We are, in this very moment, in the ancient, ancient village of Roquefeuil, France, dating back to 1250, (pop 274) and at 3000 feet, the morning after our first climb in over a month – loving it!! We’re only around 15 miles – as the crow flies- from the Spanish border. But first things first…
The smack is back… Micky D!! OK, so we still pull our wallet out for the killer breakfast special and have to turn away from those yummy McFlurries, but I now darken the doors with suspicion as it set the stage for a bad day. We took a high speed train (300 km/hr!) from Brussels to Paris and had 8 hours to burn so we did the tourist thing.
We’re not in Del Norte anymore…
But, Paris is trying to be Del Norte…
We hopped onto the Micky D wifi before catching our train to Toulouse. That’s when the shyst happened. I was at a counter and a woman came up to me and started taking away in French while her accomplice lifted my phone. Stressed me out because of some security and password issues and pissed me off big time. Just saying!! With that said… On to Toulouse..
We caught the “slow train” (relatively) from Paris to Toulouse at the d’ Austefliz Gare. Little did we know how awesome a 7 hour train ride could be. Since we had bikes we were logically put into a bike car, but it was also the “family” and handicap car. We had a whole little room to ourselves where we read, I knitted, Gary slept, caught up on emails and spent our usual hours talking routes and researching.
The key is, folks… Look for the car with the life sized kids and the bikes painted on the outside. Awesome.
Toulouse is another big city (600,000 including surrounding area), so having had an over kill of cities, we went to the bookstore, got the maps we needed and headed out of town south along a path that ran next to Canal du Midi. With a welcomed light headwind to keep the 86 humid degrees at bay, we wound through locks and forests and flowers, leaving the city stresses behind. All through Europe we’ve been eyeing the barges and freighters that people have turned into houses, more so in Holland where canals weave communities together, however on the Midi they seemed particularly appealing. We can see us living on a boat someday.
From the Midi we at began climbing through beautiful old villages and rolling farms full of texture and color. We rolled into Salles-sur-I’Hers where the shop keepers enjoyed practicing their English on us. They invited us to camp at their lake which we did and enjoyed swimming in the warm water… Paris was starting to recede from our memories.
The morning brought us riding through yet more texture and history into Mirepoix. The sound of drums sent us searching only to find these guys in the town square. OMG.. They rocked!!
The afternoon brought us to our first climb
Through yet more texture
To Roquefeuil where life is… Rolling with the moment. 🙂
We would happily take these golden fields over the golden arches any day!!!
In case the bike geeks out there are wondering… I’ve not had any mechanical issues at all to deal with. We’ve ridden a bit over 1200 miles now. Other than a couple of clicks on PK’ s front derailleur and a few clicks here and there on the BB7’s I’ve done nothing other than lubing and wiping the chains.
Patti’s rear XT hub hasn’t loosened at all, I really torqued the locknuts and used loc-tite on them. My rear wheel that I recently built hasn’t needed any truing at all. Hopefully, our luck will hold.