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Northern France

August 24th, 2000 · No Comments

August 24, 2000 Chatel (Abondance) to Geneva, Switzerland

Day 237

We were supposed to go to Châtel but were routed to a campground in Abondance instead. After cycling over “the wall” the steep 16k climb into France I was not very surprised when I learned Châtel is a ski town. It was a lovely village that was totally in bloom with flowers, as is everywhere we have been going. It would have been nice to stop and spend more time here, but I was really late for camp, so I headed onward and luckily for me, downhill. Ten miles down the road was the town of Abondance.

I decided if I ever have the opportunity to name a town, I will call it Abundance. It is a great sounding name signifying plenty of all. In our town we would have great looking homes with a snow peaked, mountain back drop, a lake for playing and plenty of good food for all. Of course our toilets would flush and the showers would all have hot water and plenty of it on demand. We would have washing machines that work all the time with speed and efficiently.

We would have gelato from Italy, bread from France, bananas from Costa Rica, yogurt from Greece, wine from South Africa, Chile, Italy, France and Spain. The chocolate would most definitely be imported from Bruges. If beer was required and I’m sure it would be Germany would make a good import choice. My town would be a very clean town, no dirt allowed. All windows would have attractive curtains with windows boxes filled with an explosion of colorful flowers.

Abundance, Colorado, how does that sound?

Abondance, France was a nice little town, the campground was not wonderful, it was small and still under-construction, the kind of construction that looks like it was started a few years ago and somebody lost the plans. Our meal was among the worst we have had in a long time. It was dished out in a cute prop, a huge frying pan that sat on the gas burner. The problem was, that was all we had to eat. A potato dish with small slices of undistinguishable meat in it, a lettuce salad with too much dressing and colored water. The water was the weirdest, it came in different colors, red, yellow and green. Else sat at our table drinking the green water and saying it was mouth wash. Very appealing indeed!

I found the only electrical plug available, the one that ran the washing machine and plugged my computer in. I spent the next few hours getting caught up on the website. Typing with the computer on my lap is not my favorite way to get it done, but at least I got caught up, for that I am thankful.

After a blazing hot day in the sun yesterday, I enjoyed the coolness of the night in the mountains. But it was so cold, I didn’t want to leave the cozy warmth of my sleeping bag. It was cold enough to see my breath. I wanted to spend the morning there. No way was that possible! Today was the short day into Geneva, I had to get up and get going.

I did, and it was worth it. I continued the descent down from the Alps, the one I earned. It was a good one, going for many kilometers before ending at the shore of Lake Geneva. The weather warmed up and got hot again, it was after all August!

The lake was filled with boats and people enjoying the lovely summer day. I stopped lakeside to have a snack, purchased at the local grocery. It was a morning to mosey and not rush, I only had to do about 70 kilometers today.

The route meandered in and out of little village after village. Most memorable was the village of Yvoire, located on the shore of Lake Leman (aka Lake Geneva to the Swiss). Yvoire had a perfect little medieval city complete with billions of flowers, people and postcard shops. I took a quick walk around, just to get off the bike. It was an interesting place, but about the 100th medieval city this year. Ho hum! It was worthy of a few photos….

Tags: Europe · France