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Journal for 3-September-2004 : Massignieu de Rives

Another clear night and another wet dewy morning. We were slow to get going again as we watched our camping gear collect the sun's rays stretched out across the camp ground tennis courts.

Cycled through the green and lush St Nizier le Desert.

The first 40ks of todays ride were excellent. I managed to pick out some quiet back roads without insane hills or navigation difficulties that delicately avoided some seriously major towns, freeways and highways. I even managed to accurately transcribe the directions to bits of paper stuck to my handlebars, so we barely stopped to look at the map, something on previous days we were doing every ten minutes.

Hot, clear sunny weather again today. Another day where we used all our water, and then some.

Our first lunch (guess what, fresh French bread and Camembert cheese again!) in the town square in front of an old church in Lagnieu.

We cycled some slightly (but only slightly) busier roads next to the Rhone River for nearly 35ks. The valley here had been glaciated, so there are cliffs towering to our left and sparkling rover gushing to our right, each decorated with old bridges houses, often in the most unlikely places.

Tried, and succeeded to get (very expensive) ice creams by the river. This place had a big ice cream sign, but they really wanted to be a resteraunt.

We did a back road “short cut” through Fay, which turned out to be a very steep 200m climb and descent. I needed to fix Linda's brakes at the bottom.

Riding felt a lot harder after that, as we trundled the 10ks into the busy Belley (a great name for a town if there ever was one). I found (another) patisery and after just two visits, we were on our way again.

We gave up on our target destination at Chambery and stopped at a camp ground by the Rhone that had modestly given itself 4 stars (Michelin Guide only gave it two). The proprietors were right, This was a fabulously beautiful stop right by the river with a mountain backdrop. And while they didn't have trampolines, mini golf and a water slide, they did have a modern, clean amenities block.

We got chatting to two English Guys (brothers we think) who are cycle touring. At least that's what they are doing between looking to buy somewhere here to live (no-one can accuse them of being silly for that) and training for the *world* duathlon championships.

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