Stage 7: Epernay to Nancy (234.5 km)
A very long but much more enjoyable day today, cycling through the orchards of Alsace – apples, pears, and cherries- and up the Mosel river. Vicky asked if I was bird-watching as I go along, (I am raising money for the RSPB, after all..), and today I saw a pair of herons and lots of finches, (feeding in the maize fields). After a really heavy downpour in the first hour of the ride, (nearly called the back-up van for more layers), the weather improved quickly and this afternoon it was warm and sunny. Makes so much difference to the experience.
We cycled through Verdun, site of one of the longest and costliest battles in WWI, and past the war cemetaries with their huge areas of memorial crosses.
We must say a huge thank you to Andy and Rachel, our back-up team for this week. They are doing a brilliant job keeping us going with regular food and drink stops and invaluable encouragement and support. Hang on in there – back-up Team B are flying to France on Sunday!
While I’m thanking people, thanks to Hilton Herbs for their TLC and Muscle Magic potions – I am converted to both for restoring over-worked leg muscles. Thanks to Sarah Girling for telling me about them!
Martin has just pointed out that we are now a third of the way to Paris. There have been several times when I thought I wouldn’t be able to make it to the end of a day, so it’s great to have got this far.