Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Huddersfield to Istanbul. Day 6.

Thursday 24 May. Day 6.
Levier to Annacy  118 miles.

After a poor nights sleep with minimal food/drink and nothing to charge up phones/garmin oh and a damp night with no mat to sleep on, and to add to all that I have 2 broken spokes on the back wheel. I had a few aches, but I had set my alarm early to get to a nearby town to see if there was a cycle shop there.

I was headed for a town called Pontarlier it was about 12 miles away, so I was packed up for 6am and pushed my bike along not wanting to do anymore damage to the wheel. The sun was rising and the mist was burning off as the sun was rising. It was a long slog to this town unable to ride along, although on the downhill bits I let the bike go with me on it so it got me to a shop a little quicker. I arrived at Pontarlier about 9.30am and started to look out for bike shops, I see one so its straight in and ask them if they can fix it ? Yes they say come back at 11am and it will be done.. Result!  they also said leave the panniers here they will be safe.

I did, then walked off at leisure for a couple of hours. I stopped at a little supermarket as I was very hungry and thirsty, I managed to fill up my water bottles as i left the campsite toilets. I sat down in the sun with my goodies from the store - the usual Sandwiches, chocolate, biscuits etc. I have a stroll around the town until its time to go pick my bike up. I get back to shop and Its ready, the guy who fixed the wheel said The wheel is kapput !!  It will need changing soon..  I took that on board and thought It may do me today, so I paid up and off i went, they also put a brand new tyre on too. They said the old one was knackered!  I agreed so now I have a new tyre on back wheel, the front one has done fantastic up to now with no bother apart from 1 puncture.

I was headed to Lausanne, the hills were getting bigger and the sun was getting hotter, but as long as I was cycling away it created a nice breeze all the way to Lausanne via Vallorbe. I was looking forward to seeing Lake Geneva as I had see it on another guys video on youtube, it looked fantastic.

I was getting a little frustrated because of the repairs to the wheel, it was putting me behind schedule but  had to keep pushing on..  It was not long before the lake came into view Awesome !  with the mountain alps behind in the distance. I cycled to the shoreline and stopped for a coffee at a cafe near a harbor, very good just to chill along the way. I finished my drink and headed along the coast of the lake stopping for an ice cream along the way. Eventually I arrived in Geneva, that cycle to here was Brilliant! a tail wind all the way along the lake.

After a ponder around Geneva I was heading towards Annacy, thats where I thought that would be a good distance for the time I had available for today. I arrived in Annacy around 9.30pm it was dark. I managed o find a hotel and went in there was a steep staircase up to reception which meant I had to carry the bike up this narrow staircase..  I got to the reception and the guy looked in amazement at the fact I had just carried my bike up :-)  I booked in and asked if there were any bike shops open tomorrow, he gave me a map of where there was a good one, I thanked him and then had to carry my bike back down the staircase because he wanted to put my bike overnight in the cellar..  oh well I'm carrying it down to the cellar its safe there for sure because he locks the door.

So its now a frantic part to get my tent unraveled to dry it out from the night before, put my stuff on charge and then shower and change.. now its time to find some food, as this hotel does not do food especially at this time - about 10.30pm. So I walk off around the town and see a little kebab shop, I see some students are sitting outside eating what looks to be very nice. I asked for a curry tandoori as that was on the menu, he passed me a small cup with small pieces of tandoori chicken in it! The look on my face must have said it all ! I said could I have same again, then he asked if I want meal,  said yes :-)

He mentioned something big and I just nodded as I was extremely hungry tonight, he asked if I was sitting outside on a table, I agreed and on way out I asked for a small bottle of wine Red Wine with my meal :-)

The food came over with the wine "Fantastic" a big plate of food..  nice I tucked in it was Fab, after eating this I asked how much was it for the meal and the wine, he said 15 euros, so I asked for same again, he offered up another dish so I agreed with him, if it was as good as the last one that will do for me, oh and can I have another bottle of red wine too ? :-)

There is a daily phone call back home when I finish my cycle for the day, my daughter each day asks Are you in Istanbul yet dads ?  so I run through the countries that I still have to cycle through to get to my destination, so by now the call is shorter the closer I am getting :-))

After my 2 meals and 2 wines I make my way back to hotel, my belly is full and I'm happy again. I get back to room, and my tent etc is dry now so I pack them up back into my bags so it saves time in the morning. What a day, and tomorrow I have decided I need a new wheel, so when the shops open thats my first job.

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