Day 57 – Paris to Mantes-les-Jolie

We were up and ready nice and early to start our ride and by 9.00 we were on the road heading west along the Seine to follow the potentially flatter and thus more enjoyable route towards Caen and the coast.

Initially we had a few stiff climbs to reach the select residential area of St Cloud in order to miss out a huge S of the River Seine.  On reaching the top at Parc St. Cloud we were able fo find a good spot to stop and have our picnic breakfast. The bench where we had chosen to stop was around 110mtrs up and had the most magnificent view across central Paris over to the well known landmarks of the Eiffel Tower and Montmartre.

Just as we finished our breakfast we noticed that three horses had come to view behind us,  together with their driver. They were harnessed to a piece of machinery, which, after it was unfurled revealed itself to be a mower!  They then proceeded to pull this mower behind them to begin mowing the long grass of the park. A bizarre sight in central Paris!

We followed the Seine for most of our ride, mostly on decent quality riverside shared use paths, but occasionally climbing over a few of the numerous meanders of the Seine as it flowed to the sea.

We passed a number of attractive small towns and villages as we made our way westwards until we reached the small town of Mantes-les-Jolie.

Our Warmshowers host, Pierre, lived here with his family and had agreed to host us for the night. Turning off the riverside path we turned off to climb up the short distance to his home. He had helpfully left a small flag propped by his gate to show us where he lived.

We were rather touched that Pierre and his wife had agreed to host us that night, since it was quite a busy time domestically for them. They were already temporarily hosting their daughter who had a baby and a 3 year old with her, which the following day, would be cared for by her grand dad. Pierre’s son was also temporarily staying there as well!

They kindly offered to share their dinner with us, and we were taught how best to eat and enjoy artichokes. A first for us two! Conversation round the table was in a mixture of French and English, with Pierre keen to practice his English language skills with us. Various travellers tales were told,  interspersed by exploration of our respective backgrounds and life experiences.

We had a good night’s sleep that night which set us up for the next day’s ride climbing out of the Seine valley and further towards the Normany Coast.

Distance pedalled : 41 miles

Total distance travelled: 677 miles

Ascent: 2805 ft. Approx.



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