I arrived in Switzerland 21 days after leaving Hertfordshire. Here I meet Jenny and get a rest day. It also means I get to not eat dinner on my own which after three weeks is absolutely fantastic!
The final route through France is via the Doubs valley which is very beautiful and the valley is much narrower than the Loire. I then turned off and followed The Rhine Rhone canal which runs to Basel where I now sit on the banks of the Rhine. I put all this geography in for those of you who might have studied the subject at Shefield and therefore will be rather lacking in awareness of where Switzerland sits ( you know who you are!)
The combination of good weather and another two French national holidays (three so far this month) meant that for the first time I was passing large numbers of cyclists on the path. This lead me to understand the etiquette of French cycling with regard to acknowledgement. Cyclists fell into broadly two catagories. The first were single or small groups of high speed road cyclists who go head down and ignore everyone as they speed past with a grimace. The second group are far more affable and are elderly male cyclists ( late 60's into 70's ) who will wave and shout a cheary " 'jour" as they pass. For some reason all of this group look exactly like Des Lynam and have big furry moustaches. This could be to sift out the many flies that swarm along the canal( I swallowed at least three in the last two days) and if so is a great example of natural selection. I did pass one group that fell into neither catagory, a large group of Dutch who were all cycling with lots of luggage. You could here the rattling of Heineken bottles from half a mile away.
So now in Switzerland. Beer £10 a glass and everything looking very ordered. Well almost, I did find a big pile of rubbish around some bins on the edge of the city so that is one national stereotype dispelled.
Day 18 40m / 64k ( path flooded so roads instead)
Day 19 57m/91k
Day 20. 60m/ 96k
Day 21 64m/ 102k