Shrines, A Football Pitch and More Wonderful Hosts

Sometimes things don’t go to plan – a familiar theme from our ride. When unexpected things happen, it’s how we react to it that makes the difference.

For example, I could quite easily throw my laptop to the waterbirds right now. (That’s a strange Finnish saying, by the way.) I opened the document I use to write my blog posts ready to transfer a post to the blog, and it was blank.

BLANK. Not a single word remained on the page.

I had written two blog posts ready, but hadn’t yet had the chance to transfer them to the blog. And they were gone. GONE.

I always, ALWAYS, save my work before closing the laptop. I even have a habit of saving my work while I work at regular intervals having lost some work in the past when a computer has suddenly shut down. So, I have no idea how it could have happened.

But it happened.

As you can tell, I haven’t thrown my laptop to the waterbirds. Instead, I am rewriting the posts – what else can I do? No amount of swearing or tears will not bring the posts back. I might as well accept what happened and take it as a reminder to back up all my work.

Something I haven’t done lately…

You can be sure that I will double up this document when I finish working on it!

But that’s enough of my disappearing work woes. Back to where we were. Which was in Belfort with our wonderful hosts Sylvain and Cléa.

We woke up to a breakfast all set out for us. Fresh croissants and baguettes.

We loved how all our hosts went out in the morning for fresh breakfast bread. You can’t beat fresh bread and croissants for breakfast. Except with porridge and berries. That is my favourite. Fresh bread and croissants come close second.

Over breakfast, Cléa showed us the best way to continue south from Belfort.

To get to Belfort from Colmar, we had followed Eurovelo 6 and the easiest way forward was to get back on the same route. Sylvain and Cléa lived about 2 minutes from the route. All we had to do was to cross the river, and we were back on track.

A few words about Eurovelo 6. It is a route that takes you from the Black Sea to the Atlantic coast. It is also known as the rivers’ route because it follows different rivers along the route. The Eurovelo website says that it is one of the easiest and most beautiful of their routes. One day we want to cover the whole route.

We obviously can’t speak for the whole of Eurovelo 6, but certainly the section we cycled was both beautiful and easy. Suitable for all levels of cyclists. It is mostly flat because it follows the river Doubs so closely.

We stayed on the Eurovelo 6 until just past Dole. From there, we headed south and the Eurovelo 6 continued west.

Somewhere along the route from Belfort we came across this beautiful spot with shrines. At the time, I didn’t note where it was and now I can’t remember. Neither can Justin. I have tried to work out with the help of Google what it was, but to no avail.

If you ride this route one day and come across the shrine in the picture, let us know. We think it might have been near Baume-les-Dames.

We stopped for the night after 80 kilometres near a small town called Chaussin.

A beautiful spot right on the river tempted us with its close proximation to the water. Perhaps too close for comfort. There were signs that at high tide, our campsite might get flooded. We didn’t fancy waking up floating on the river.

Since we didn’t want to risk getting caught in a rising tide, we had to find somewhere else to camp. Which we found, just a short distance from the river.

A football pitch. It’s short soft grass was perfect for camping. Especially for someone with a punctured mattress.

I can hear the gasps of all the football lovers, and for some, camping on a football pitch is probably close to a sacrilege. But I can assure you we didn’t damage the pitch.

And it clearly wasn’t used for prestigious games since the changing rooms were tiny and rather dilapidated. The pitch was most likely used by Sunday league (do they have them in France?) and junior teams.

As it was, we were grateful we didn’t have to spend ages looking for somewhere to stop for the night and even more grateful for the shelter the changing room canopy provided.

It had been another glorious day, but at sunset, the temperature plummeted once again. The wind also picked up and without the shelter, it would have been a struggle to keep the small flame of our burner going.

It was another cold night and morning which prompted us to find another Warmshowers host. We found a host in Montrevel-en-Bresse, about halfway between Chaussin and Lyon. Perfect.

Despite a cold start to the day, the sun soon warmed the day as we made our way to Montrevel. Our hosts there were Nathalie and Pierre, a lovely couple who, like Sylvain and Cléa made us feel so welcome.

After freshening up, we sat down for a delicious dinner and talked about cycling – what else.

During dinner, we explained the motivation for our journey and turned out Nathalie was undergoing treatment for cancer. Another poignant reminder of why raising money for cancer research is so important.

This isn’t the first time Nathalie has been treated for cancer. It is her fourth time. We both wish her the best with her treatments and hope to see them in Finland one day.

They are keen hikers and we have invited them to hike the Bear Trail. It is an 80 kilometer hike in a national park near Kuusamo. You can also hike parts of it, if the whole journey is not your cup of tea.

The bear tour has been something I have always fancied doing. If time allows, we are doing it this summer.

I’m saying time allows since we have a couple of cycling trips in mind for late spring and summer. Nothing major, but more about them in due course.

Until next time, and as always, thank you for being here.

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One thought on “Shrines, A Football Pitch and More Wonderful Hosts

  1. I love the way you write, I don’t know if i said that before🤔

    I can’t believe you had to rewrite the blog posts. That would have made me go crazy 🤪 Maybe the computer wanted to prank you and test your limits 😁

    The shrine looks part of Santiago Way. Did you search for shrines part of Santiago Way?

    I hope Nathalie will get better 🙏

    I’m excited about the news that you’ll go cycling again😃 Well done💪

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