DAY SIXTEEN… 54.5 miles (87 km)

Sitting now in the sun at what is to be a ‘rock festival’ with plenty of beer available too. A nightmare as far as sleep will be concerned. It begins at 8pm.

As it happens the lame covers band due to finish at 10.30pm went on later, but neither they, nor the couple of infants in the tent next to ours really bothered me. What did bother me was that I had offered to spend the night on the flat mattress, with the insufficient foam back up mat which Tim had bought in the monstrous sports shop, Decathlon.

Our day was a bit frustrated by route mistakes or diversions. We tried to stay on the canal round an evil chemical factory, but then discovered that this was impossible and had to completely retrace our steps. The nasty chemical company had bought up and sealed up the whole area from the public. God knows what they were doing to the environment as the canal had turned an insipid whitish brown colour.

Spent some of the time in Dole, a medieval city with layer upon layer of city walls. Louis Pasteur was born here, but finding his house was totally beyond us, despite apparently helpful signs directing us to it.

Lost in the maze of alleyways of Dole

Finding our way out of cities is very difficult. We usually get lost or disoriented and despite my best efforts we went down the side of the river, rather than the canal. The city was described as ‘Little Venice’ so perhaps my mistake can be excused.

‘Little Venice’ of Dole

The campsite is the strip of land beside the canal. There are few pitches and the facilities are fairly basic, but the proprietor is an ex-hippy looking type with a grey ponytail, very friendly and quite diligent about keeping the place clean.