Day 36 Aix les Bains to Troyes

We continue to pay for having 26 straight days of cloudless skies as today was grey and foggy but no rain – we should be thankful for the small things at this point.

Before we departed in the morning, Lloyd was in his usual position greasing the chassis and adjusting the brakes – I think he has little conversations with the car while he is here – I hope the car does not reply.


Even in the fog, the scenery was just beautiful …


We got about 10 minutes of sun in the morning which was spoiled when we came upon the scene of a (hopefully) minor fender bender which involved at least one of our cars. If you look closely, that is a hole in the back of the grey car in the middle and the rear lights were broken – what a shame on the next to last day before getting to Paris.


The comment in the route book read “! Narrow bridge” – well I guess so. These arches were actually part of the supports for a stone aqueduct which ran 100 feet overhead – no telling how long ago it was built. It was a good thing the car wasn’t repainted before we came as it might not have fit.


The little towns along the way were very interesting– of course we had no time to stop which is the story of the rally. Of course if we had stopped at every interesting sight it would have taken years to get to Paris. This approach to travel, while the scenery just flies by, has one advantage to the usual guided tours – you get to see parts of these countries which you would never see otherwise – the small towns and villages on back roads are just not on any regular tours. This was the town of Ciel in case you might want to visit in the future.


This is Semur with its medieval castle complete with turrets right in the middle of town. Note also the cobblestone streets which were beautiful but not much fun to drive on. Perhaps we have reached our limits of bouncing around – actually, I think that limit was reached back in Mongolia. Seriously, the Cadillac has given us a wonderful ride under all conditions but I do feel for the folks in the older cars with much less in the line of a suspension and in many cases, no top and no heat.


I don’t even know the names of these towns but the houses and streets were so neat I just had to get a picture. The flowers down the median and up on the poles were beautiful – too bad the day was so grey as the color just got washed out in the pictures.

 

Then we came upon the numerous canals in the region – unfortunately, there seemed to be no canal traffic today. At one of the passage controls, we did meet an American woman who was just watching some of the cars check in. Apparently she, her two daughters and her husband were spending a year touring the area (her daughter was studying medieval French history) and they were traveling by barge – what a way to learn.

 

Now for some rally news. Today the one Time Trial was conducted at a real race track – Circuit de Bresse. Lloyd was within a second or two of the overall rally leaders amazing considering they are driving sports cars or specially prepared rally cars and not a 2 ½ ton Cadillac. Guess we should tank Charlie and Chuck for the fabulous job preparing the suspension. I can remember Charlie Beck saying at the time they were working on the car that if it didn’t make it the problem would not be the suspension – guess he was right.

Tomorrow we arrive in Paris – something we have not previously focused on as you have to take these events one day at a time. We understand the route into the city has been changed due to large demonstrations (they want to raise the retirement age to 62 – not a popular idea) expected where we were due to travel. There is also a gas shortage as workers are also on strike – fortunately, we have full tanks and will not have a problem but the competitors who planned to drive their cars home may well experience difficulties. Finally, the strikes are also effecting air travel but we understand as of not only domestic flights are involved – hope it stays that way.

Perhaps tomorrow I’ll be able t get more pictures.


 

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2 Responses to Day 36 Aix les Bains to Troyes

  1. Tuffy Hamblet says:

    Dear Uncle Chuck,
    It has been a great trip following you on the web! Thanks for all the great pictures and stories along the way.
    Love, Tuffy

  2. Greta stuff guys! Until you got to Italy I was impressed but not envious. Now I am envious. Did you get any shots of the track event? Many of us would like to see what the track itself was like. Hard to believe that it is almost over and that the Cadillac has such a seemingly flawless run. Good for you.

    peter

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