That's it, we are finally in Montpellier. Obviously drive is off, it take 1h30 from Perpignan when you pass by the highway. But our journey was not as simple and short. And for the skeptics, know that it was obviously deliberate well. We have a friend who works in the weather and for the chalenge, we had ask for rain.
As I said: Rainy departure, departure happy! And we was drowned in happiness!
Starting at 11 am from home, with friends and family. Little trick to get them to follow you in the rain in the month of March. You have to play the card of sensitivity "just go, we'll meet again before 5 years" (moms quickly crack) and for the worst, you must added the argument: "perhaps even for life! ". After, for these who are not susceptible, and responds to you, "but it is rather good news that I will not revisit you Chloe." For them, it must lure with the sports side of things: "It's almost summer, you have to disappear cake winter, you will feel good in your body, yada yada yada... ". But again, there are some who do not care. It remains you many arguments to these anti-bikes. So flatter the ego may also bear fruit, "you'll see, you'll be really proud of you, this is a big trip to go to Liverpool, it's too crazy! Or Narbonne is good too ... Well, in the end it makes the area too !! ". It takes a lot of energy and patience. But it is mostly very good company and that's why they showed us that day! I would like to thank all of them have faced the rain with us!
Well I must say that after having declined by one day the start I did not see me back again. As say Jojo, there be a time when we must start, rain we will have anyway!
So that's it, the bike is loaded, you take it out in the rain and it starts from. But waiting Jojo, I think we forgot ... the tarp on our packs ! and it looks like my coat takes a little water ... well not panic sursacoches is the bomb waterproofing, shoes, my coat. Moreover, for the little info, it is useless to do business on wet and it takes 24 hours of drying. I waited 24secondes, and that's not bad! In our defense, the week was hard, stressful and our heads were filled to the brim.
It's gone, it launches with Jojo commands and without false start! The group's rhythms are variable and there are three cars on our heels. A technical assistance car: true, it was Clementine's parents (the "best" that is always present for our departures and arrivals !) That we have linked the tarp in the back flying too. A car full of groupies: in real life, they were three and it was the family Jojo. Finally the car of the Independent newspaper: in real life, it was it.
Arriving at Barcarès, 20 km journey, we decided to take a break. Error !! The pause is a pleasant time when weather conditions permit. The wind, for example, combined with the rain is not a good combination. It will follow a trembling of all the muscles that make up the human body and long term cramps and tensions of all kinds. This, together with the physical effort of the day, you can imagine the moments of happiness we lived. So the break returned much of the cyclists in their homes warm and dry. Clementine is "deflated". Coincidentally, just to leave (I'm still sure she herself has punctured his bike). The car technical assistance is coming recovered. We ended up to five; my father always present and two friends (Jeremiah and Thomas) who were planning to go by train to the next station you might pass. But by pedaling you warm, if, as I assure you!
I can not count the bowls that was taken. Yes, the slippery road, gravel and the wind does not mix. Thomas began to derail well (literally and figuratively)! His chain was right to him. Jeremiah stayed with him. We expected a few minutes near the station of Port-la-Nouvelle for a last goodbye to the "survivors" of the expedition ... but after 10min stopped in the wind, goodbye become secondary... Thanks you guys!
We continue with my father on the island of St. Lucia. I tested the waterproof capabilities of the phone, which falls out of my pocket, bounced off a rock and landed in a muddy puddle. Result: it works!
We stop to eat a biscuit, but our fingers are frozen and you can not catch them. Besides, I think, sorry for the pictures, it was just impossible to get out the camera and press the buttons and I'm not sure that the colors would be well emerged!
Anyway, the ride along the ponds is beautiful even in the rain. The night begins to fall and we are in the middle of ponds ... Ah! a house, well ... But no one in it. Asked one end to the next barn or garage to be dry (because it is complicated to put the tent on a pool) and luxury, we are housed in a large greenhouse. The owner offers a hot tea with cake and we take the clothes soaked to put them on the radiator.
We sleep for the first time in our twin duvets, lulled by the rain falling, falling, falling ... But this time around, not on us!
The next day, breakfast provided by the owner: hot water, coffee and cake and rain announced for the day is not the appointment. I think the day is bright! We leave some flamingos and herons to reach the sea. There is even to the sun!
Hunger rider begins to resurface. Yes, with all the calories we spent the day trying to warm it must refuel. Shellfish and fresh fish restaurants make me the eye, but we have a tupperware filled with potato salad the day before he must finish a pity!
We go back a bit on the land to meet the Canal du Midi and its barges. The atmosphere is quiet, peaceful and sun finishes drying the rest of our business. Nice little break on the water. For information, the association sun, grass, rivers, horses and the sound of wild flowers in the wind = excellent!
And as it was too good, it took the asphalt road turns into a dirt road. The rain of the previous day has allowed this path along the water turns into a real ordeal muddy! After a few zigzags with the rear wheel in the mud, dangerous slaloms between two large pools and a few bowls, you end up pushing. Finally Jojo especially because I, my little arms are not really a big help ... mud is sticky and collects packet on the wheel, we get at least 10 kg! our shoes look like two big slippers that weighed a ton each (I do not even talking about the SPD bindings lost in the mud). The chain as much as we appreciate and mudguard can no longer manage and broke in two. We spend three hours to just 100 meters. Finally out of molasses, bike paths is abandoned for National. It's ugly, but we lost so much time that night begins to fall and we still have 60 terminals to do before arriving at Montpellier. Anyway, to the lanes the night that was not much interest since we do not enjoy the scenery. Hill Sète enlightens us of its thousand lights with reflections on the pond. It's beautiful, but cold points back the tip of his nose and feel tired ... Sacred recovery! We wanted to do it gradually, we feel our knees shouting "Stop bands crazy! Yesterday was already enough "and our muscles no longer have the strength to do anything at all ... But we advance because we expected warm a few miles away!
6 km from Grabels (terminus), the GPS leads us on a small path that you did not want to take in the night at the end of such a long day. ATV trail atmosphere with large rocks everywhere and huge puddles. But it is up ahead ... Nothing! yes the road has been washed away by a short water and no way to cross to the other side. But it's great that! Jojo he wants to crack the tent and move! But after a few potatoes in the belly (the famous endless salad the day before), he returned. We made a big detour to the county and finally reaches Grabels where Agnes (a friend) welcomes us with a good meal. Falling asleep with a good heavy sleep still trembling legs tired. Party at 10:30, arrived at 0:30, about 12 hours pedaling / rickshaw and about 2 hours of breaks. 130 km to the second stage!
Conclusion of the two days, next to come can not be that hard !
- Coming date: Monday, 16 March 2015
- The Best: Landscapes
You can't miss this:
"Canal du midi" and "les étangs de Sète"
- The small bad luck: Rain, Wind and mud !
The first two days!