Posted by: Zombi | June 13, 2010

Day 10 Dijon – Louhans

After yesterdays efforts, I didn’t get my lazy backside out of the cheap cotton sheets until about 8.45. Again, having a bed didn’t result in a decent sleep and it must have been about 1.30 before I dropped off. Unfortunately, nowadays when the demand is for everything to be the same, standard, hotel chains churn out rooms that look fantastic but are anything but. No charactor, no comfort, nice high prices. Despite this, they know we are lazy and won’t bother looking too hard for independant alternatives and therefore thrive.

At £75 for the room, I made sure I was going to get my moneys worth. I showered using their soap before having a propper shower using my own. I slept on both sides of the bed. I … well there wasn’t that much scope to do much else but if there was I would have done it.

After paying for breakfast I wasn’t surprised to see few options. I helped myself to a few bowls of cornflakes and some chocolate shell like things the French seem to like, washed down with that horrible milk. To say they make such good food, how do they mess the milk up so much? I even managed to fill an empty bottle of pop with orange juice for the day (I know I’m a chav but for £75 I don’t think it is unreasonable).

Now despite moaning, the breakfast was welcome and I wolfed it down however, as I was stood in the juice queue, the middle aged guy behind me decided that it was a suitable time to hum. Now I ask you, what reason is there for anyone to hum, ever. You can’t like a song that much. And if you did hum it IN YOUR HEAD.

The humming persisted and infuriatingly, the man in front had now started pratting round with the drinks machine. I was stuck in a middle aged world. I had to check I wasn’t wearing a cardigan and had been asleep for 40 years. There was only one option as the humming continued, almost smugly. I turned round and… looked at him.

The humming continued and I got a smug smile to boot. I turned back round only to see the ‘ditherer’ still fumbling around with his cup seemingly unable to work out you just put it under the hose and push the button. “Oh just come on” I thought in my head (but really loud).

The humming got even more jolly.

I lost it. I turned round and smashed him across the face with the slice of cold ham I had been waiting to accompany my juice. As he reeled backwards I shouted at him that if he ever hummed again I would do something unspeakable to him with a glass of fruit juice and a tangerine and then layed in to him with my spoon and some UHT milk before the receptionist dragged me off and threw him out…

Clearly that didn’t happen. I stood there and sheepishly smiled back before eventually marching back to my table with my juice muttering… to find the rest of my breakfast had been cleared away!

After spinning out my packing up for as long as I could, I reluctantly wheeled the bike back out of the room at about 10:15. Getting a fully loaded bike down a hotel corridoor is strange at the best of times but when you have to get past the cleaners trolleys as well it is a nightmare. Finally in the lift and you can guarantee someone else will try and get in on the floor below, the look on their face is always amusing.

By the time I had left, and stopped briefly outside McDonalds to use their free Wifi, I was feeling a lot better to be on the go.

The rest must have done me good as the miles flew by. What yesterday would have been a slow 14mph struggle was today a 17mph cruise. Before I new it I was at the halfway point of the day. A swift stop for lunch and I was back on the go with nothing of note happening before I reached my destination after 65 miles by 3.30pm. A campsite was even easy to find!

Pleasingly, today was my 1st Sunday in France out of the way. Everywhere seems to shut up on Sundays, far worse than at home and I had worried about finding food and accommodation. The campsite I am at seems fine and has only cost 4€ which is better than the 12€ I have had to pay.

Another big milestone was passed today. The paper map of France I have has the North on one side and the South on the other. I am now on the south side. Just.

After the big days behind me I am well over halfway and hopefully will have scope to stick around the 60 mile a day mark and should be fine. Today was the 10th consecutive day on the bike and only the second below 70 miles. Hopefully I have done the hardest part.

We will see.



  1. Hi Ben, glad to see you are still alive and moving in the right direction! Back to work for me tomorrow and I’m sure you’ll feel happier knowing I’ll be in control of CCD!!!!! That’s unless Gles hasn’t taken control whilst I’ve been away… Anyway take care, see you soon. Karen xx

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