Sunday, 25 July 2010

25/7/10: Last night we formed a group from the various nationalities in the youth hostel and went out into Bordeaux to roam the clubs. We had an australian, 3 brits, 1 danish and 2 dutch making up our group. The 2 dutch girls introduced us to the bike scheme they have in Bordeaux where you take a bike for 1€ from a rack and return it to another docking station after you have used it to get where you want to go. This was a fantastic getting to know everyone activity and certainly adds an extra dimension to a night out-shame it doesn't happen in Britain! We had trouble entering clubs wearing shorts but I chatted to the bouncers at length about how light we had to travel and how carrying jeans was really unrealistic and they let us in! The youth hostel closes at 2am and reopens at 5am so at 1.30am we decided we would nee the night out and stay out late. We had a great time and managed 4 hours sleep before having to be up and off before 10am the following morning.

Feeling a little less nimble than usual we cruised through Bordeaux and out into the countryside at a gentle pace. We crossed a huge bridge over the Dordogne and had lunch in a vineyard. The weather was cloudy but still quite warm. We continued up to Blaye where we stopped to watch the Tour de France finishing in Paris in a bar. Fantastic end to a tour de france I feel I got really involved in. Shame Bradley Wiggins didn't do very well, but good to see Mark Cavensish trounce everyone on the last sprint.

We then found a campsite in Blaye which is actually within the walls of the ancient castle in the town. There was a huge scout rally going on so we were lucky to find space to camp. Alex and I decided after a measily 40.25miles today we would go and ride around the city. Spotting a steep grass bank we decided we could cycle down it. Unfortunately I went first and the steepness of the bank combined with my road bike not really being ideal for steep off road and my poor driving meant I went over the handlebars and landed in a patch of nettles and rocks. This concluded our tour of the city and I returned to the showers to clean my grazes! Rather ironic I had turned down the 1st steep bank saying to Alex, 'I've come all this way uninjured, it would be a shame to do something now. ' We cooked dinner and had an early night to catch up on sleep.

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