If yesterday was tick, tick, tick, today was hot, hot, hot. Yet with factor 50, a hat and plenty of fluids, I’m surviving. It’s not quite as hot as it was back in 2013 as I cycled along the Mediterranean – that will takes some beating – but it can be energy-sapping and I’m glad that, for the moment at least, the terrain is forgiving.
Tick, tick, tick… Basically that’s what I’ve spent today doing. Ticking off all the things that you might, in an ideal world, want a disused railway line, converted into a walking-cycling greenway – voie verte here in France – to have. If the département of Seine-Maritime set out to build what I consider to be an unbeatable bit of cycle-touring infrastructure, they succeeded.
CURRENT LOCATION: Dieppe If you missed anything, here’s the first week in video. Enjoy! LATEST CYCLING EUROPE POSTS: Subscribe to the Cycling Europe YouTube Channel Since 2009, CyclingEurope.org has established itself as a valued, FREE cycle touring resource. There’s now even a podcast, The Cycling Europe Podcast. If […]
Let’s start with some good news. Upon arrival in Dieppe yesterday after a long cycle in the heat, I sat down for a beer by the harbour and was, imho… fleeced €9 for a 50cl Leffe Blond on draft. (That’s a price Copenhagen’s harbour cafés would be proud of.) The evidence in my favour was a menu that said the price was €4.50 and that the drinks were served as 50cl or 75cl, giving the impression that it wasn’t an option for the premium Leffe to be a modest ‘demie pression’ (25cl). The drink was delivered and €9 demanded. I immediately complained and walked out in digust. Well, OK, being British, I smiled and tossed a cherry ‘merci’ in the waiter’s direction handing over my cash while seething internally. So where’s the good news? Well, having visited the local tabac-café this morning and paid the princely sum of €1.50 for a coffee (all in the name of price research), I’m back here now enjoying a 25cl draft Kronenbourg for €2.80. Success!
Phew! What a scorcher… And it’s apparently going to get hotter. I daubed myself three times today with factor 50 but I’ll be investing in a cap of some description tomorrow (as well of more supplies of the sun cream). Yet I’m staying well hydrated and fed by the French. Today’s food has all come courtesy of the toil of French labour; pastries from the boulangerie in Le Crotoy, fruit from a market in the same town and now a three-course meal in Dieppe at a restaurant called Le Sully. So far – a starter of smoked salmon and herring on a bed of new potatoes – so good, but I’ll update you as the meal progresses… I feel like Rick Stein without a film crew (and a bicycle).
A day to remember… Some of you may think that politics has no place on a website such as this. Yet I disagree. A head of government represents the country. He or she is not seen by those in other countries as a Tory or a socialist or a liberal or whatever. They are simply an embodiment of what the ‘majority’ are thinking. (Majority! Well, not in our archaic first-past-the-post system but that’s another argument.) So when I meet people and ask them what they think of our prime minister, it’s embarrassing to be told that he is thought of as an ‘idiot’ or ‘joker’ because in a small way they are saying that about me and you. We, collectively, gave him the power. I never voted for him but I am part of the system that did. I am glad that he will soon be gone. I watched him speak live on my phone this lunchtime. Just as he finished, I passed in front of a magnificent hotel in Le Touquet called… Le Westminster. Everyone, irrespective of the politics, should be glad that he will soon be replaced.