Day 4: Vive la France!

Date: 25 September 2014
Route: Tournai (BE) to St. Quentin (FR)
In the saddle: 09:45 – 19:00
Distance: 100 km ish

I woke up hurting! And feeling sick. But at least the sun was shining! After a nice sit-down breakfast and a 70 EUR cheque, I was off on the road again, batteries fully charged!(Physical ones, not metaphorically speaking!)

I crossed into France just before lunch time. You would hardly notice the difference, except for the hills. They seemed bigger. And everywhere! Downhill was always fun, but you have in the back of your mind that at some point, you will need to go back up again…! All the villages seemed to be built in the valleys, so you would glide down into them with fantastic views, and then climb your way out of them on the other side. The countryside here reminded me a little of the Dordogne:

Northern France

Except they had potato mountains. Everywhere!

Potato mountain!

I was very tempted to pinch a few for my dinner, but I resisted.

Just outside the village of Tilloy-les Cambrais I rode past a Canada Cemetery, containing First World War burials.

Canada Cemetery, northern France

As I didn’t pass through any large towns, I stopped for lunch in a small village. The local tabac only sold croissants, so I had two for my lunch, with a hot chocolate. The croissants in France seem a lot bigger than those in Belgium, which suits me very well!

French croissants

Overall, the riding is going well, and I’m getting up those hills that I was daunted with the thought of back in Holland. I’m started to lose feeling in a couple of fingers in my left hand though, so I keep shifting my grip to not aggregate it any further. My knee is also a bit numb – probably from the hills! Oh and a bit of a pull in my achilles tendon, and a sore bum. But other than that, feeling on top of the world!

I arrived at a quiet campsite in the evening, and it only cost me 4.50 EUR to camp. It’s getting cheaper by the day! Love it! I think it’s around 700-800 km to go from here…!

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