30km Villars les Dombs – Lyon
Despite our best hopes, we woke up in the morning to more wind and the news that in the afternoon the gusts could go as high as 100km/hour! We had no idea what the wind strength reached the previous day, but we were pretty sure it wasn`t quite that strong and had no desire to cycle in 100km/hour winds, so we made a beeline for Lyon. The scenery was quite pretty along the way, going through a district known for its lakes and bird sanctuary. We saw many flocks of birds, including a large group of herons, overhead as we pedalled. Around 10am we reached a town about 20km outside of Lyon and asked about spending the night there, thinking that might be easier than fighting our way into the city, but all the hotels were full. As we carried on towards the centre, we started to get worried as every hotel we passed was full, apparently due to a conference being held in Lyon for pools and swimming equipment, of all things. Finally, after a lot of hard pedalling against the wind and in traffic, we reached a big Etap hotel (a budget chain) about 15 minutes from the centre of Lyon by bus. We asked about a room and were very happy to hear they had space for us, although only because of a cancellation that had just come in. We`ll spend two nights here, and then carry on towards our farmstay in the Ardeche, which we think is about 3 days down the road.