Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Friday 27th May 2011 - Tuesday 31st May 2011

St Jorioz (Annecy), International du Lac Annecy, (ACSI2011-1462) continued

My comments about the thunder were a bit premature! it developed into torrential rain, we had to go rushing outside to rescue the awning!

Friday begins cool and dull, but it is hair washing and general chores day, so no real harm done.

After washing her hair Kathleen is able to indulge in one of her favourite pass-times, ie counting her money on the internet banking, she particularly likes the "Money in" column on the on-line bank statement.

It is the weekend, so it is decided to “take it easy”, although quite how you can “take it easy”, when you have spent your week doing nothing very much, is a mystery to me.

I spend most of Saturday cycling, while Kathleen sprawls in the sun, topping up her tan, after all, we have had one whole day without sunshine, and her tan may have just faded a little.

In the evening, we cycle the six miles into Annecy, to have a meal.

Even at eight o'clock in the evening, it is still warm and sunny.

It is a holiday weekend here, and the place is very busy.

We find a pleasant restaurant, by the river in old Annecy, and have a very enjoyable meal, and of course a few drinks. We are served by a Frenchman who probably speaks excellent English, but indulges our efforts at ordering in French.

Afterwards, we must cycle “home” again of course, here is Kathleen, drunk in charge of a bicycle, overtaking a roller skater on the way back.

and just to show we were not dawdling along, you can see my cycle computer showing over 10 miles per hour, almost 11 in fact.

Sunday is church day of course, Kathleen goes to the nearby church in St Jorioz.

We spend the rest of the day strolling along the lake shore toward Duingt.

Although we have been here before, and on this trip, have been here several days, we still manage to find a "new" and very pleasant walking route along the lake.

The site is now filling up, there are more new arrivals by the day, almost all Dutch. Not that there is anything wrong with the Dutch, they are mostly very friendly, and have a sense of humour.

I am told the other Europeans, refer to them as the “White Wave”, because in the summer, they hitch up their caravans and sweep south from Holland, in their thousands.

There are so many of them, I am sure they must only be able to return home, by appointment, otherwise the country could not cope with the influx.

Monday, and I knew I would manage to coax Kathleen into cycling around the lake again. You only have to hint that she cannot do it, and of course she will do it to prove you wrong. A true McCaffery.

I did not manage to convince her to do it anti-clockwise, but there is always next time.

Accordingly we peddle off along the lake, towards Annecy, stopping in Old Annecy to buy bread for our picnic.

We have barely broken sweat when we reach the ten mile point.

This is the view from our first rest stop.

Here is Kathleen, looking as fresh as a daisy, having a drink of water, yes, that is right, water, at the ten mile point, by now we are past Annecy and heading along the other side of the lake.

Our Dutch neighbour, a very friendly, but very large woman, was asking, before we left, where we were off too. When we said we were off to cycle around the lake, she explained that she had been a keen cyclist, but after having a knee replacement operation she had gained weight, and her cycling activities had diminished.

Her English is very good, no English person should ever criticise a foreigners grasp of English, since we are almost universally useless at speaking any other language.

But for her, it is a foreign language, and she wanted to say that now, she cycles only from bar to bar, having to stop at each for a drink to refresh herself. But she could not think of the word for "bar", and since, here, bars are often "terraces", instead used the word terrace, this has now become our little joke, we talk of how many "terraces" we are going to cycle. 

There is no continuous cycle track on this side, and it is much more up and down.

But not a word of complaint is heard, and we have not even done one "terrace" yet.

About half way round, there is a BIG hill, and I mean BIG.

It starts at Menthon-St-Bernard, and you are peddling up hill for about a mile.

At the top there are people half our age, flopped on the grass verge panting, but here is Kathleen, just about to reach the top, and not a hair out of place.

Having gone up, of course we then go down, into the village of Talloires.

I have to admit, the down is much shorter and therefore steeper, so doing this ride in the opposite direction would be much more of a challenge.

This is the seventeen mile mark, and we stop for our picnic lunch.

Here is the view across the lake, the place you can see on the opposite shore is Duingt, just along the road from our campsite.

This is the view “down” the lake, where our route will take us, to Verthier, then Dousard, at the end of the lake.

At Dousard we join the cycle track to head along "our" side of the lake to “home”.

At twenty miles, we stop off (at a "terrace"), for a couple of Panaches (Shandies), and some chips!, before rejoing the cycle track to finish off the remainder of the 25 miles.

Kathleen decides to check her blood pressure (and mine), as soon as we get back, after so much strenuous exercise, you would expect it to be high, I would have thought. But no, it is 111/57 for Kathleen, and 119/72 for me. When we get home, I think I will ask Dr Thornley-Walker to forget the prescription for blood pressure tablets, and instead give us a prescription for campsite fees!

The rest of the evening is spent undoing the good work by sitting in the sun drinking wine.

I encounter another of our Dutch neighbours at the recycling point, feeding empty wine bottles into the Verre (Glass) container. I explain to her, that the English phrase for this is "hidding the evidence", which she finds hilarious, possibly becuase she was putting at least five bottles into the container!.

The bad news is, the weather forecast is for rain, and sure enough, it begins to rain overnight, we awake to a grey and wet Tuesday.

A day for planning our next move I think.

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