Our next last cycle tour - Following Rivers and Pilgrim Trails from Zurich now Dawdling around France - CycleBlaze

July 1, 2016

Our next last cycle tour

It feels great to be starting our next journal. This of course will be ' our next last bike trip'. At times this year we really thought it mightn't happen but with the magic of prednisone my mobility has improved dramatically and on 28th July we will be packing up the bikes and heading for Zurich.
Where to go is always a great chance to speculate. What is for sure is that we will fly to Zurich, from there we will get a train to Oberwald. Oberwald is on the road that comes down from the Furka Pass where the Rhone Glacier, the source of the Rhone River is. A restored steam train can take you to this and we look forward to it

Plenty of options
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What happens next is rather less certain. I have had a lot of fun making a flow chart. It works like this. Follow the line until you get to a place with a square around it, here there is a decision to be made. The possibilities are many and they differ a lot not only in distance but also in difficulty. We have paper maps and / or guide books of all the different routes so it is fortunate we are Silver Skyward Members so are allowed extra check in weight on the flight. We also have GPS tracks so you would think it would be impossible to get lost but I assure you it will happen. Our daughter tells us that a navigational error is just an opportunity for a new adventure.

On previous trips we have ridden to or from the source of both the Danube and the Rhine - this year gives us a chance to add more rivers. We will definitely be at the source of the Rhone and if we follow one of the more difficult options the source of the Loire.

Pilgrim routes have been a fascination of ours for years and in our 'Life before Cycle Touring' we followed a number of these on foot through Europe. Depending on the choices we make we will either follow the pilgrim route from Arles or Le Puy en Velay. Both of these routes take you over the Pyrennes and join the Camino Frances - the main pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostella. We won't go all the way to Santiago however, a couple of days ride from Burgos we will branch off and follow the Madrid Camino backwards to Madrid.

It sounds like a fascinating trip to me, we know how lucky we are to still be able to attempt it. One little problem. I am probably not fit enough yet so in the next couple of weeks I will need to spend a lot of time lying on the couch watching to Tour de France hoping something will happen to me.

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