Sunday, June 8, 2008

Day 5
A Night in an Auditorium.
Chaumont to Xertingy
So to pick up the story from Chaumont, where we had our rest day, Curt has picked out this little restaurant which is down this back alley which is maybe 7 feet wide. So in we go for supper. Very quaint little place with great food. I had a Gattolmont which turned out to be sort of crepe which was folded over ham potatoes and of course the egg. I was covered in a cream sauce. Very very good!

The next morning sets up exactly the same with clouds threatening rain and with the ceiling at 500 feet. It is cold and damp. As we turn out of the campsite my chain comes of and jams between the first and second sprocket. I stop to put my chain on and am therefore last out of the campground. The group all goes to the right but we were supposed to go left. I had been out running the day before and knew the way. Yelling does no good so I just follow them. The roads at Chaumont are a bunch of concentric circles so I thought what the heck. However the signs are all reading different and soon the group is turned around and lost. Finally we get sorted out and head off. I start moving up though the pack and am soon behind Jos from NZ and he is just pouring the coal on. There are all sorts of hills some long grades and some short steep pitches. We came over the one rise into the little old village called Roman-sur-Mesuse. The town is maybe three hundred years old and the streets are maybe 15 feet wide. It is a steep down hill and we are going 60+ km/hr. There a cats and little old ladies leaping for cover and we could hear the scream of Sacr-blew.

We dodged in to a little hotel for a quick hot chocolate in Bourg-ste-Marie and the rest of the faster crew caught up there. Of course it is still on and off showers and we have to keep going or we will freeze. It was all still fun until we got to Bourmont where we hit a grade which was 17+ percent. After a interminable lot more grinding we had lunch in the pouring rain. After lunch we find out the bridge is out and we have to follow a detour. However after talking to some locals we find a short cut though a farm yard and over a private bridge.

The threatening on and off rain has turned to a steady down pour and is washing us away. Finally after what seemed like an eternity we get to Xertingy. Pulling in behind Jos I can see we are the first to arrive. But where have we arrived? It is a field that has just been mowed and the grass was maybe 2 feet tall when it was cut. We can see the ruts from the vans and we sink into the wet grass as we turn in. The rest of the faster crew piles in behind us and we are telling the tour staff we cannot stay here. The rain is just pouring down and it is maybe 6-8 C. In 40 minutes we are going to be hypothermic. I grabbed my pack and a trap and pulled my wet jersey off and pulled Wayne’s underwear on while under the tarp. Man I was thankful for it.
One of the staff went and talked to the town officials to see if they could put us up some where and they let us into the town auditorium. I was one of the first into the building and I realized there were some dressing rooms in the back behind the stage so I grabbed one and had a private room for the night. But Clare and Curt are not in and it is getting dark. Just before a search party is sent out they arrived. I was so relieved.

The staff brought the supper over to the auditorium and we ate indoors. Penne Pasta Again but with a seafood sauce.

What a day 128 kms 1460 meters of elevation gain and pouring rain. My fun meter was totally pegged.
Todays picture is the castle at Chaumont. Nice dungeon!

Well thanks for reading my blog and thanks for your comments.

Let ride!


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