Mar 14, 2022

On this day in 2013 I encountered a strange sequence of snow showers followed by sunshine, repeated several times. Very weird weather. It occurred near the French town of Macon. There are some photos below from that time.


Mar 12, 2013


Distance today = 51.63 km; Total distance = 17,824.29 km; Location = St Quentin Fallavier – 45 37.128′ N, 05 05.098′ E; Start time = 0807, Finish time = 1630


And I said yesterday, I really know how to pick the hilly roads. There were some beauties this morning, and quite steep.

I left Hauterives via the Palais Ideal, a fantasy palace built over a hundred years ago. Have a look at the photos to see what I mean. It is entirely the work of one man, Ferdinand Cheval, the local postman, whose round required him to travel 32 km on foot each day. I can relate to him, although I’d go crazy it was the same 32 km each day, as Ferdinand had to do. The Palais Ideal took him 33 years to complete, after he’d given up his postal job, of course.

The weather was good again, despite heavy snow in the north of France. I believe it will be cooling down here tomorrow.

Most of the day was on quiet back roads through the countryside, although it got busier later in the afternoon, as I neared Lyon. I am now only about 25 km from France’s second biggest city. I intend to skirt around it to the east tomorrow. I have no desire to run through a very large city at the moment, especially with no digital maps, courtesy of the ineptitude of phone company SFR.

I finished just before the town of St Quentin Fallavier, where Carmel picked me up in the car. It appears I forgot to turn off my Garmin, as I noticed it counting the distance as we drove to the hotel. Consequently, I have subtracted from the Garmin data the 2.58 km travelled in the car. It shows up quite clearly in the velocity plot on the link,  if you click on Speed.

Note, the tracker is showing me a few kilometres to the north of my official position.

Just finally, a big thanks to Francoise and Yves Chardon at Chez l’Antiquites. Francoise took us to a friend of hers when the internet wasn’t working in our hotel room, and she helped Carmel out this morning by interpreting at the Citroen service centre, where the car needed to have some work done on it, fixing the windscreen wiper reservoir.


Mar 13, 2013


Distance today = 50.64 km; Total distance = 17,874.93 km; Location = Villars les Dombes – 45 59.878′ N, 05 01.728′ E; Start time = 0825, Finish time = 1647


It was back to winter today, but I quite enjoyed it. The extreme weather conditions further north managed to migrate down our way this morning, and the temperature was probably 15 C lower than yesterday. So, it was back into the cold weather gear – gloves, beanie, and all.

I’m not sure why, but I felt extremely good all day. It was one of the easiest days of running I’ve had for some time. I wish every day was such a breeze.

I headed up past the Lyon Airport, and across the Rhone River again. From there, it was up on to a plateau with lots of lakes that were formed during the last ice age, and on to my finish in the town of Villars les Dombes. I last passed through this town with Dave in 2007, on a bike, but it was a whirlwind visit on that occasion, lasting all of a few minutes. I will see a bit more of the town this time.


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.