Day 9 – Gray, Fra to Pontarlier, Fra

As Martin and Pauline both worked, I was away around 8.30 am, and there was a good reason for that the big climb was coming, and I had a lot of kilometres to cover. Pauline rustled up some delicious scrambled eggs, which will certainly help for the day ahead. We said our goodbyes and I was on my way. I considered taking the quicker route which had more traffic but after a couple of huge lorries whizzed by I thought the quieter route would be more pleasant.

The weather had indeed taken a turn for the worst and was hit and miss throughout the day, I was climbing and stumbling upon little towns and beautiful chateaus but when I passed the town of Levier, the dark clouds that had been forming the distance as I was cycling opened and hail ice so hard I could barely see 10 metres in front. I saw a small building and grabbed shelter; lighting was falling all around me and thunder so loud, it was like a gun going off next to my ear. The forecast was for it to continue so rather than stand around cold and wet I decided to crack on.

When I reached Christian and Annie’s house, my host for the night, I was soaked. Christian kindly showed me to my room, and the shower said get ready and then come up stairs for supper. The shower felt amazing, I was so cold, and it took me a while to warm up. Then upstairs for a pre drink of sherry before sitting down for an amazing homemade Cottage pie, french style! We chatted about their adventures from down Sweden earlier in the year to all over the world. This was over a glass of wine and followed by a scummy apricot pancake cake or something along the lines. They were so kind, and when it was time to say goodnight, it was 9.00pm, I thought it was a bit early, but I was exhausted and thought it would be the perfect opportunity to catch up on some sleep. Out of France and into Switzerland. The French people have been so kind and welcoming, and I can’t thank them enough for their extraordinary hospitality.