6,500 Km cycle; day 13, St Junien to Aix en Vienne

Wednesday 13 June 1984. day 13
Aix en Vienne 87km total 781 km

A lovely ride, starting at 7.15.am, along the river which was misty. There were some long steep hills that would count as passes in the Lake District, which seem effortless with the low gears on the bikes. We can ride up side by side, still talking.

A broken spoke on hilly roads before breakfast on the freewheel side, where its so much harder to mend as you have to remove the freewheeel with a special tool. A local cycle shop lent us the freewheel remover tool and are filing down the end of the spoke for us.

Stop for a break beside a small arty fountain in the middle of town where the splashes are deliciously cool, bikes parked round the sides. We’ve bought another map (seem to need one a day)

As the day passes, the hills become steeper and longer in the foothills of the Massif Central, and the sun grows hotter. At St. Hilaire, a small café provides a lunch while the eyes of two full benches of lunching old men swivel as one to watch the dishevelled foreigners. Chevre Sandwiches.

In the evening, at the lakeside camping place, a thousand million crickets sing in the last of the evening sun, fish jump. Beside the water, a man is fishing with a chair and table laid out next to him with a great repast all just for him. And so to wash in the clean and spacious showers.

1984_06_13 Vienne

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