We enjoyed our time with the l'Hostis' immensely but we were both eager to start our final leg through France this morning. The amount of time we can stay in one place without feeling restless seems to be getting smaller and smaller the longer we are on the road. Lately, if three or four days pass without a bicycle ride we both start feeling the itch to carry on. After saying our goodbyes with Pascale around 8am as she left for work, sharing breakfast with Philippe, and finally saying farewell to a very sleepy Claire we set off under cool, overcast skies.
Just a few pedal strokes out the front drive we were exchanging huge smiles, ecstatic to be back "home" on the road again. The two of us, our bikes, and our tent really are our roots now, and it felt good to take up our familiar routines after having been guests for a few days. With nearly a week off we both felt a little wobbly for the first few kilometers! We fell into our usual rhythm in no time though, speeding along quickly and easily (thanks to flat roads), cracking silly jokes and marveling at the scenery. It was a particularly flowery ride today. We passed several ditches and fields full of wildflowers as we rode through what Tara tells me is one of the most under appreciated parts of Burgundy, "la Bresse".
I'd intended for us to start with a shortish ride, thinking we'd want to ease our way back into riding 70-80km days. Instead, the invigorating cool weather and pancake-flat roads made our work exceedingly easy and we covered 85km in less than 5 hours, including a lunch break! Even better, almost immediately after we decided to start looking for camp, we saw a sign pointing us to a very affordable municipal site.
It was barely two-o'clock in the afternoon when we began unloading our bikes and making our home for the night in the cool shade of our grassy pitch. We set up camp and Tara prepared a salad for our late lunch while I got some work done. The rest of the afternoon was spent cozied up at 'home' reading, writing, working and relaxing.
It seems like we arrived in Roskoff on our ferry from England in another lifetime. I remember thinking France was huge and wondering how we were ever going to make a dent in the daunting new country, especially after our first few rides seemed to cover so little ground. Now we're just a day or two away from the border! I feel a deep sense of accomplishment looking at our map, seeing another country full of camp markers and journal entries. Switzerland, here we come!