Mar 14, 2013

Distance today = 50.57 km; Total distance = 17,925.50 km; Location = Prisse – 46 19.287′ N, 04 44.676′ E; Start time = 0839, Finish time = 1705


This was possibly the coldest day of the world run so far. I have felt colder at times, but that was because I was wet. Today it was simply cold. My Garmin, with the benefit of being cradled in my hand, still recorded a temperature of minus 1.2 C. The air temperature must have been at least five degrees lower. I’m glad I had gloves on, or I would have suffered frostbitten fingers.

It was a tough day, but not really because of the cold. It was because of the bone-chilling headwind, which I reckon slowed my pace by ten per cent or more. It was also a weird day of weather. The afternoon entailed the equivalent of sun showers, but with snow. One moment there was a blizzard, and ten minutes later there was bright sunshine and the conditions were very pleasant. This sequence repeated itself several times.

A highlight of the day was passing Chez Marie, a B&B we stayed at in 2007 and 2009. Marie, the host, recognized Carmel as soon as she saw her, exclaiming “Australie”! I only stopped in briefly, but Carmel stayed for about an hour. The two of them have never been able to communicate via their respective languages, but have always gotten along famously, regardless.

I then crossed the Saone River, which later joins the Rhone. Both rivers are about the same width until they merge. It was flowing very swiftly after the recent snow.

Another high point of the day was watching the passing TGVs. Just before Chez Marie, I stopped on a bridge where we watched TGVs passing when we were cycling in previous years. It’s amazing to see them passing at 300 km per hour – some of the fastest trains in the world. I also saw many of them later in the day, and I will tomorrow too.

I was pleased to finish the day and get out of the wind. It was coming from the north, and I can vouch for all they say about “that old north wind”. It’s brutal!!!

We are at a cafe using their internet to upload this information. Our hotel didn’t know their own password.

PS The tracker is not working at the moment. I get a “No server response” message. Hopefully tomorrow.