Clouds of gloom - A country hidden by a large dog - CycleBlaze

August 9, 2019

Clouds of gloom

Montchanin to Seurre

Dawn patrol
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"YOU'VE come by bike?" asked the man running a big campground beside the Saône.

We confessed that we had.

"Well," he said, "we offer all our cyclists a small cake and a glass of lemonade, a way to make their experience different." We sat there and made the most of making our experience different, along with three giant Swiss cyclists of the sort likely to knock over fine porcelain.

This morning's pitch by the lake, on the grounds of a long-closed mine
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Outside, the rain fell. It started moments after we climbed the white concrete steps into the campground office. A huge black cloud had been following us for two hours. To remind us it was there, like the crocodile following Captain Hook, an ever-rising wind buffeted us from the side and sometimes in our face. It was a hot sticky wind, the sort that hints at a worse news to come, and it was all the more uncomfortable because of it.

In the end, we turned and it blew us the last kilometres into Seurre. But the damage had been done and we sat with a giant bottle of iced tea on the twin seat of a photo machine in a supermarket entrance and felt sorry for ourselves. 

This building caught our eye as we passed. Can you see why?
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It was because we saw what's known as a jacquemart. It strikes the time and has done ever since it was created for a nearby manor house around 1815
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We'd planned to camp wild but the idea of pushing through a field of high wet grass and then sitting in it and cooking was enough to discourage. The idea of a shower and a pitch on level ground had more appeal.

It's been raining off and on since then and the forecast says it will continue all night. That suits us. This is a large campground of the sort that appeals to families staying for a week or more without enough activity to tire them into sleepy silence. A downfall has already ended our Belgian neighbours' efforts to fire up a smoky barbecue.

The attraction of sitting outside in the rain with a damp burger diminished instantly. And with luck the same will have happened everywhere else and we'll get a faultless sleep.

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