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France - Day 5 : The Ventoux is getting close

It had rained the entire night. The clothes I had left on my bike to dry had only gotten wetter. After we wrung everything and paid for our stay we went in search of a bakery. The bakery sold the best buns I had on the entire trip. They were raisin buns made of puff pastry with yogurt in it. They were so tasty they reminded me of the sandwich I had on our first cycling vacation.

The route was supposed to be relatively flat today, with some mountains near the end. Instead, the entire route was pretty level. The Tour de France passed through Bourg-en-Bresse this year. It was quite a large but also an ugly town. I had planned a route through it, but instead, we decided to follow the signs.

In the morning it was raining, but that was fine as it allowed us to cool down a bit. We only hoped the trip wouldn't turn out as we feared: first getting completely sunburned and then two weeks of rain. Fortunately, it got dry again later. From Bourg-en Bresse onwards we saw mountains in the distance. They seemed pretty high and we knew we had to climb them on our return journey. For now, we stayed on the valley floor.


After passing Loyettes we needed to pay attention. The route would take us over large roads with lots of exits and roundabouts. Every 500 meters there would be a two-lane roundabout which we somehow needed to cross. When we finally left the area we took a break to calm down.


We continued over large roads, but with fewer roundabouts and trucks. We ate dinner on a parking lot and wanted to text our friends Stefan and Bojan to ask where near the Mont Ventoux we would meet. Just when I turned my phone on I notice they had texted us to ask where we were, because they needed to pay the campsite a day in advance. We quickly replied we would be there tomorrow.

Bram walked into the scrubs to water a tree, when he came back he told me there was a turt with 17 snails on it and a trail running into the forest. We also noticed there were many parked cars and one guy simply walked off into the forest after exiting his car. Then something odd happened. The guy who had walked into the forest started shaking his keys. Then another car stopped and that driver also walked into the forest. Then another car stopped and the second man walked back to his car. Then both men almost simultaneously walked into the forest again. That's when we decided to leave. Two minutes later, when we finished packing our bikes, still no one had emerged. 

We entered the valley of the Rhone and continuously went down a decline of 2 or 3 percent. For about 10 km we averaged 30 km/h. After a while, we left the big road and entered the mountains. First we cooked some fried rice by a soccer field. The ascent that followed was steep


The view from the hill we were climbing

After the large hill followed some smaller climbs. We had planned to cycle to Lens-Lestang, but because today had been tough we stopped early, in Beaurepaire. The weather looked ominous so on the campsite we asked for a place not directly under trees. Despite the odds it didn't rain. The camping only had a two star rating but still had great showers and toilets. They were about 1.5 x 3 meters, roughly 3 times as large as most others, and completely closed off so there was no cold draft. There were two other people camped near us, it was quite mountainous there as well, which wasn't because of the French scenery, because that usually wasn't that interesting.


The last piece was mountainous, before that we could ride at a good pace.

Daily distance 175.84 km

Average speed 20.3 km/h

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