Day 4 – Doische to Not Spa

Well actually I am writing this from Spa but we arrived here by devious and diverse means.

First to finish with the final twist from last night – having finally arrived our host presented us with a bottle of wine which was much appreciated, but we then remembered that today was All Saints Day – a holiday in all good catholic countries and thus both the Coci petit supermarche in the town and the Lidl 5km down the road would have shut early and we had no food.

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Day 3 – Étaves-et-Bocquiaux to Doische

Or the back of beyond to the arse end of nowhere, or who’s taken my border.

Inevitably eventually the wheels came off. It all started so well; Oliver’s house was comfortable with underfloor heating from an air source heat pump and the beds just goldilocks (not too hot and not too cold). Of course the energy to drive the heat pump would be largely nuclear so perhaps not appropriate technology for the coming post industrial era.

Continue reading Day 3 – Étaves-et-Bocquiaux to Doische

Day 2 – Compiegne to Étaves-et-Bocquiaux (aka the middle of nowhere)

So last evening we hit the town of Compiegne for a meal and wander around – nice town. The digs were a complete apartment with two beds and a sofa bed in the lounge/kitchen. Much more space than Paris but somewhat tatty (not a new build and well worn). Best bit was the genuine dungeon where the donkeys were stabled.

Continue reading Day 2 – Compiegne to Étaves-et-Bocquiaux (aka the middle of nowhere)

Day 1 – Paris to Compiegne

We rose early(ish) and were ready to go shortly after 8 although by the time we had got the horses out of the dungeons and returned the bunch of keys to the key-gnome’s post box within the portal it was 8:30 when we hit the road.

The digs were a one room (bed-sit-kit) with decent shower room small apartment in a new modern block. Here’s the view looking out and looking in.

If you want to see the route it should be at the end of this post. Also the planned itinerary is here.

Continue reading Day 1 – Paris to Compiegne

Warming up

A warm-up day today with a 27km nice quiet rural ride from Roscoff to Morlaix at a 19km/hr rolling average and a 13km night time tour of Paris to get from Gare de Montparnasse to our digs at 11km/hr (I blame the traffic lights not Miss OSMs byzantine navigation skills). In between that a 302km/hr ride in a TGV.

Naturally there were appropriate coffee, beer and pizza stops (the record will remain silent on the lunch that two of us indulged in in Morlaix whilst I was making do with a slice of cold quiche on the train (it was an artisanal quiche from an epicerie).

And it wasn’t my hankering for a good french tart that caused us to stop here:

Ewan later said “I didn’t think I was hungry, but since we are in a pizza place…”

Here is the route that Miss OSM guided us through Paris – Parisienne one way streets are two way for cyclists, which is all well and good if you are thin or not carrying bulky panniers.