Mar 18, 2022
Plenty of videos, blog posts, and photos today from the lower Burgundy region of France. I have to admit, it’s a nicer climate there in summer, having cycled through the region a couple of times then. However, it was still a pleasure to traverse it on foot in late winter.
Mar 15, 2013
Distance today = 48.32 km; Total distance = 17,973.82 km; Location = Le Filletiere – 46 40.133′ N, 04 41.048′ E; Start time = 0832, Finish time = 1635
I will keep today’s report relatively short, as we have our first visitors on the run since Chook and Don last October. Old friends, Steve and Judith, have dropped in to spend a night with us in Burgundy, on their way back from Geneva to London. More on this tomorrow.
Today was great. While it was still cold, the wind let up and I was quite comfortable. And, in addition, I spent the whole day on a bike path that used to be a rail line. It was a joy to be able to run freely, without constantly jumping off the road to avoid cars. France’s roads are on a par with some of the worst in the southern US states, in terms of no shoulders for pedestrians. Most of the time there is nothing. It was great to avoid this today.
I headed from the Saone Valley, over a ridge into Cluny, which I reached late in the morning. Cluny used to have the largest cathedral in the world, until Notre Dame was built in Paris, some 900 years ago. Nowadays, there are only the foundations to see. I’m not sure what happened to it. The foundations still attract quite a few tourists, though.
The afternoon was spent on a quite flat and straight section heading north. After lunch at St Gengoux le National (a great name for a town), it was on to the end of the day at Le Filletiere, enjoying the bike path every step of the way.
Mar 16, 2013
Distance today = 46.12 km; Total distance = 18,019.94 km; Location = Nolay – 46 57.111′ N, 04 37.963′ E; Start time = 0932, Finish time = 1634
We had a very pleasant evening last night with Judith and Steve. They live in London now, and have been in Geneva all week, so it was a perfect opportunity to catch up as they made their way back to London over the weekend. There were lots of laughs at dinner, and the red wine flowed freely. And we must thank them for their generosity.
Steve drove me out to my starting point today, so I gave Carmel the day off. She made the most of it, and booked in for a makeover, after a quick lunch with Judith and Steve.
Meanwhile, I ran on the same bike path early in the day, before hitting the roads. There were lots of towns and villages along the way, so it was easy to buy drinks and food when necessary. Lunch for me consisted of a chicken quiche I bought from a boulangerie in the town of Mercurey.
I ran through some of France’s most prestigious wine country – there were vineyards everywhere, as well as cellar doors for tasting. Pity I can’t avail myself of the tasting during the day – maybe on a bike but not when running (ever tried running after a few wines – it’s not nice).
It was about then that I passed the 18,000 km mark. Only a little over 8,000 to go now.
From there, it was up and over a big hill, down to another bike path along a canal, and then a steady rise through more vineyards, to my finish for the day in Nolay. Tomorrow I will start heading north-east toward Germany.
Mar 17, 2013
Distance today = 50.31 km; Total distance = 18,070.25 km; Location = Ferme de Saule – 47 07.414′ N, 05 06.302′ E; Start time = 0842, Finish time = 1710
It was one of those days, when I just didn’t really feel like being out there. There was steady rain for much of the day, and a bit of a wind blowing. These conditions, coupled with running on a relatively busy road (with no shoulder), made for a less than desirable day for running long distances.
However, I got through my planned 50 km, but stopped at the earliest opportunity after that. These are the days that really count.
After a long hill to start, I reached Le Rochepot, with its amazing chateau (see the photos). Then on to Beaune, which is considered the gastronomic capital of France. It was a very pretty town, with lots of top notch restaurants throughout the streets.
By this stage, I was running in the Cote d’Or, along the Route de Grand Vins, one of the most famous wine regions in the world. The hills were covered with vineyards, as were the plains.
Next was the town of Nuits St Georges. This was also a five star town, and they had a festival on in town. Carmel stopped and got us some escargot for lunch. Yes, it had to happen eventually – we ate snails in the car while it rained outside.
The wind continued to pick up and it was getting colder. I covered another 9 km after lunch, and was very pleased to stop. Unfortunately, there is rain predicted for the next few days.
Mar 18, 2013
Distance today = 50.67 km; Total distance = 18,120.92 km; Location = Orchamps – 47 08.878′ N, 05 39.375′ E; Start time = 0840, Finish time = 1711
A solid day at the office, with a nice morning and not so nice afternoon. After yesterday’s rain, the morning showed glimpses of sunshine, and I was on relatively quiet roads – my favourite sort. I even ran along a path that bordered the Saone River. It was just like running along the levee of the Shoalhaven River.
By early afternoon I’d reached the town of Dole. I had never heard of Dole until yesterday, yet it is a large town with grand old buildings that have really seen some history. France has so many of these “unknown” treasures worth discovering.
I had only run a few kilometres out of Dole when a hail storm hit. I was really lucky, as I had just reached a petrol station that Carmel was filling up at when it started. Honestly, I was about ten metres away from cover when the first stones came down. It didn’t last too long, but I sat it out for about twenty minutes until it eased to rain.
That meant a wet afternoon, but the worst part was the road. The shoulders on the roads in France are atrocious. Actually, they would be atrocious if they existed. On the whole, they are the worst of any country so far on the world run. Contrast that with adjacent Spain, which has the best shoulders for running. Road shoulders and the mobile phone system are the two worst things about France. Everything else I love.
I’m now in the Jura, a part of France I’ve never been in before. So far it looks really good, and I’m looking forward to a couple more days of it as I make my way toward the Swiss and German border.