This is a continuation of our experience in France...as we said before we were repairing bikes and staying at the guide house for Trek Travel in the Provence area of France. While we were there we acted like we were in the Tour de France when we climbed Ventoux, 26km at 10% grade, 75kmh on the downhill (again no pacemaker necessary). The work was so done so onto the Loirre Valley, Beaugency France. We spent 10 days with family and friends at the hunting lodge...riding to castles during the day and enjoying time with family time at night. We took in the Paris to Tours Stage Race where Petacchi, the jet, thrilled the crowd with a sprint finish. Team Discovery looked good as well.
On to Paris for 2 days where we took in all the sites...Eifel Tower, Notre Dame, Arch de Triumph, Moulin Rouge and many more. The highlights were the World Rugby Finals in Paris and to be part of the country to country rivalry.
October 23, 2007 we were off to "stomp" in Switzerland, the bags were heavy from a week with family. The French Alps and the Swiss Alps take no prisoners (long and steep). We hit the perfect time, the leaves were as pretty as Northeast Iowa. A couple of days in the Geneva, Switzerland area and our budget said "Go to Spain!" Temperatures were getting cold also...fog and 34 degrees F in the Alps, even our morning coffee from the camp stove could not warm us. The rule of "not cylcing below 50 degrees" was broken, and broken and broken. A new guideline was instituted "no biking below 40 degrees F (this is just a guideline...NOT A RULE).
Spain welcomed us to a celebration in Gerona. It takes them all week to celebrate one "Saint"...and I'm not sure how much celebration actually had to do with "All Saints Day". What band starts playing at 11:30 pm??? And the same band is playing at 4:00 am??? ...Rock Star CEUs were obtained that night (CEUs = continuted education units).
From Genova...to Barcelona...to Madrid...to Merida, Spain gave us Spanish cultural and the largest desert in Europe. We then went from Merida to the route "Via de la Plata". We are following the Roman route to the silver. Temperatures are now around 80 during the day and 40 at night....still camping...snuggling closer.
We are heading to Seville to take in some flamenco music and to meet some of the other team members that are going to Rwanda.
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Jacky and Ward