82km Dole to Sainte Croix (outside Louhans)
A cloudy day greeted us as we headed out from Dole, navigating our way through several busy roads before finally reaching some quieter villages. It was a good 15km before we were really out of the bustle of the city. The rest of the day was again predominately rural and in the afternoon we entered the area of Bresse, known for its high quality free-range chicken. It was no exaggeration to say that every second house we passed had chickens in the yard, and often geese, goats or sheep as well. We stopped for lunch in Pierre de Bresse, a pretty little town with a historic chateau. We would have visited the chateau, but it only opened in the afternoons, so instead we settled for making lunch in the park surrounding the building, next to an enclosure with deer and goats. They were more than happy to eat the leftover crumbs from our baguette. While we were cooking, two men from the local bank walked by, on their lunch break. They stopped to chat for a while and one told us all about his many vacations in Quebec and how he loved Canada. Carrying on in the afternoon, we intended to stop in St Germain du Bois but we arrived there quite early and with the sun now breaking through the clouds, we decided to carry on. It was the first day in a long while that we were warm enough to take off our jackets and roll up our sleeves. The last we heard, the temperatures were 8 or 9 degrees above normal for the time of year. An hour or so down the road from St Germain du Bois, the tourist bureau in Lohans told us that there was one campground open outside the town on a farm, so we headed to Saint Croix. The campground was completely deserted when we arrived, but as we`d been assured it was open year round we set up our tent anyway and started to make supper. When a lady finally appeared near dusk, she said there was actually an error in the camping guide and they were closed, but she didn`t mind us staying, as long as we didn`t need bathroom facilities. “Just go behind the trees,” she said. No problem, as that`s what we do most days anyway while we are on the road. Toilets don`t normally appear when you need them so you just have to be inventive! She filled our water bottles for us and left us a bucket of water as well for doing dishes. It`s very peaceful out here, surrounded by fields of corn and just a few farm houses. A whole world away from the rush hour of London, which is in full swing as we write. Hard to believe they are both going on at the same time on the same earth. Tomorrow we head to Macon, one of the main cities in Burgundy.