I made it out of Dreux, via a coffee shop and boulangerie and onto the right road after the usual fight with maps disagreeing with road signs. There are houseboats surrounding a series of lakes around Chérisy, but I took a picture of a cat looking completely at home on a windowsill in the sun instead.
I ride across more great plains of wheat and rape, with the occasional tractor with enormous insect-like wings spreading clouds of what? Fertiliser? Pesticide? And I rode under lines of huge, metal monster pylons striding across these fields dwarfing the occasional, orderly line of lollipop trees.
What is that one man in the orange coat doing in the middle of that great expanse? I thought he might have been a scarecrow but he moved a step or two every few minutes, and I could see his car parked a way behind him. I pass on and shall never know.
Stopped for lunch in Boutigny-Provais and dried out the tent again – good breeze made it happen quickly (this is becoming a daily routine). There are beautiful modern, stained glass windows in this 12 century church (L’eglise Saint Pierre) which was rebuilt 10yrs after being practically demolished in September 1947. Like any stretch of open grass, mind the dog poo!
To get here took a while – I did a scribble route around Marolles before getting the direction right (the direction I decided was wrong first time round turned out to be right). These google maps are just too small and faint to read properly when detail is needed and just don’t have all the place names on. I know I get boring saying this. I mourn OS maps.
After getting a wee bit lost, I make it to Maurepas – which means there are only about 48km – or 39.2 miles to Paris and Rue de Charenton tomorrow.
Easy peasy! Except the minor matter of negotiating the outskirts of Paris!
It rained today – but it was warm and zip-off trousers got soaked but proved their worth by drying quickly in the breeze.
I guess I’m getting close to Parisien suburbs now, as there are some very snazzy, big houses around. There are also lots of ‘proper’ cyclists whizzing past me, dressed in lycra and sporting aerodynamic helmets in Tour De France style. Some acknowledged me with a smile and a wave, but most zoomed on looking stern and concentrated.
I found a cheapish hotel on the outskirts of town – to use wifi, shower, sink and get a good sleep. I am booked on the supposed non-smoking floor of Hotel F1 and the person in the room opposite has his door propped open and is chain smoking so much the corridor reeks of stale smoke. EEEEe it makes me SO mad –and me an ex-smoker and all. I take myself out for a pizza after a lovely shower – my face is beetroot red after the wind and sun exposure so slap on the moisturiser – thanks Cath!
Washed clothes while I had a shower – which, in hindsight, is probably a mistake as they won’t dry by the next day and will weigh more on the bicycle – but it’s really not that far from Maurepas to Sophie’s.