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Celia WOODSMITH

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Geneva to Rome #1

September 15, 2016

It's been a week since we wrapped the bikes in painters plastic and crossed our fingers as we watched them jerk through the oversize baggage carousel at Logan airport. Since then we've biked approximately 204 miles from Geneva around Lac Leman then south to Lac Annecy, France. Though we somewhat questionably chose to start in the Alps, the first two days were only moderate hill climbing and the Swiss have fastidiously marked the bike routes so at least it's been easy navigating. We started our tour by winding through the picturesque terraced vineyards near Lucerne, CH and ended the last couple days with some steep climbs and intense mountain passes along Le Fier out of Seyssel, FR. Though I have come to dread these painful climbs they have taken us through some of the most beautiful villages I've ever seen. As I get stronger they will be less punishing and more rewarding, but right now I can't help but want to throw my panniers off the mountain! Protein bars don't seem to be a thing here so we've been living off of stinky cheese, fresh baguettes, sardines, sausages, Nutella, peanut butter and assorted vegetables/fruits that can withstand the panniers. Even with the high calorie diet, I'm hungry all the time. We've been trying to eat out once a day to stock up on necessary energy. All in all we have felt safe and secure with one notable exception being a shady campground we were forced to stop at right outside of Geneva (lets just say lots of nice cars with no license plates). The only casualty of the road has been my pride as I have fallen over, three times now, while clipped into my pedals. It's an unfortunate beginners tragedy that has manifested itself all over my body in the form of bruises and chain gouges on my calves. As I get more co-ordinated I hope to avoid these sorts of crashes, though, those of you who know me can only assume it will keep happening... As I write this I am sitting in the beautiful flat of our first Warm Showers host in Annecy, France. Warm Showers is a network of bicycle-touring-centric people all over the world willing to put up like minded folks for free in their homes. We have been treated to a beautiful dinner, fun activities and nice accommodations and have returned the favor with a little concert (yes we brought our instruments!). Staying with hosts is by far the most economical way to travel and also the most fulfilling, it just requires a little trust on both ends. As we continue along our route we hope to keep staying with nice local people, there is a lot to be learned from them even if we speak only bits and pieces of each other's languages. Tomorrow we head toward Lac du Borguet and from there who knows?! We're making it up as we go along.

 

 

 

 

 Near Montreaux, CH

 

 

 In Vivey, CH

 

 Somewhere in Switzerland

 

 Typical Meal

 Annecy, FR

 Annecy, FR

 

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