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Tandem Tour... 1st week.

09th July 2012
Well we had planned to cycle from Montpellier to England, but events overtook us and we stayed put whilst our friends caught the bike bus down. It was all down to family commitments. So when a couple of weeks later things improved, we drove to Brighton, left the van on Marion's sisters drive, and off we went with fully laden Tandem.
We had to push it up the 1st hill as I couldn't get it in "granny cog", but after that it was cycle all the way.
We caught the ferry to Dieppe and cycled down the Green Route (old railway line - now a cycle path) t camp at Neufchatel-en Bray, which has a supermarket near the site and we were sorted, with 65km on the clock from Brighton.
The next morning was the 1st rain test, and we managed Forges by lunch time. A call into travel information, and we had a map with campsites. We headed East along small roads and attained quite a height in poppy lined cornfields, and made good progress before heading a little north to camp near Conte. The downhill to the town was long and smooth over 2 km, and we topped 60 km/hour (40 mph). Camping by lakes we came across Otters and a Heronry along with varied birdlife. Again a good distance, over 80km.
We then headed East to Montdidier which didn't seem too appealing, so we stopped at the supermarket for evening food before heading to a farm site to the East. A man approached us outside the supermarket to talk about our tour, and when he found out where we were camping invited us to his house at Remaugies. We had a lovely evening with Jean and his son Nils, with good food, wine and talk. Nils had a great knowledge of birdsong which I played from i-pod. The site was quiet and in rolling woodlands, with red squirrels and woodpeckers. As we were ahead of schedule to meet our friends, we stayed two nights. We then headed off to ride into a forest site after a short days ride. It was utterly enchanting but soon rained again, limiting the walks. After this we went to rendevous with our friends cycling north, at a lakeside site near Vailly sur Aisne, which is close to Reims. Two nights here as we were a day early, and Vailly was worth a visit.