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Europe 2004

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Journal for 25-September-2004 : Meaux

Another headwindy drizzly and cold day of cycling. From every gate and every farm a dog took great delight in barking it's head off at us.

Lots of tough little hills as well as the strong relentless headwinds. Part of the problem for us is we are cycling across open farm land. The crops the filled these paddocks a month ago have all been harvested, and there is nothing but barren earth now.

One occasion we cycled up a short hill through a rare (small) patch of forest. Guys in gum bots and silly hats brandishing loaded shot guns were patrolling the forest boundaries. This is one patch of bush I was not going to duck into to relieve myself!

Made it to Jouarre after the cool to cold weather made us abandon any idea of camping one last time in France, but there was no room at the Inn. We reluctantly pushed on to the larger la-Ferte-s/s-Jouarre, which was overrun with tourists, cobblestones and misleading town maps. We couldn't find the tourist office, or any hotels or anything much, so we cut our losses and headed for the Paris satellite of Meaux. Meaux was always going to be too big a town for us, but we got to see a side of France we've manage to miss entirely on this trip: the American side. We cycled down a dual carriage way boulevard past the factories, apartment blocks, big box super-stores, shopping malls, Mac Donald's clones and ... wait for it ... a motel. It was called a hotel, but it was for all intents and purposes an American style motel, the first we'd seen in France, and the first time our bikes managed to sneak/fit in the room with us.

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