Woods near Ilay to Les Rousses

The Ansell Stage of Ride to the Rock for Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF)

Day 18.

What a day!

Before I say anymore – I want to comment on the stars I saw during the night.

Around 0100 hrs I opened the zipper on the tent and POW!! like HUGE diamonds. I wish I could have shared them with you.

Back to today.

Such an ever-changing day. Uphills and downhills – pushing, riding and pulling the bike, either dry, sunny and sweaty or saturated with rain and feeling cold.

Coat on – then off – extra top on – take extra top off.

France has given us lots of warm and hot days and some rain was badly needed. Andy and I aren’t shy of whatever’s thrown our way but feeling cold and wet is no fun – especially if you’ve still got miles to cycle.

Kamoot threw us plenty of curve balls today.

We set off around 0900 and immediately started to climb.

A regular part of our usual morning routine has been stopping for coffee – so this is what we did in a town called La Chaux.

Here Andy got talking with Jean- Pierre and his wife Aliette – using Google conversation translation. Both Jean- Pierre and Aliette live on a small island called Reunion – a small island in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar. They are friendly and gave a donation of €10 to MSF.

Progress was slow and at times today. I felt anxious when cars and trucks passed – and at times with no wiggle room to get out of there way.

At one point we changed our route. This can only happen if there are other route options.

From here the cycle route takes us off the woodland path and onto some roads – with lots of uphill cycling.

This was challenging because the bikes are heavy. Our motto – Slow and Steady, and stop if we need to. We also enjoyed the downhill.

Kamoot also gave us some off road cycling. The bikes couldn’t handle the rough surface – the front wheel started to grind. Why – we are not sure? Likely grit and dirt.

So we walked with the bikes.

Here we are pushing the bikes up a track.

The rain started as we left the woods and it continued until just before we arrived in Les Rousses. We made the decision to stay the night in a hotel – as it was wet and we were tired and a bit cold.

Andy tried 2 hotels and a B&B – all closed.

Then we got lucky. A lovely man called Michel came over to talk to me and said have I heard of warm showers because my wife and I are warm shower hosts. Michel offered us a bed.

Sure, Andy and I agreed.

Michel and his wife Sylvie are cyclists who have travelled extensively and have both acted as hosts and guests through “Warmshowers’ .

Michel and Sylvie made Andy and I feel very welcome in their home! We laughed, we hugged and we made new friendships.

Posted with love .

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