Sunday, October 05, 2008

Le Rhone a Velo

Days 373-375
La Frette to Rochemaure
Time: 3:24:00 and 4:36:00
Distance: 60.0 km and 78.5 km
Avg Speed: 17.7 kph and 16.9 kph
Terrain: Flat
Location: N 48.58, E 4.70

We’ve ridden two of the last three days and have made our way back to the Rhone River. The weather has been a little rainy, partly sunny and crisp (more like cold). It’s kind of like New Zealand a year ago. Luckily the wind hasn’t been too much of a problem. I probably shouldn’t have even mentioned that…
Our last couple of days has been pretty mellow – we’ve just been putting our heads down and riding. On the flats we are able to move a pretty good distance in a day. At this point in the year we’re just trying to get south and hope that the weather warms up a bit. Camping is really not a possibility in this area and it hasn’t been too hard to get a room. As we get closer to Spain we might get a chance to have some more time in the tent. I think we’re both pretty indifferent this close to the end. When you get to 100 nights of camping you stop keeping track.
Despite the chill in the air, we’ve been enjoying the landscapes. The countryside has been beautiful throughout Europe and France’s version has its own unique character. The Rhone has become quite wide and placid now since Switzerland. Apparently it has not always been that way and this grand river has been tamed over time. Once filled with obstacles, the character of the Rhone has been altered by humans. Today it is the source of 1/3 of France’s electricity. Before this “control of nature” pre-19th century passengers traveled in vessels pulled by horses, men or sails. They often times carried painted crosses with religious symbols as good omens on their journey. Although we travel on land, I think we can understand the concept of keeping yourself safe on a journey through a wild environment.
We’ll have another rest day tomorrow. Chris has developed a cold and we want to avoid any sort of respiratory infection. Our new digs are pretty comfortable and Chris has been brushing up on his French by watching the dubbed version of Knight Rider.

Here’s to the power of water,

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