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4th July Auberge de Courpain – Gien, 95km
7.07.06 by Buffalo Bill

Today was the day that I had to admit defeat and quit riding for a few days. My Achilles was sore in the morning. And it got worse. The sheath of the tendon is inflamed, and the more I pedal, the more the sheath is irritated, the more it becomes inflamed and painful. I popped the pain-killers and stopped to buy anti-inflammatory mousse, but it got worse and worse. By the time I stopped in Gien, I was having trouble walking.

The first 40k were a trial. Flat straight lorry roads, with the big angry boxes flying past my left shoulder at 80 km an hour. The second 50 were more pleasant, but I was in too much discomfort to really appreciate the solitude and peace.

I got lost in the outskirts of Gien. The French really know how to make their town outskirts ugly. With so much beautiful country-side, a few million ugly hectares can be easily over-looked, unless you happen to be crawling through them at 12k an hour, in a disagreeable temper and with plenty of opportunity to take the full splendour of ribbon development in the classic 21st Century Gallic style. 1000s of metres of wire fencing, dozens of square metal boxes squatting in lakes of black tarmac. Retail Babylon.

Le Pont de Gien

I rolled over the 13th Century bridge across La Loire and hobbled into the hotel.

And here I sit. Bored and frustrated, waiting for the swelling to go down. I hope to hit the road again tomorrow, and will probably head West towards the Atlantic coast. I have at least 8 days left to ride. At least I hope I to do 8 days.

This is the third part of my journey to France, ‘Looking for Km 83

Part 4

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