2nd story: Freiburg to
Biarritz (23.07.04 - 01.09.04)
crossed the German/French border
on July 23rd after 1771 km.
France was new to us since we
both hadnnt been there a
We were lucky since we managed to
get a special bicycle map before
(scale 1 :100.000) but it
turned out that there were no
campgrounds shown on this map.
For only 6 Euros we bought a book
full of maps covering all of
France. The scale was 1 :
250.000 which is not ideal for
cycling but at least it was
showing the campgrounds. We got
along fine and followed page by
page throwing away the used pages
in order to save weight.
First we followed the river
Doubs through the Jura Mountains
towards Besascon. We tried to
follow mostly secondary roads in
order to avoid traffic. We
follwed the river Saone and
passed trough the cities of Dole
and Chalon until Lyon where the
river Saone joins the river
Rhone. The landscape was fairly
even which allowed us to cover
quite some kilometers each day.
In Vienne (on Rhone) it was the
first time our map was
wrong : the campground shown
on the map simply didnt
exist any more ! Since it
was already pretty late and since
we were able to spot the place
where the camground used to be we
decided to use the campground
nevertheless. Of course the
sanitaryblocks had long been gone
but at least there was a creek.
We follwed the river Rhone and
passed trough Valence and
Montelimar. Then we turned west
to drive along the Ardeche Gorge.
The river is popular and famous
for canoes- and kayaksdrivers. We
started really early in order to
avoid traffic and the summer
heat. Though we had to go up and
down all the time it was really
worth it because the views were
We managed to arrive at
summerhouse right on my birthday.
There we spent three wonderful
days visting the area. We also
visited the famous Roquefort
By now we must have already eaten
tons of this great cheese.
It was in the small village of
Lunas that we first encountered a
sign of the famous pilgrims
way St. Jacob. There is a whole
net of ways all over Europe which
get united in Spain to lead to
Santiago de Compostela.
We went further through the
central mountains of France and
reached the Canal du Midi and
Carcassonne. Finally we were able
to see the mountains of the
Pyrenees in the distance.We biked
a stretch along the river Garonne
and then headed towards Lourdes.
Right after Lourdes we met the
first real pilgrims on their way
to Santiago, a french couple.
Since the women had problems
walking the husband had build a
stroller to push her. Oh la
Nach 1600km in Frankreich und
bei 3371 km gesamt haben wir am
26. August bei Biarritz den
Atlantik erreicht. Hier ruhen wir
uns nun etwas aus. Am 31.8. kommt
unser Freund Bjoern aus Luebeck,
um dann mit uns die 3. Etappe,
den Jakobsweg zu fahren.
We reached Biarritz at the
Atlantic on August 26th- after
1600km in France and a total of
3371km since Hamburg.
Here we are waiting for our
friend Bjoern from Luebeck who
will cycle to Santiago with us.
The bikes are still okay, The
only thing Hendrik wants to
replace is his chain.
The recumbents are ideal for
communication: There has been a
lot of positive feedback and a
lot of people stop and talk to
us. That helped also a lot with
the French language.