Day 8 - Heidi Ho - CycleBlaze

June 16, 2012

Day 8

Today was the best day yet! We woke up, for the first time, to clear skies, dry air, and sunshine, and set off towards the Massif Central, which is, as Leo just mentioned, "the mountain range in southern France that most people forget about. The other two mountain ranges (the Alps and the Pyrenees) are there to separate the French from their bothersome neighbors. The Massif Central just sticks up to bother everybody."

For me, they are the mountain range we have to cross to reach Geneva.

The approach was beautiful, with rolling hills and climbs that, at least so far, were not too steep.

But what I noticed to day were the sounds...

First, the birds. There seems to be more song birds here than at home, in fact more birds in France in general. Maybe I'm just do used to it at home I don't notice? But it sure makes for pretty riding.

Next, was the road itself. By afternoon it was really hot. So hot, that the tar under the surface of the road started to get so hot that it actually pops. It sounds like bacon frying, if you want to know the truth, and I know you want to know the truth.

But the last, and most unique is the cows. Not the cows themselves, but what the cows are wearing. Namely, the cow bells. I wonder if it is annoying to the cows, to be honest. All day long, the same bells ringing in your ears. But to me, it's beautiful.

Riding down a small country lane, the soft chimes drifting over the fields, mixing gently with the breeze. Beautiful.

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A sheep farmer with his sheep
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A well where we stopped for water...
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...and me pumping water from the well
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This sign indicates we are at the halfway position (east/west) of France
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Today's ride: 78 km (48 miles)
Total: 291 km (181 miles)

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