Lizard

EUROPE 31

13/07/2011

LIZARD

There was a massive storm overnight, and I woke several times to thunder booming outside the tent. I’d resolved to get up earlier this morning to beat the heat, but abandoned that plan when I awoke at six to find that the bad weather had persisted through the night. I went back to sleep for another hour, but the rain was still heavy when I packed up the tent and got under way at 9.

It took me ages to navigate out of the city, as bikes aren’t allowed on the main thouroughfares, so I had took pick my way through narrow, cobbled streets. When I’d finally put Chateauroux behind me I turned south, following the old road that parallels the newer motorway. This proved to be a good choice of route, as the was little traffic, and I was far enough from the main road for it not to ruin the scenery – which I’m sure would have been spectacular had I been able to see it. I climbed steadily upwards in the rain, with the clouds encroaching closer and closer, until all I could see was a wall of white. About 50 miles into the day, I nearly cycled over a lizard in the road – I stopped and went back to look. It had incredable yellow and black colouring, and kept so still that I thought it might be made of plastic … until I tried to touch it and it ran away!

I arrived in Limoges mid afternoon, and had lunch outside a shopping center, attracting some very strange looks from the local shoppers and prompting one man to lecture me on the dangers of travel by bicycle. I pushed on from Limoges, ending up a campsite in the countryside after 110 miles. I got the wrong end of the stick when trying to decipher the french instructions on where to pitch the tent – ending up making camp in the garden of the reception, and good 300m from the campsite-proper. They let me stay, but I’m right next to a load of guys setting up for a carnival – not the best pitch I’ve had so far!

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