant at first, but the novelty soon wears off. Yes, (the skin of) my arse hurts and my shoulders are sore, but I no longer have to give myself any motivational talks to keep pedalling. Rather it seems like a job that simply has to be done. I just keep going from dawn till dusk, stopping once in a while to buy maps, a drink or a snack and sometimes even cook (...what was that, I hear you say?!!). Yes, cook. "Just add water and wait for 5 minutes" type cooking. I stocked up on dry soups and camping food on my rest day, and my appetite is back, because now the physical effort is not strong enough to take it away.

Before starting this trip I estimated that the part until Clermont-Ferrand would be physically tough and after that - mentally. I was right.

Flatlands mean heavy traffic and as much as I like the company of other people, I am not such a great fan of sharing my road with crowds constantly rushing past in all kinds of bigger-badder-faster vehicles than the one I have. It should be better tomorrow when I get off of the infinitely flat and straight National, heading to Moulins.

Then, sometimes I get lost. The third award for the "brightest" moment of Day 4 went to me losing my freshly bought map of Auvergne. I refuse to buy another one. Getting out of the city and the industrial zone this morning took me two hours, during which I managed to edge about 8km towards the North and cycle around 30km in total. There was a moment when I found myself standing above the Michelin testing ground, looking down and briefly toying with the idea of using their tracks to escape the monotonous, noisy highway.

Total of the day: 109km.

I slept next to this small lake, dirty and sweaty as I was. Swimming was forbidden... perhaps due to its unusually steep incline?

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