Day 19, 9 6 2013, St Albain to Villefranche sur Saone

We took off this morning without a very clear idea of our route.  We had Lyon as a destination, and I had assumed that we would be there today, but didn’t really care.

We had decided to do at least a part of the Beaujolais wine route, which winds its way through the hills to the west of the Soame valley, south of Macon.  So we started off in that direction, but this is seriously hilly country, so decided to cut out the middle portion and ride along the river, before going back into the hills towards the end of the route.  It was clear at this stage that we were not going to Lyon today.

The point here is that we had nothing booked, so we didn’t care.  We do things as they unfold, and so there is no time stress.  If in another 3 weeks we are not close to the airport, we will catch a train.

The river ride was pretty ordinary.  We had seen an information sign suggesting that there was a bike route along the east bank of the Soame, but the track we found had no signage, and was a very rough and pot-holed gravel track, albeit quite well used by bikes from the look of the tyre marks in the soft ground.

After we had had enough of this we moved onto the minor road leading to Villefranche sur Saone, stopping at a car wash to clean the heavy layer of accumulated mud and grime from our bikes.

We had been watching the cloud build up, and by the time we reached the tourist information office it was threatening.  The tourist information office was closed.

This is a French peculiarity.  All sorts of businesses that logically should be open in the middle of the day are closed, so it came as no surprise that the tourist information office in a busy tourist town on a summer Sunday would be closed.  It will be open tomorrow when French people don’t want it any more.

There was a hotel opposite so Roz made an unusual executive decision and booked us in.  To her delight a storm hit as we were in the lift up to our room.

Maybe Lyon tomorrow, maybe not. This weather pattern of OK mornings and stormy afternoons is with us for a few more days.

We are averaging around 130E per day, not counting the occasional blowout, the last of which was about a week ago.  This is OK for us, we do not want anything more and are making no particular effort to economise.

71 kilometers for the day.



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