04 Jul Cheatday
Today our journey literally picked up speed. From the hotel we walked the 4 km to the Gare de Macon, the train station. Actually, I could have bought the tickets online or here at the vending machine, but I had no idea how much our massive baggage cost extra, and there was no item to add something like that under. So it was off to the personal billeterie. Puuuh I was relieved that the friendly ticket seller spoke English. Happily disappointed, after a minute I held the tickets in my hand, because the luggage was free.
While waiting, I spied my way to the tracks, which didn’t take long but still commanded my respect. Because between us and the tracks were 28 steps down and of course 28 steps back up and the whole thing I was allowed to cope of course 2 x. When the time came, we went to the stairs, an elderly lady saw this and she first asked us if there was no other way, after all there are also people in wheelchairs. We had seen this special access, but it was locked and only passable when accompanied by station staff. She asked someone from the station staff, but he was probably on his period and answered blushing and gesticulating wildly, so that we felt very sorry for the helpful lady. We thanked the lady politely and I took it step by step in “I’ve got to get through this” mode. Shortly before reaching the track with the second car, I got some support from a nice young gentleman.
I got ready for the final sprint, because the train was rolling in. We looked for the bike compartment and I fed the cars up the exaggeratedly high steps into the compartment. Once inside, we parked the cars, parasitic on the space for bicycles and many happily in the train seats.
The train started and we watched the great landscapes fly by as if we were sitting in a movie theater. As we drove through Lyon, it was constantly, “Look here.”, “Wow, there’s more going on on the other side!” It was a strange feeling to see everything flying by so fast, just dimly. For me, a confirmation that walking, is my speed, is the pace that can make my pea in the pear soup.
After almost 2 hours and about 130 kilometers we got out in Saint-Rambert-d’Albon and with us 8 armed men and women in uniform. They surrounded a young man sitting on a bench by the track, checked his ID, and something didn’t seem right. But, this is not to be our adventure, we left the station and set off on the 7 more kilometers to come.
Already the first few hundred meters showed us that the landscape here is different from the one in and around Macon. It was hillier, greener and even the architecture of the houses, their colors and arrangement was different. It was not so far, not so open terrain anymore. And the river, was no longer the Saone, it was now the Rhone, along which we strolled.
It was very hot and so we were glad when we reached the campground just before Andance. And fortunately I was wrong with my assumption, which said that the further south we go, the more impersonal the campsites become. On this campground, in any case, only a few foreigners got lost, here were mainly French and thus also a great, family atmosphere.
Sign in, set up the tent, take a shower and head to the bar for a big, cold, blonde brew to celebrate. Oh, and a Siri nailed to the wall served as an interpreter.