Monday 23rd July
Blanzy to Chalon-sur-Saone: 3 hours 16 minutes, 49km
“To say I slept well last night would be a lie. It was a restless night, I kept waking up expecting to see a farmer with a flash light and shotgun. As soon as the sun’s rays hit my tent I was up, packed and ready to go. The cold morning had made my hands numb, which amplified the shock from each bump that managed to echo up through to the handlebars. I had parted ways with the ever faithful Loire river yesterday, and was now following the Canal du Centre. There was mist hovering over the canal that combined with the non-existent traffic, to create a certain level of eeriness.
I still had no battery charge in my phone and my pace was as slow as the day before, my primary objective was to find food. Rural France, early on a Monday morning is no friend to the hungry cycle tourist. After about an hour, I eventually came across a town that had an open boulangerie, where I proceeded to by 6 croissants and a giant cookie. After that feast there was no other option but to have a proper rest on a park bench.
As my energy returned, my pace magically increased and though I was still tired from lack of sleep, my legs were moving. I arrived at Chalon-sur-Saone at 11.30 am, my destination, after a mere 49km had been reached.
I set up my tent, showered and did some laundry. Now just to clear one thing up my red jacket that I am seen wearing in almost every photo does get washed (mostly when it rains), it’s just really quick drying.
I decided to explore the town. As ever, the sun was out in full force. Crossing the bridge, I saw some youths jumping into the Saone from a fairly high platform at the rivers edge. It was hot so I thought why not, and cycled round to the platform and launched myself into the Saone. I would say that was my highlight of the day.”