Without-a-map: Maastricht – Mt Blanc, part 2

It was hot, very hot. I just kept sweating like never before, and I’ve done bikram yoga, so I know what sweating is. While I was sweating my ass off, I had to find my way to the Mt Blanc, with my own doodles.

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Every day I’ve made maps from the maps I came across in villages or cities. But now my map stopped… I couldn’t find any maps on my way, so I ended up riding on my compass. A whole day was spent just cycling south, the right direction. When the destiny is just south, there is no wrong, this was nice for a while. I just followed my compass and put my hope on signs of cities about 50 km’s away. They must be big, otherwise there is no sign.

And still it became hotter. By now I was kind of used to sweat the whole day, but when tar from the road starts to melt at 11 in the morning and it’s 44C in the sun, what is there left to do? Yes, cycling. And trying to cool off by dropping my tshirt in every fountain I could find. At least this way.I was fresh for 10 minutes.

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What you should’nt do is eat a huge hamburger with fries and then cycle uphill. It was maybe the most stupid and hard thing I did in my cycling life… The food came up, time and time again and I couldn’t drink because I was so full. Going through a medow, I couldn’t even breathe normally, it was more panting and sighing. But I survived and was not hungry untill the next morning.

This hot day was also the day when I met a guy at the trainstation who showed me a map of france. And yes, the Mt Blanc was on there! After this I decided I needed a celebration. A hostel, with a shower.

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The next day would be thunderstorms so i decided to stay and chill out. See the city, go to a metalbar and get pretty drunk with the awesome metallocals. They even paid my drinks, thanks guys!

But after fun in bars comes the hangover, especially at 8 in the morning. But nothing that a bikeride up into the start of the jura mountaims can’t fix. Now I was getting into the real moumtains. Beautifull tiny roads where 45 km/h downhill is normal. Fog, so you cant see anything around you and pine forrests to play with a tarp for the night.

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My tarp building skills where getting better, but the mapping skills I’ve learned myself in the flat or hilly country are no good in the mountains. A day will come where I would cycle 1/3 of my day around mostly uphill, to search for places on my own maps. If I would guess that would be near the Mt Blanc…

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2 thoughts on “Without-a-map: Maastricht – Mt Blanc, part 2

  1. Why don’t you just write down some road names that you need to follow + direction south / east / west? That would do in most cases I would say? Good luxk getting there and take care! Maybe cycle in the early mornings, stop at 12, rest / see the town, then continue in the evening? Cycling at the heat of the day is quite exhausting. And sunscreen man, sunscreen!

    • Yeah, this is also what i’m doing right now, but in the mountains it can be quite hard. Thé reddish is not from the sun, but from the heat… I was just really, really hot! Cycling in the morning is not so suitible for me, not such à morning person 🙂

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