Distance: 79 miles
Total Distance: 864 miles
A cool misty morning greeted me. It still hadn’t rained once on my journey so far but this was the closest it had been. I jacketed up and pedaled quickly through the countryside to warm up, flitting through various small villages, farms and vineyards.
My bike was really creaking along now and making a lot of loud squeaking noises. Everywhere I rode, dogs would bark aggressively at the noise I made as I passed and people in town would hear me coming a mile off. I really needed to oil my chain. Until now I’d had no real physical issues but this morning both knees were killing me. I’m not sure if this is due to my crash yesterday or if the miles are just beginning to catch up with me. Either way it’s not much fun. Fortunately I have my bag of lucky red pills (expired industrial-strength painkillers) to keep me going through the last few hundred miles.
After nearly being flattened by an onslaught of passing lorries, I decided once again to deviate from my planned route. Consulting my maps, I discovered a quiet-looking road running through tiny villages and cornfields. Some off-road tracks but nothing too difficult. There were lots of twists and turns and junctions and I was constantly stopping to check my maps. It was a beautiful day and I was singing loudly as I rolled through the countryside. Passing through a village, I realised too late I was being watched by a large family as I rode by belting out a power ballad.
I trundled into Niort that evening where I pitched up at a campsite next to a couple of other bikepackers, bought myself a beer, ate some dinner and enjoyed an early night.
I love these uneventful days.