Europe Tour – Episode XXV: A New Departure

Day 135, Nouan Le Fuzelier, 9.189 km

That’s it, it’s official. I’ll go to the dark side. I’ll become a resistant. I’ll turn into a criminal. I’ll defy the prohibition. I’ll break the taboo. I’ll hit the road again. My aunt Flo will be able to sleep easy, I will stop cutting trees. Thibaut will finally have the parents all to himself. Papa will stop seeing his wine cellar empty at high speed and Mom will no longer see my laundry lying around in front of the fireplace… A relief for everyone in the end!

3 weeks break in total, which in the end will have been very busy: bike ride every morning to get the fresh bread for breakfast (2.5 km, it will hurt my daily average). Then the rest of the day in the forest chopping wood (those who like my aunt Flo associate a Lunet with a chainsaw with the idea of ​​massive deforestation can be reassured, only the dead or fallen trees have been cut). Result: 2 winters worth of wood, a few blisters in the hands, aches in the arms and a part of the forest in which we can walk again.


During these 3 weeks, they were also long evenings occupied with reading (thank you Rémi and Rémy), playing tarot in front of the fireplace, tons of mushrooms (panned, in an omelet or a soup), kilos of chestnuts (in jam or fire-roasted), the Star Wars integral on Monday evenings and the pizzas on Saturdays. And the daily wine. I could almost get used to it … But all good things having an end, I have to think about getting back on the road. And in these times of lockdown, I first want to test the waters by going to visit my Grandmother in Beaune.

I leave early in the morning, and I immediately notice a big difference between November 1st (the last day spent on the bike) and November 21st: It’s -2 ° when I leave in the morning… I knew very well that the idea of being as far south as possible for the winter was a good idea… I am again crossing the Loire (it will definitely be the river that I would have seen the most during the last 3 months). I meet wild boars, deer, and hunters. Another difference with the beginning of the month: night falls early. Very early. And the nights are cold: I discover the almost insurmountable difficulty of getting out of the (warm) sleeping bag in the (cold) morning…

The Loire, again and again
The sun is setting… It is 5 pm…

I finally arrive in Beaune without having seen a gendarme, but with Jay starting to be a bit tired: I can only use the small tray, I will have to seriously think about an overhaul… I find a repair shop who has all the pieces I need and the appointment is made for the end of the week… That leaves me 3 days to take advantage of my Grandmother (or for her to take advantage of me I don’t really know)!

I then leave Beaune to return to Nouan and prepare myself to continue the journey. With a brand new transmission, I really enjoy it! I also meet the gendarmes on the road. Twice. Both times, they slow down, go near the side of the road. I say hello to them, thank you, and I continue… And I had prepared excuses, each more extravagant than the last… In order not to take the same route as on the way there, I go through Vézelay. The city center is a bit scary: there is a restaurant every 2 meters, everything is closed, no one in the streets… Another city that suffers from the lockdown… So I have a beautiful view of the surrounding countryside on my own.

The view from the gardens of the basilica of Vézelay

After another night in the woods, a cold day pedaling, I cross the Loire to find again my hunters, my deer, my wild boars and finally my parents… Departure planned for the beginning of next week, towards the Atlantic and Bordeaux next weekend !

The sun is rising…
I even try to give an artistic side to my photos

2 commentaires sur « Europe Tour – Episode XXV: A New Departure »

  1. Hi Pierre, you are right, I was quite anxious… but to tell you the truth : you did a great job cutting trees 🙂 thanks so much… All the best for you next steps and have a great journey 🙂 Tatanteflo


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