Roughing it in France:
Today's story actually started 3 weeks ago in Paris. Friend Nicolas introduced me to travel writer Ethan. Ethan is working on updating the Lonely Planet Cycling Guide to France. But he's running out of time to verify and update all the routes created 10 years ago. Would I be able to help? He could pay some of my expenses.
What? You'll pay me to ride my bike? In France? How could I say no? Why would I say no? So, I signed up to ride the Burgundy routes and make notes on anything that didn't match the guide. I started today on the Beaune to Dijon section.
In looking at the route, I didn't know any of the towns along the way and from the map they all looked small. So I thought I'd better get some food before leaving Beaune. I couldn't find a market, but did find the bakery and cheese shop. I figured I'd find something else along the way. You can guess where this leads...
Every town I went through was closed up like a drum. Nothing was open. And about the time I was starving, it started to rain... So my lunch was a hunk of cheese and a baguette, eaten on a concrete stairway, under cover of trees, leading down to the river Ouchy (I'm not making that up). Luckily I also had a bottle of wine I'd bought yesterday for just such an 'emergency'. Bread, cheese, wine - hey I think I covered most of the food groups! A couple of you are saying I missed the chocolate food group. Actually, I had some chocolate too, but I saved that for a snack later in the day! The picture with this post is of my 'roughing it' lunch.
To add insult to injury, right after lunch I started seeing people on a Butterfield and Robinson bike tour. If you haven't heard of them, the cost of one of their trips could bail out the US banking crisis. They smuggly road by with their support van following to make sure no one needed a Perrier or a grease spot wiped off their bikes. I gave my best French-accented bonjour to each one I passed. Most chose to ignore me. I'm guessing none of them have eaten a cheese lunch under a tree, washed down with wine straight from the bottle. But which of us will have a better story to tell when we get home!?!