Jun 2, 2010

Montpellier-Maastricht: still pushing across the Massif Central

Day 3: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The Good: getting out of Cevennes, leaving the storm clouds behind, and reaching the beautiful Auvergne plateau, where grass is greener (it really is!), the wind is stronger (but blowing from the side!), and my cell phone can once again receive messages. In the evening, just before camping, the road blesses me with chocolate cookies as a prize for all its tortures I struggled through successfully.

I had several hours of quality internet time after descending the Col de Thort after midday. I had been strongly missing people around me. I reconnected with the outside world, while recharging the batteries of the non-essential electricals I'm carrying (such as my laptop and my gps), and drank two big coffees with loads of sugar and milk. Sitting in the warm coffeehouse at 1000m altitude, when it was so terribly cold outside, gave me back some of that willpower that I had lost in the morning, cycling barely 20km in more than 2.5 hours.

Final score of the day: 80km.

The Bad: Looking back - nothing, really; it is all packed in pinkish clouds and labelled as "adventures" in the back corner of my mind. Yes, the morning ascent was so hard I wanted to quit (Stop! Arrête! Enough!) Or at least cry! I was fighting with myself, stopping every 3-10 minutes. The kilometers were crawling past slower than ever. I had to keep going by reminding myself that nothing will get me out of here, except for cycling on (unless I really want to quit and raise my thumb). I promised myself that if things get really bad, I can take a train, but first I have to cycle until the next train station. A village that is 10km away, might mean more than 2 hours of blood, sweat and tears.

But why all the torture? Well, my dearies, it is not an adventure, if there is no space for doubt that I am able to do it.

The Ugly: The day started with heavy climbing from alt.650m to alt.1120m in strong winds constantly blowing thinned out rainclouds into my face. I started wondering whether the North Pole is just impatient and the overly excited winds are rushing to greet me? Is it trying to push me back (stay where you are!)? Or is it simply testing my wits (is this girl worthy enough and not gone too soft in the South?)?

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