Thursday, 14 February 2008


First view this morning was of a patchwork landscape as Mark carried on towards Paris - on the outskirts of Villedomain, which is 220 kilometres from Paris ! Mark had a long day yesterday including cycling through the dark, and some surprisingly hilly terrain to pass through.

A few other bits of admin first. It's worth checking out the new photo galleries on the Artemis website. When I was blogging through New Zealand I spotted on Google Earth that Mark was passing a place called St. Andrews that had a golf course. It seems that Mark noticed it too, because he has an image of the entrance. It costs a lot less to play here than on the Old Course, but I doubt the 18th hole is quite as dramatic...Image: Mark Beaumont

According to Mark's web diary:

The BBC [are] joining up around lunch time [today] until the finishing line on Friday afternoon.

French road police are kindly going to meet Mark on the outskirts of Paris and escort him in along with the film crew. Lot of press and television interest for features and live coverage.

Keep an eye out on News 24 and BBC Scotland news. There was no mention tonight (Thursday)

Mark has passed through a series of patches of woodland, such as the Foret Domaniale de Russy, one of the remnants of the woodland that used to cover the whole area, and into the city of Blois, on the Loire (which rhymes...) - I wonder how many other place names rhyme with the river they stand on ?
Blois has a fine bridge which Mark would have crossed, and if he raised his eyes from the handlebars he would have seen the fine castle dominating the skyline, and then crossed the A10 autoroute, or L'Aquitaine, which I drove up last October coincidentally...
North of Blois, Mark carried on through a procession of small communes virtually unknown to Google ... At the village of Pontijou, I called up Google Earth and discovered that Mark was, at that point, less than 100 miles from the finish as the (French) crow flies... Another important point in the journey.
Mark continued on towards Chartres / Orleans as the light faded, with more chateaux along the route...

I will make a final post tomorrow morning when we get the first movement, and then return you to Mrs. V.

Sleep well !

Alan Parkinson
AKA "Mrs. V"

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