Our campsite just outside Reims the night before was on a farmer’s property near a canal, with two chains blocking the way with signs saying Private Property, Danger. “Perfect”, said George “no one will disturb us here”. We lifted the chains and found a perfectly flat, grassy camping spot with a view of the adjacent wheat field.
It was another rainy night and I woke to the sound of rain pelting my tent. After an hour or so it eased off and I was able to get out and cook my bacon and eggs for breakfast, and some shitty Nescafé coffee. But shitty Nescafé is better than no cafe.
It seemed to take me forever to pack up my tent and get everything on the bike. I’m pretty much over the jet lag but sometimes still feeling a touch vague.
We started off toward Saint Quentin at about 9, and the rain was fairly steady. It was a busy road too, so endless cars sloshing past, and the occasional truck simultaneously spraying us with dirty water and blowing us across the road. Then George got a puncture, his fourth for the trip and second since I’ve been riding with him. The puncture gods have left me alone so far.
Lunch was sardines and cous cous eaten in the car park of a Dia supermarket, followed by more riding in the rain.
Saint Quentin is a ville arrivee, so George of course had to make a visit to the tourist office where they explained that they had no information about the tour yet. We cycled around town a bit and found a small tdf exhibition at the local sports centre, then we headed out of town into sunshine. What a difference that makes!
Tonight’s camping spot is in a patch of forest next to a first world war memorial and a farm that has a bird deterrent that sounds like a cannon going off every eight minutes.
The forecast says sun tomorrow.