Yuk. Yuk. Thrice Yuk. Not a good day. Woke up this morning feeling a little nauseous, and wanted to blame the Grimbergen (again) had as a nightcap, but this was not a hangover. This was something brewing in the stomach that I hoped would go away. I struggled with a cup of coffee for breakfast, but that wasn’t really going to help. I didn’t feel so bad that I didn’t want to move, just a case of taking it easy. Jones also had something brewing but was less concerned about it. He wanted to blame the snails as Pascal had made him try some, whilst I polished off the full twelve. To be honest, the snails didn’t seem to be the problem, and both Pascal and Celine were both fine, so probably something we’d picked up earlier in the day.
We had a quick conflab about route, either to take the intended diversion to Nuit-St-Georges, which would mean hills during the heat of the day, which looked like it could be a corker. Or take the main route through Chalon-sur-Soane. As we had tested a little of the route the day before, we thought a gentle ride along the canal would be preferable to slogging up hills, and as we’d had a fantastic meal the night before, I didn’t feel the need to try and replicate it again.
So off we toddled and the day started well, and I thought I was getting better. It was only about 15 miles to Chalon, and at one point we seemed to loose the route, so had to navigate with the iPhone to get through the town back to the river bank. By this time, we had left the Canal du Centre behind and were following the Soane. As we got more into the town, suddenly my guts stirred into action and I had to pull over quickly and throw up into the gutter. Not pleasant, but at least I could see the culprit now – the only thing that came up was undigested fruit that I’d eaten late the previous day, but before the meal. So somehow, the meal had gone through ok, but the fruit had been retained and then ejected. The fruit had been snaffled from the previous nights hotel breakfast, and perhaps it had been washed in dirty water, or not washed at all. Also, I’d been in the habit of holding onto the fruit bags picked up in the super market to keep the fruit wrapped in so it wouldn’t get all over the inside of the bag. And sometimes they had been used to store shrink wrapped meat so could have got contaminated, but I’d tried to be diligent and throw out the ones used to hold meat. So in the panic to pull over, I’d lost Jones, but caught up with him a few hundred yards down the road. We carried on down to the river bank and I rested for a while, but not before throwing up again (more fruit).
This seemed to make me feel much better so we limped on. I seemed fine for the most part, but as the day wore on I felt I was becoming more dehydrated, either from not consuming enough water or because what I was getting down my neck was coming back up again. I tried a banana to try and maintain energy levels, but 10 minutes later that was back down the loo of a cafe. Next town we would need to stop for the night so I could rest and rehydrate and try and get over it.
Alas, that wasn’t going to be easy, as the bridge into the town was blocked for road works, fenced off at both ends and no easy way of getting through without risking dropping the bikes in the river. We had to back track a couple of kms in order to get to another bridge so as not to avoid the town all together. In the process we came across another cycle tourer heading for the same fate, and tried to explain in broken French that he’d have to use the other bridge. He didn’t seem convinced and so as we parted, he carried on his way. No doubt he could have gone the long way around if he wanted, but I desperately needed a bed and this town seemed like the best and closest option. On the way back to the bridge, we came across a Chambre d’Hote and they had the room we needed, so in we went. I immediately got into the room and crashed on the bed, then got undressed, got more water and hunkered down for the night. A few hours later I’m starting to feel more human, but think I need to avoid food until the morning to make sure it gets a chance to work it’s way out of the system. Hopefully a good nights sleep will take care of it.
All in all it’s not been a bad day. Ground still covered, which helps to make up for the short day of yesterday, but we have effectively lost a day. Still 5 days to do no more than 200 miles so should be easy enough. We won’t let it beat us! This part of France has definitely been the most attractive so far. The scenery changed again during the day, the land flattening out again and will probably do so for another day or so, but then I expect to see some more dramatic hills as we head east. We will now be following the Doubs river, the last leg before we get o the Rhine.
Miles Covered Today: 37
Executive Summary: Shit happens, and it’s not always shit.