Monday, May 03, 2004


The place has a cinema multiplex called "Donjon Complexe". And a shoe-shop "Au Chat Botté" which had a cat sunning itself on the windowsill above, between the window boxes of geraniums.

Also it's the first place that I've ever actually seen anyone riding a Segway. Just shows how those caught on!

Bronze serpents separating pedestrians and traffic

There may be some local legend associated with these, but they are an unremarked landmark at the start of the cycling tour.

The morning is one that a photo cannot capture - a crisp clear spring morning that promises summer. All the camera could show is a scruffy French canalside.

They have wheelchair platforms along the riverbank for disabled anglers.

One has not to inhale the wildlife - the air is thick with tiny insects. At one point there are strange calls from the river - they fall silent as I investigate. No sign of anything, certainly no flapping for cover, so I guess frogs.

I manage to mis-apply the directions at one bit, and find myself at the wrong end of an expected road, which leads to much confusion, and wonderings about arcane geometries falling in from parallel dimensions. One is supposed to follow a rough track along the riverbank almost to Magné, but the meter-plus wide worn track stops at a wooden bar just before a bridge at the previous village. Getting onto the road here means that right and a left gets you headed into the north end of the Rue Pont Rouge - it's expected that you arrive from the south and get into the south end. Still, it means I cover much of the expected terrain, and some of tomorrow's, and some more besides, before my increasingly random walk hits upon the road I'm supposed to be on.

And then later I spend ages trying to find a footbridge I'm supposed to cross, until I realise that the bit of construction work I've kept on passing is where it's being rebuilt, so I have some further exploration to do, but managed to reconnect with the far end of the bridge. Stop at a little superette and buy about a gallon of stuff to drink - juice, water and ice tea. Demolish a litre of blood-orange juice without it hardly hitting the sides.

Dinner is the Assiette Lyonnais - various sorts of mammal flesh - and some choco goop for afters.