Saturday, 4 May 2013


This morning it was cold and wet when Dagmar, Stefan and I left our hotel. Normally we would not go out in weather like this but we were heading for France and we were up for the challenge. A market was in full swing in the town centre with an inviting selection of delicious fresh produce. We looked without enthusiasm at a huge hill to take out of this city. When half way up, Dagmar's satnav on a rare occasion failed us by taking into a cul-de-sac that involved another hill to lead us out of it. However it was not long before we were cycling through more of those stunning Alpine meadows that we experienced yesterday. The hills took us above the cloud line. We stopped to add extra layers of clothes and as we warmed up we appreciated how the mist gave added atmospheric to this magnificent countryside.

Peddling on, we met a group on their mountain bikes crossing our road above La Sagne. A huge downhill followed where Stefan showed no fear with his bike and trailer arriving in La Sagne well before us. Easier riding now followed to a cafe in the railway station at Les Porits de Martel. The warmth of this place was welcoming and we thawed out sitting beside a large radiator.

Stefan set off on a massive downhill at a speed that would frighten me and when I caught him up at the bottom, he looked at me as if to say "Why are you taking so long?". However I have the legs on uphills and one shortly followed. I had a casual break while waiting at the top. The Gorge de l'Arens followed. We were on a tiny road that twisted and turned its way round the rocks and trees and gave awesome views of the white water river below. There was no time to stop especially as Stefan was throwing his bike around the downhill curves in impressive style. It was time for a break at the bottom.

At the end of the gorge, Stefan had to say goodbye and head for the nearest train station home. His journey was now over. For Dagmar and I, it was overdue for lunch so we stopped in a cafe close to Lac de Neuchatel.

When we left the cafe, it was 3pm. The weather was warmer and the rain had stopped. We cycled along easier roads beside the lake passing through a mixture of woods, camp sites, housing estates and into the town of Yverdon. The sun came out and we stripped down to summer wear. It was now an easy ride and we sped off cycling south in the direction of Lausanne. We decided to stop in a sleepy village if we could find one that had accommodation. Here we are in La Sarraz in the town's hotel. Amazingly the only restaurant open was at the town's swimming pool and it was very good but very expensive. But then everything in Switzerland is very expensive.

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