Legends from our own lunchtimes

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Pedal to the Metal
Fontenoy-le Chateau to PK 103

A "PK" is a notional kilometre mark, like the milestones of old marking distances along the inland waterways. No matter how hard we try to tell ourselves we are relaxed, we can't get away from the shadow of a looming deadline.   We have another two hundred and fifty PK's to pass and what must be something like a hundred or more locks or so to pass as well if we are to be in Toul in a little over a week.

While that is a conservative deadline in theory, we have decided to to make some miles for a couple of days to position ourselves better should we suffer unexpected delay.

That meant that after our lunchtime picnic stop in the middle of nowhere in particular, which Ron and Robyn quite sensibly decided would make a delightful overnight spot for themselves as well, we struck out alone once more to "put some water under the keel."

We are climbing at the moment, all day with locks sometimes just a few hundred metres apart and a constant audience of cyclists and hikers on the tow paths as the summer holidays reach their peak.  With each lock comes a rise of just a few metres, but we never fail to find enjoyment at the nature of the journey, entering each chasm with no idea of what we will find above, and invariably as we rise a new vista presents itself, appearing in our windows so that it is as if we are watching a constantly changing slide show.

It is as though each time we have a new window in a different place in the world as the change in scenery magically appears from above a dull grey wall; a child or two, a grandparent, a bicycle, a boat turned into a flower box, snow white, a vintage car, a pair of drunks in fisticuffs, we have learned to expect the unexpected.

Tonight we will be just a few locks short of the top of our ascent and when we get there, we are going to miss going up.

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