Up very early – saw some of the resident rabbits hopping about, but none of the black ones.
We were on the way before 8:00 under a very cloudy and rainy sky heading west towards Lyon. Miss GPS took us on what seemed like a strange route to bypass the city – we hit morning rush hour and going was pretty slow on the inner ring-road, but she did have a method to what seemed like her madness.
We ended up on the road west, then north to Roanne – there was a series of strange looking geometric sculptures on the side of the highway.
As we were driving I was taking photos of some of the tourist billboards on the side of the road and Colin reminded me that we had travelled this road last year in the other direction. I had thought that some of the billboards looked familiar and when I looked back in my photos from last year I realized that I was taking some of the very same photos, although from the other direction.
We then veered northwest to St. Pourcain-sur-Sioule – saw a really cool sculpture of a cyclist in a roundabout – think it’s for a stage of the Tour that will be coming thru here in mid-July.
We then went west to Montlucon – had to follow a short diversion as they were doing road-work on the main highway, but it didn’t take too long. Continued on past Gueret, then Bellac, then home to Mansle.
There we hundreds and hundreds of semi-trucks on the minor highways – we assume they don’t like paying the tolls on the motorways, and thus take the smaller roads with no tolls. There must have been about 85% semi-trucks compared to cars, which seems counter productive on more than one level. The toll highways are missing a lot of cash and the smaller roads get beaten down from the weight of the trucks, not to mention the traffic rumbling thru all of the small towns and villages. Perhaps if they lowered the toll-rates for the big rigs more of them would use the motorways and the local roads wouldn’t get so damaged?
Everything is lush and green here – they’ve had lots of rain, including some fierce storms. Reached Colin’s house at around 5:30 and relaxed a bit – Colin started a load of laundry almost immediately – we had brought a bunch of towels and stuff from Papiano so had a few loads to do.
Started to get a bit caught up on my blog – first time in a week that I’ve had reliable wi-fi.
Tuesday was a bit of a lazy day. We took Mo for a walk down to the campground – passed a couple of cats lounging on walls, but Mo didn’t notice them so they just watched as she went by.
Colin’s friend Cassandra runs the campground – they’ve added to the outdoor bar and put in a really nice roof over it with lights, etc. The cappuccino was, once again, very large with not much milk-foam and very very strong. After a whole packet of honey it was great – I’ll have to fill up my tiny honey jar and carry it in my camera case from now on.
Watched today’s stage of the Tour de Suisse on tv, and had a really nice salmon dinner with mashed potatoes.