17 Sep
Day 5

Here come the Stats!

Sens - Chaource

53 miles, 5 hours 27 mins cycle time and guess who got the fastest time - Phil! 31.8 mph. 

New animals - goats, geese, buzzards and a heron plus a lizard and a huge furry caterpillar. Sorry insects and reptiles have crept in too!

It was a 2 map day plus 1 slipped chain.

12 barking dogs is a record!

Pollen my lucky mascot at the beginning  of the day. 

We had such a delightful day yesterday, that we woke in good spirits ready for day 5. Our bodies said, “Ah we are doing this again,” with good grace and off we set. It was freezing this morning - feeling like a skiing morning rather than a cycling one - however we were not cold for long. As soon as we turned out of the hotel and headed for our first country lane, we were faced with a 1:4 hill about 200 m in length - it was a killer. For me it was too much and halfway up I had to get off and breathe before trying to tackle it again. However,  for wonder-thighs Dr Taylor there was no such issue as he zigzagged his way up the precipice all the way to the top -  I was full of admiration and that is how the day started and that is how the day continued. Although we have pedalled our way through beautiful countryside with stunning views from the top of long slow hills and had some exciting  descents, it has been a day where we have struggled to get our momentum. It has been a day of ups and downs literally and metaphorically and after 5 and a half hours cycling we were very happy to arrive at our destination in the delightful small town of Chaource. With excellent facilities in our Logis hotel and a delicious dinner,  we are feeling restored and both agree that recovery time is improving and therefore so is our fitness. Hurrah! We did a lot of hills today and coped, faced a few demons and overcame them, so we are both up beat before slumber. 

Wonder thighs at top of monster hill! Show off! 

Other points of interest:

We are both trying hard with our French however I fear we are letting the extremely linguistic Welsh tribe down with our efforts. In any exchange I start with, “Pardonnez moi, ma Francais c’est terrible… “ Phil starts with, “Parlez vous Anglais?” At least we are giving it our best effort and everyone is being very kind.

After mentioning the Queen yesterday, our host this evening has expressed his sadness and said how it is on the TV permanently here - he continued, “Well she is the Queen.” We are pleased she is being remembered so fondly here too.

We have got through 6 maps, have cycled over 300 miles since leaving Liphook and that makes us over a tenth of the way there!

We are both a bit saddle sore! 

Phil’s chain slipped tonight up a hill - out came the latex gloves and he professionally refitted it with skill and in very little time - the power of HOO!

We came upon a car rally today as we had coffee at our 15 mile pit stop. A charming fleet of vintage cars suddenly joined our bicycles at the cafe!

I felt Maddy very closely with me today. She helped me up the hills and whooped on the descents. Join me again tomorrow please dear one.

Sleep is calling, I wonder what tomorrow will bring? What I do know is that however much our knees are creaking or we wince when we first sit in that saddle, as the wheels start to turn another adventure awaits… 

Until then, we send love to you all P and J XX 

Well deserved beer at the end of the day HOO X

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