It was stinkingly hot today...35 degrees plus. O boy. The cycling was still stunning, but it was so very hot. This was exacerbated by two things. This morning was the morning we chose to have a small barney at each other (par for the course when cycling with someone for any length of distance; conducted in theatrical whispers and muted growling tones as on a campsite there is nowhere to have a really vocal download). The second minor one was that John had lost his cycling gloves yesterday, necessitating a trip into town to buy a new pair. The upshot is that we weren't properly on the road until 11.00 this morning, for one of our longest days to date, and on one of the hottest days of the year in France so far.
So, this evening I am going to keep it short and sweet as I am so in need of some sleep. We followed the train tracks for the first part of today, reiterating for me that train tracks and their surrounds are much the same the world over. In particular the wide swathe of greenery, interspersed by abandoned and crumbling buildings, and dotted with stations every now and then.
The tracks were followed by a rather lovely, brand new cycle path that paralleled the path of the Meuse, but then stopped dropping us onto a busy, long, very hot, straight road right into the teeth of the wind.
After a while we pulled over into the shade of a tree, at which point John took one look at me and volunteered to head off into the village in search of water and pastries.
Reasonably resuscitated we then headed up the hills - and they were pretty gruelling. The highlights were cycling up through a green and burgeoning forest (sheer heaven), and then getting to the top, which rewarded us with some inspirational views. The bad news was that we still had 25km to go (very long, and with more hills).
We made it, just, at 6pm. Water, beer, and pizza is now proving to be the 'nectar of the gods'!! So, now it's off to sleep, as the day begins to cool.
Also short and sweet. Highlight of the day, arriving at a campsite that only sells beer and pizza! Really, what more do you need! Also just watched the full moon rise, big enough to reach out to and touch.