Thank you all for the comments and e-mails. I look for them every day and I really love them.
You say you want more frequent posts? OK, will do.
You say you want more pictures? OK, I’ll try. I’m not much of a picture-taker, and this phone is all I have. Here’s a photo of the way to my hotel tonight:
I’m in Blois, in the Loire Valley, valley of the kings, as it is called, with castles to show for it. Many castles. Blois, which I never heard of before, is a town on a hill overlooking the river, vineyards, castles. Its pretty big, and older than old. I’m in a tiny room high up in a fifteenth century hotel downtown. Except for the radiator and sink it looks like the fifteenth century, too. And I love this radiator! I froze my ass today; heading west toward the coast now, my tailwind became a side wind. Sundays the only thing open is the church and the boulangerie; I stopped at every one. Still I made it here by sundown and looked around before checking in. Great town.
Last night my hosts were Eric and Rozenn. Eric is a banker who commutes to Paris, an hour on the train and ten minutes by bike at each end. (It took me two days to get here from Paris). He’s a long-distance cyclist, a randonneur, and has done 620 miles in two days, no sleep. Rozenn is a writer for the local paper and a novelist. Their kids are darlings and made me long for my grandchildren again Like many of my hosts, Eric guided me out of he city by bike in the morning. Bright sun, bitter cold.
My decision to visit Amsterdam before heading south is costing me time, money, and suffering on the bike. But I am learning a surprising amount of French language and history. I remember telling cyclists who visited me in Vermont all about Ethan Allen and Fort Ticonderoga. Frenchmen like to show me their local cathedrals and castles.
Careful readers of this blog will have determined that I will not reach Hong Kong by November at this rate. I don’t mind. I feel at home on the road now and could happily take two years (except for the budget and my commitment to Jane Street). Perhaps I will change my banner to “London to Moscow 2012”. Maybe I’ll take the train across Siberia, two weeks instead of three months. Maybe…a lot of possibilities. I haven’t played much music, and I haven’t use my dress clothes even once. As my money dwindles and my toes freeze I am eyeing warm third-world countries like Thailand and India. There seems to be few opportunities to earn money on the road but you never know.