Helloooooo! Ali and BikeyMcBikeFace reporting in on Thursday after another day of pedalling through France.
So we boarded the 11pm ferry to Dieppe and managed to catch a few z’s on the way. It was mildly difficult as all the way there the ship was beeping its horn. It was only when we woke as we approached the harbour that we realised we were in thick fog. Good old BoatyMcBoatFace. We left the ferry about 430am French time (330am UK time) and found a motor home car park near the promenade. 5€ for 5hours parking including the use of fresh water and loos was perfect. Sleeping in the van was semi-comfortable and I managed to squeeze in a few more z’s.
So I didn’t set an alarm and woke just after 9am so in effect I lost an hour with the time difference. Cue sorting a few things out and packing for the day ahead. My body felt a bit wrecked from yesterday and my knees reminded me that they don’t like riding a bike that far. After a bit of route planning I set off on the Avenue Verte for Neufchatel-en-Bray. A ride of about 23 miles where I’d arranged to meet Smokey and the Bandit (Amy & Dizzy).
I was treated to a 15 mile stretch of traffic free riding as my legs started to ease back into the rhythm. On my way I passed a guy sat on a bench with a touring bike kind of staring at the path in a daydream. He didn’t even notice me go by. This turned out to be an English guy called Dave who we met in Neufchatel after having a bit of food. He was about my age and had left the his job as a petrol station cashier 3months earlier with a Reanult Passat and a bike, with the aim of finding work. Unfortunately he’d struggled to find a job so was eeking out an existence by living in his car and cycling between villages to pass the day away. He was really open to share his story and didn’t want to go back to his old life in the UK and for people to say “I told you so”. He was clinging onto his dream of making a life for himself in France and I really hope he does.
I saw my first sign for Paris today and it felt really good. France uses kilometers for distance and my brain couldn’t compute what that was in miles, but it seemed ok with my plans for today’s and tomorrow’s riding. I was pressing on to Gourney-en-Bray and from there pushed on a bit for for a town called Gisors. I’m not sure how it’s pronounced but the lady in the Tourist Info office seemed happy with “Geezors”. She told us of a campsite just past Gisors so that’s where we are ce soir. It hasn’t rained all day which was lovely but now it’s raining pretty hard and there’s an electrical storm on its way.
Dinner was bloody good. Tuscan bean soup mixed in with pasta. Yum yum. I think today’s effort was about 123km which is about 74miles. It’s going to be about the same tomorrow to get to Paris so I aim to set off early. Bon soir for now!