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Today was definitely a day where our progress was dictated by the varying terrain. It was a hot day, a very hot day for cycling – 22c on the Windy app but it felt hotter.

We set off from at Villers – sire – Nicole about 0930. A bit later than planned.

Soon we were guided onto a definite “off road”route

The route took us on to hardly cycleable tracks with teeth chattering potholes and loose stones.

Tricky cycling

We got to Dourlers about 1300. We were hoping to pick up a few supplies but I’d forgotten that on Sundays in France, pretty much everything is shut .

Valerie to the rescue! We were walking away from the centre when we came across Valerie and her friend / partner. They offered to help us with communication at an event that was taking place just down the road. At this event, there was still the option to buy some food and drink. Valerie kindly translated our needs to the people. The vegan got cucumber sandwiches & tomato sauce, Tracey had cheese pie and a cake.

We also met Marc who was running a stall and explained that the event was a fundraiser for a hospital in Madagascar. We bumbled through a mix of English and French to explain what we were doing. Valerie & Marc were lovely and very kind to us.


On we went, more on roads later in the day. We came across a fair and met Raynald and his family . This was an event near Avesnes-sur-Helpe, it was a fair but also an equestrian show. It was very nice to drop into this and a nice break.

We were back on the road after about 30 mins and on our way . We arrived at Le Nouvion-en-Thiérache and had a beer at a bar with a lovely patron who told us his daughter was working in Amsterdam and appreciated our journey.

Le Nouvion-en-Thiérache

On to the camp site and after a tough but satisfying day we will settle down for the night. 2 days wild camping to follow.

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