With a slight sense of melancholy for me, we packed up our tent for the last time (after 10 hours of fabulous sleep). We have just got into that wonderful rhythm that comes with any sort of long-distance adventure where we know where everything goes, and the order that everything needs to be packed away in...and the pannier in which it belongs!
We headed off to the boulangerie in Charly where we were able to peer through the shop window to see the baguettes being made, which was pretty interesting. The guys there seemed to be perfectionists, ensuring that each baguette was formed as well as possible, and baked to ensure the crispy exterior, and light, fluffy interior.
One our first climb out of Charly we were followed through the valley by the barking of dogs as we passed each property along the way. A group of women working on the vines cheered us along our way as we ground our way ever up.
The French people, with the exception of a very few, have been helpful, generous, kind and good-humoured. They have often gone out of their way to help and showed great patience. This seems to contradict the opinion of Yves (you may remember him from way back when he sat with us at a Tabac and passed the time of day). He felt that the French, in his opinion as a French guy who had been the CEO of an international company, tended to keep to themselves and could be surly. He seemed surprised that the people we had met had been so accommodating. I wonder if it's partly the bikes...and the determined attempt of ours to speak (mangle??) French. I'm not sure what it is, but, so far, it's been a real pleasure.
As we headed toward Meaux (still not my favourite place), it was quite handy to have done the wiggly route before because we could remember most of the turns, which made navigation heaps easier. We are just about to head out in search of some food. The skies are grey but it's not actually raining.
Tomorrow, the last 50km or so by bike, back into Paris, where we have a place booked (an old artist's studio...John wanted to know if it was the artist that was old or the studio...).