Au revoir Paris!

(Pete writing again) Another good night for sleep! We thought about trying to time our departure from Paris so that we could miss rush hour, but rush hour is several hours so we just decided to embrace the madness and roll whenever we were ready to leave, which turned out to be just before 9. 

Traffic was crazy, as expected. It is good that we started in Amsterdam and gave ourselves more than a week to acclimate to navigating in Europe before attempting Paris. We did fine and about 10 minutes into the adventure a Paris bike commuter befriended us and we were able to follow him through the worst of it. 

It probably took an hour and a half to clear the city and its suburbs. Then it was peaceful farmland and small roads for a few hours. With about 20 miles left our route took us down a path that cows would struggle on. Eventually we had to retreat and piece together a bypass (which required a few bypasses itself). 

Eventually we hit Avenue Verte and finished our ride on a beautiful bike trail to Gournay-en-Bray where we are in a quaint Airbnb effectively staying in their attic. They make such good use of space here.

They also apparently never go to the bathroom. Seriously. Gas stations don’t have bathrooms. There are no rest stops on the highways. And when we ask at a gas station or store if they have a bathroom we could use they look at us confused, like we just asked for something super personal and awkward, like if we could borrow their socks to wear for a few minutes. 

We went looking for food tonight, on empty stomachs, which never ends well. The fries, cashews, and orange juice combo we put together at a random market and a Lebanese grill had the effect on our stomachs you would expect. We followed that up with a trip to the store for breakfast food, where we bought some fruit, vegetables, juice and almond milk.

Tomorrow will be a long day as we head for Berck on the northwest coast of France.

Natalie’s additions:

Miles today: about 65

Vertical feet: about 2000, but all nice slow gradual

Weather: Beautiful!! No rain!! A bit cloudy in the morning and sunnier in the afternoon. Around 70F. Perfect. 

A really nice day!

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