Saturday 12th July
ImageRotten night as the hotel is very stuffy and the bedroom window opens onto the main road with periodic very high speed traffic. This apparently did not affect Lynn, only Mary and I.

The 'town' is a little disappointing being some way out of Thiers and entirely flat but a short walk before a meeting to discuss the days plans and tonights rendezvous. We agree on Roanne and I try to make sure that I am not separated by any large mountain ranges at the end of the day.

My first major stop is Col de Beal, a high pass with fantastic views and no fog. Dressed completely unsuitably in motorcycle boots I walked to the top (an hour there and back) and was very pleased with myself. So much so I was going to have lunch in the lonely and very isolated cafe there. Despite there only being one other table occupied I gave up waiting to have my order taken, and wandered off. Clearly they were rushed off their feet.

This next stop was lucky at Chateaux de Couzan where a new cafe has opened with a very hospitable woman. An excellent lunch stop, but I've misplaced the bill so the exact name escapes me but Rue C something is the go. It's as clean as a new pin and leaves the others in the village for dead.

Image Joined up with the Mitchelin route through the Monts de la Madeleine about this point and it's one of the best so far. Chilling hills and good size roads, none of the single lane stuff of yesterday with pretty readable bends. Good biking country. Seems others thought so too and the world and his dog are out in force, it being a long weekend for most I suppose?
The weather is comfortably mild and well in the comfort zone of my heavy jacket, in fact I'm pretty glad of it.

Finally a bit of confusion with the Logis De France book again. The layout is very quirky and the hotel selected "le Dehu" is south of Roanne, not north as we'd thought. Hopefully this will help Mary and Lynn when they arrive from Lyon with Charlotte. But then it may be not.


Mlle made a special effort and kept dinner until the ladies arrived, well gone 10pm, Lord only knows where they had been. They told me but I really didn't understand. Mlle party piece is a fabulous electric organ/drum thing which she started up for us. Oh La La.

10 out of 10 for the hotel effort. Great.