Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Day 8 - Reims to Chalons-en-Champagne (Monday 3rd September)
So Mistress Via Francigena and I are now the best of friends, we've kissed and made up.
This was one of those days that just went smoothly and easily. Started the day leaving Reims beside the canal riding the towpaths. Lovely beside the water, fishermen casting in and waiting patiently, beautiful tree cover, cool. Oh! I saw red squirrels, I'm so used to the grey ones in Cape Town that it was fun to see the little red jobs scurrying around.
Then the ride took a turn for the better. I rode through vineyards a far as the eye can see, all green, all bearing new fruit, all immaculately trimmed (or I should actually say mechanically trimmed 'cos they have these narrow vehicles that can ride up between the rows and trim three rows at a time.) The villages are full of people who make champagne, and in comparison to the other villages I've ridden through, are very wealthy. Some of the villages produce grapes only for certain wineries so you'll see signs saying the village produces for Mumm's and they are very proud of it. Absolutely stunning region. The day ended back on the towpaths in a gentle fashion. Started in the municipal campsite. Good with all I needed except electricity.
Headed for the local Carrefour shopping centre for supper and found a flat tire when I wanted to leave. Pushed the bike all the way back to the campsite. Puncture No 3.