Posted by: Zombi | June 16, 2010

Day 13 Trept – Chabeuil

This morning started with plenty of rain again. A very late start meant I had to get a shift on to ensure I wasn’t arriving too late. This meant lunch had to be taken on the go (I passed on the soup and went straight to the noodles).

The morning saw the start of the climbing in France. I have had a pretty flat route so far so it was nice to have a change. I prefer climbing anyway, I’m better at it which helps. One particually brutal climb that touched 24% included a cheery Frenchman offering me to come to his for a coffee. Very kind but there was no way I was stopping on that climb, I would never have got going again!

The afternoon saw my mood brighten further to line up with the weather. Thinking back, I think this might bevthe 1st time I have really seen the sun since I got to France (this morning I was wearing leg warmers, a hat, winter jacket and a rain coat and wasn’t too hot!). The afternoon also saw some more alpine like climbs, long sweeping bends, hairpins etc as opposed to this mornings British like short sharp climbs. Although these were not proper climbs, they only lasted around 20 minutes, unlike 1.5 hour climbs like Alp d’huez or Ventoux, but regardless they were still fun.

Arriving at my finish town I had another 10 miles to go to the nearest campsite in the right direction. This wasn’t a problem but it turned out to be all up hill with a strong headwind, which was perculiar as there had not been much wind all day!

The main thoughts tonight are around if I am going to be able to actually finish the route. I have plenty of time and according to my schedule I will be finished on Monday (I was a bit overexcited suggesting Sunday in my last update!) and that will only require around 60 miles per day compared to the 70-100 I have been doing.

The issue is the storms that have hit the South East of France. I don’t know if anything has been mentioned in the English media but it’s quite big news here, understandably. Currently 16 people have been killed in and around the Frejus area. Now Frejus is exactly where I will be joining the coast and is only a short distance away from Cannes and Nice. So close in fact that Frejus could potentially be the start point for my final day.

From what I can make out, with help from the BBC website, world news, there has been really bad flooding and trains are not running and there has been damage to roads. It is the most rainfall France has ever seen in June (I really picked my dates well!).

My issue is, how passable will the roads be and how will I manage camping. I will certainly be continuing on tomorrow where I will get just north of Avignon and probably the day after at which point I will have to review the situation. I guess it might just be something to monitor. Either way I will be completing 1200 miles and if it comes to it I will climb Ventoux (the giant of Provence as it is known) so I promise you will get your moneys worth! Hopefully things will not come to that. It would be a shame as it in theory is only the last day/day and a half impacted.

On a lighter note, I found that I had acquired a new friend today. A tick! No not one that makes me shout £?*#€ and lash out, a small insect that bites you to suck your blood! It had managed to penetrate my beard!

Unfortunately, and don’t read this while eating, when I tried to remove it I failed. With ticks you see, you have to twist them off in order to snap their jaws (you actually hear the click). Unfortunately because it was on the skin round my jawbone it was hard to twist enough so it’s body came away without the head!

If you’re eating, don’t come back yet!

In order to try and remove the head I could see no other option but to try and cut it out with a penknife. Unfortunately it wasn’t sharp enough so after a little digging around in my face with a knife, yes I was careful, I had to admit defeat. I am now having to keep applying antiseptic cream, remember, the one I got from the chemist…, to make sure it heals ok.

They can grow back and eat in to your bone requiring amputation or removal of the actual bone.

… Ok that last bit was a lie!

Ok, more that’s it from me, as I hear the thunder crashing right on time!

Ben

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