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WorldCycle (2002-2003)
From Paris to Paris, diary of a one year travel around the globe.

France.



The last civilised picture of us, 2 mns before departure...


Cognac, August 13, 2002

So here we go ! After months of dreaming about it, after hours blankly staring at the wall imagining what such a trip would be like, we are now gone. Our mind has been relieved from having to organise insurance, vaccinations, flights, equipment, and all the annoying details we will spare you.

After a week, we are already enjoying the delights of sunburn, sore thighs and knees, irritations around the area I dare not mention at this stage. Our system feels in harmony, we sleep like logs and eat outrageous quantities. Our bikes are fantastic, comfortable and light enough.

The trip still seems incredibly unimpressive because we (except Sallie) are in our home country. It just seems like a bike ride down the road. The real stuff will begin in South America probably. For the moment it does not feel like we are about to live the most original year of our lives.


August 14, 2002, between Cognac and Montendre


We have seen loads of sunflower and corn fields, many straight roads. We have tested our rain gear, which could be substantially improved. We have had to cheer Sallie up all afternoon because she could not forgive herself for squashing a slug. For collectors, there are loads of bits on her lower water bottle.

The guitar has been released from its cage a few times, a few good gigs with the holiday makers we met in random isolated campsites in France’s no-man’s land. Amazing how empty some places are, even mid-summer.

We have done about 300 km, and nobody seems ready to give up, so all is well, feels like a good start. Looking forward to the rest of it!!!!!

Stefan
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Hi everyone,

Well we've got our first week over and all I can say is Thank God!!! It's great to be eventually on our way but my ass is only now adjusting to being subjected to minimum 5 hours on a saddle and my legs didn't know wheither they were in pain or just numb. Mr. Motivator would be very proud of me!! Definately the worst over and can't wait to get really moving. Heading towards the coast now. Looking forward to the ocean spray and getting a bit of colour on this paddy skin of mine!!....(have to figure out a way to avoid the inevitable paddy stripes though!!) Talk to you soon!

Sal
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Enfin sur la route ! Après les inévitables et interminables préparatifs, nous voilà partis depuis une semaine sur les routes de France. Nous avons pédalé nos premiers 300 kms, entre 50 et 80 kms par jour. Premier constat: c'est moins difficile que prévu ! Certes le fessier mérite bien son repos en fin de journée, les jambes commencent à être lourdes après une semaine de pédalage, mais le moral des troupes est bon, on se ménage pour les premiers jours démarrage et rien ne vaut une bonne tarte au citron en fin de journée pour se requinquer ! Sans oublier les fabuleux massages de jambes salvateurs de Sallie. Les vélos roulent bien, bien que relativement chargés... et pas encore de gros pépin mécanique.


Blois, August 08, 2002


Après une semaine à grelotter sous les nuages et la pluie, le soleil s'est enfin joint à nous pour le plaisir de tous. Nous pédalons direction sud-ouest et nous rapprochons petit à petit du sud de la France et de la mer !

Nous travaillons également notre répertoire musical et planchons sur la mise en place d'un ensemble polyphonique (entendre trois voix) à corde (entendre guitare), à vent (entendre flûte, kazou et harmonica) et percussif (entendre tambourin à grelots). Nous avons donné hier soir notre première représentation totalement improvisée au camping municipal de Rouillac, à 25 kms de Cognac, devant une assemblée très coopérative de " Chtis " belges et francais du nord de tous âges. La dégustation de Cognac aidant à libérer les initiatives individuelles, nous nous sommes rapidement retrouvés à 25 à entonner le très entraînant " Sidi Ya Ya Youpi Youpi Ya etc. ".

Jusqu'ici tout va bien !

Seb
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St Laurent Nouan, August 08, 2002



Cognac, August 13, 2002



August 14, 2002, between Cognac and Montendre



August 14, 2002, between Cognac and Montendre



August 14, 2002, between Cognac and Montendre



Moulis de Médoc, August 14, 2002



Dune du Pyla, August 16, 2002



St Girons, August 17, 2002, 160 km in a day