Getting to Sarrebourg was OK: undulating. Belles-Forêts has its very own stork couple in their untidy nest atop a telegraph pole. First I spotted the male looking for food on the way into the village, then I saw its mate, sitting in that scruffy pile.
After Sarrebourg I got tired – probably because of the disrupted sleep owing to the cold. I’ve got at least another 20miles to go, and I feel so heavy – I’m dragging myself around. I stop off for an apple juice in a place specialising in crystal glass (there seems to be lots of these places around here in this valley) and I think I dozed off for half an hour or so in the warmth of the café.
This seemed to do the trick though, and I felt rejuvenated. It was a fabulous mile or so downhill into the Marne-Rhin valley – then I spotted a flat path running alongside the canal the other side of the river. As soon as I can, I cross the river on a rickety looking pedestrian bridge – and lo and behold – it goes all the way to Brumath!
There is some good in having a goal, as I’m sure I would have stopped way before – and, as it stands, I’ve done my highest mileage this trip (flat and easy cycling though). I pedalled through a lot of very English looking grazing land today- lush grass peppered with plenty of pis-en-lits (or dandelions to you and me).
I surprised myself, at Yann’s the other day, by correctly identifying Charolais cattle – but I didn’t recognise the cows I saw today – russet brown, wide horns, white on the face – very pretty cows. I also saw more storks, several herons, and a cute little duck I’ve never seen before (plus lots of the usual mallard type ducks).
Oh yes, and before I forget – I also encountered plenty of beetles today. In fact, if you find the conversation between slugs I recorded the other day – and substitute ‘beetle’ for ‘slug’ you’ll get the picture. Suicidal beetles, mostly of the largish round, oil on water, inky blue type one sees most commonly, but a devil’s coachman made an appearance.
There were many buzzards – some at very close range (and alive!): one sat on a fence post just the other side of the road and glared at me as I pedalled past.
I saw the biggest road kill to date – a fox in the middle of the road.
When I get to the address (at around 8.30pm) it looks like no one is at home. I make myself at home in the warm conservatory, after knocking at the door and window but it all looks dark inside – so, after snacking on what I had left over in my bags, I fell asleep!
I wake an hour or so later as the lights come on in the kitchen and I hear voices – knock on the door again and it turns out that Thierry has been at home (with his daughter Marisa) all along, but hadn’t heard my knock from where they were in the house. I got fed, and shown my room and met Anita, Thierry’s wife, when she came in. I was dead beat and slept like a log (again).