Salut from Lyon!
We have finally arrived in Lyon with just a bit more than 300 kms to go until our destination of Marseille.
I just wanted to share a few photos from our very worst day of cycling to one of our bests! Two days ago we rode from Digoin into the Rhone-Alpes region of France and boy, did we know it!!! So many hills. What was worse was that they were deceiving! Once you thought you got to the top… oh look another uphill… no you can’t have a break, do another climb! Unlike what we usually do – get maps from the tourism offices that are all over france that have bike routes or get advice on the most suitable way to go, we followed good ol’ google maps. No. Not good, old google maps. We really dislike you now!! You think google have been nice to create a bicycle option for you to click on for bike routes. The downside is it suggests options which are not bike friendly at all (particularly for bike tourers). So here we are, detouring off of normal paved road onto unpaved, gravelly – not friendly to tyres – roads that descend steeply and then rise steeply on the other side! I don’t even want to know how long we struggled to push our bikes up hill, with the hot sun on our backs. The day just kept getting better. To get to the campsite for the night we had one final long uphill battle which took over half an hour to walk up. The view was nice from the top of the hill…
That day was the first day I really thought we are absolutely crazy for doing this. Then I thought about our friend Guillaume who we met at the tea farm in Nepal, who is even more crazy. He cycled from Kathmandu to Ilam. It is a bus ride that takes 18 hours, is only about 350 km long and took him 16 days. Cycling in Nepal. Where the roads are never paved, and the hills aka mountains are as steep as anything!!! Now he is definitely crazy. But, crazy as he may be he is very friendly and we are visiting him here in Lyon!
Before we started our day journeying to Lyon we checked in at the tourism office to see if they could help us avoid another bad day. Thankfully the lady at the desk was very helpful! Although we had a long climb to go, it was gentle enough to stay on our bikes the whole time. What came next was so great. 7km of winding road… downhill!!! No pedalling required at all. Kel was ecstatic. We both were. Going downhill felt like a reward from our previous day haha. We then joined a main road which a bicycle lane and we zoomed past the 50 km to Lyon in no time at all. Pure bliss!