Day 4: Hills just got bigger, hello France!

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

I woke up feeling broken and sick! But the sun was shining! After a nice sit-down breakfast  and a 70 EUR cheque, I was back on the road again.

Just before lunch I crossed into France. The only thing that seemed to really change was the hills! It seemed like they were everywhere, and huge! (little did I know what awaited me in the Dordogne!). The downhills were certainly fun, but in the back of my mind I knew I would be travelling back up again on the other side! It seemed like all the villages were built into the valleys, so you’d have a great descent into a beautiful French village, only to have to climb back out on the other side. The countryside here actually reminded me a lot of the Dordogne.

Northern France

Just with a lot more potatoes!

Potato mountain!

These mountains were everywhere, but I resisted the urge to pinch a couple for my tea…next time!

I went past a small Canada Cemetery near Tilloy-les-Cambrai, containing 265 First World war burials.

Canada Cemetery, northern France

As I wasn’t going through any big towns, I stopped for lunch in a tiny village, but all the local ‘tabac’ had was croissants, so I bought two large ones and a hot chocolate to keep me going, and devoured them in the glorious sunshine. I decided that the croissants are bigger here than in Belgium, which suits me very well!

French croissants

The cycling is going well overall, but I’m starting to lose feeling into two fingers on my left hand. Strange! My knee is also complaining a little – must be these hills!

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