Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Day twenty one (Sunday) Epernay to Charly 75 km 5hours 20 mins

Cakes: 2 x croissant each; 1 x pain au chocolat each; 1 chausson aux pommes (shared); 1 x eclaire each; Coffee 1 x each

We are now moving back to paths  and places we have already cycled as we travelled in the other direction. I keep asking John if we can go around again!! Having said that, while the weather has been incredibly kind (and I do know that I sound a tad 'whiney' here) it would be good not to be cycling into a head wind for a while.

One thing that is different is that the signs of the season are changing. The poppies are now mainly seedheads, many of the fields have been harvested, and some ploughed, and the grapes are very obvious on the vines.

As we have cycled through the towns, villages and cities I have seen a pattern emerge. In the vast majority of places many people cultivate a potages (veggie garden). These gardens are almost without exception meticulously laid-out and tended, weed-free, and apparently growing vigorously. The lines are invariably straight, and the canes upright. The effect is pleasing to the eye and I suspect, when the time is right, the stomach. 

Mind you, I do wonder how on earth the gardener manages to consume all of the produce! I know when we had our allotment in the UK, and our veggie gardens in Auckland there were times when we were totally overwhelmed with a specific vegetable, and there are only so many way you can eat and preserve, for example, a broad bean! We tended to distribute the excess around our neighbours.

We had fun trying to find the campsite in Charly, which, when located, turned out to be very pleasant. We had brought a picnic along with us for the evening, and washed this down with a sample of the local champagne. The gentle drizzle didn't penetrate the leaf cover of the tree under which we were sitting, and we had a good long chat about what and where next - physically and metaphorically.

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