Friday, June 13, 2014

Day 6- Laon to Reims- 75km

Today was huge! Even though distance wise it's not a mega day for us, we passed through just about every terrain possible which means some up hill, some down hill, some tarmac, some fire roads, some country back roads, some mud, some pits of doom, some canal tow paths, some vineyards, and much hike a bike, which meant a long day. Lucky for us we know how to prepare for a big day on the bike.....pastries! And Ben came through with the goods! Chocolate and custard escargot!

Bikers breakfast

The first leg of our route today was predominantly off road, through some farming tracks first, and then a forrest. There were many mud pits of doom, and the forrest also had a million mosquito repellant tolerant mosquitos. We got eaten. Most of the forrest ended up being hike a bike with us trying to get around all the pits of doom which meant trying to log hop our 30kg bikes.

First mud of the day- which turned out to be pretty tame


Doom pit #1


Series of doom pits

After the forrest, mud and mosquitos we were very glad to see the route hit the road. We took an awesome back road with very little traffic, which meant for us riding two abreast and chatting in the sun. It's something I really love on these kinds of holidays. Spending every day together and just talking, having fun, being silly and laughing. Stuff you usually don't get time for.

Chat time


Lovely climb in the sun


Morning tea hunk of Brie

Soon after Corbeny the route returned to the dirt. And when I say dirt I don't mean a fire road. turned out that the farmers had actually ploughed our track!!! We didn't know how long it was going to go for and there was no other way to go, so off the bikes we got and trudged through the dirt. Then it just kept going. For a kilometre! Dirt filled bike shoes and all. We then had a nice forrest track and some paths through the vineyards, marking our entry into the champagne region! Unfortunately we didn't get to take the track the whole way through the vineyards as the track suddenly stopped in a thorn bush and we had had enough hike a bike for one day so retreated back to the road for the remainder of the route into hermonville for our lunch stop. I did the shop for lunch and Ben was pleased to see we had beer for our picnic lunch! Best lunch ever! Topped off with my favourite dessert in the world, flan, and possibly the best one I've ever had.





We are in Champagne!



Best lunch picnic ever



From Hermonville into Reims we decided to skip the next forrest section, taking a different route through the town of Pouillon. Pouillon was quite a surprise! A town FULL of champagne houses! It was a really lovely town too, with the most awesome bell tower, which looked like a series of horns! We saw a bike in someone's front yard with a bottle of champagne in the bottle cage, painted, and with a flower pot on the handle bars. We stopped to look when the owner came out and wanted to chat. Uh oh! So my meagre French managed to get across: I like your bike, we are riding to Rome, and we are from Australia. Haha! Room for improvement ;)



Champagne house of Pouillon

We are now in Reims, the centre of the champagne region. Ben and I are both shattered. It seems pushing the bikes makes us more tired than riding them! We just had dinner and I think we must have looked like zombies just eating our meals and drinking our wine with little movement or talk. Time for bed now. We have tomorrow here as our first day off the bikes. We plan to go visit one of the champagne houses (after a sleep in). Then back to the trails on Sunday! :)

Reims cathedral

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