Realising a dream to cycle the Via Francigena from Canterbury to Rome and raising much needed funds for FTH:K, a young, independent theatre company whose mantra is: Listen with your Eyes. FTH:K creates non-verbal, visual theatre that integrates the Deaf and hearing communities.
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Sunday, September 9, 2012
Day 13 - Chevigney-les-Vercel to Sainte Croix (Saturday 8th September)
Distance from Canterbury:883 Distance to Rome 1191 Garmin Record: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/233173796 You will recall that I was slightly off course having found no accommodation in Etalans so I rode on to Chevigney-les-Vercel.
As luck and good map reading skills will have it. I found a road that connected me back into the arms of Ms VF within 6 kms so all was well. It was another day of uphill. On the way to Pontarlier there is a 6200m steady uphill. Not difficult, about 1 in 10 but long and it feels never ending. I'm proud to say no walking just a few stops for breath. Most of the ride to Pontarlier is spent on backroads through forests so it was pleasant. When I rode into Pontarlier looking for a place to buy an Orangina, I found pub called "Le Springboks" had to stop there and get my photo taken. It was so nice I dozed off in the sun for about 15 mins. Woke myself up snoring so decided this old man needs to push on. I was very nervous about the pass through the mountains to Sainte Croix. The guide book says so much about how strenuous it is and how cyclists may choose to avoid one very steep climb. Thankfully they were having downhill races on inline skates on that hill so the decision was made for me. In fact it turned out to be a fairly innocuous ride (given my current state of fitness... Not 10 days ago for sure).
Another slightly steeper climb, about 7 kms and after that a few kms flat, a village where I stopped for fruit and a drink, a nice downhill through the border post and onward to St Croix. Small town, dingy hotel, had pizza 'cos they had free wifi. Really not a memorable place but that was day 13. Satisfactory, legs had a busy day, nice and cool although sunny.