Being 600 miles away from the place you normally call home makes you think! I’m sat in a hammock in pitch No:64 at Camping De Molsheim, the sun is blazing, it’s about 11:30 or 12:30, who knows. I’ve started to tell the time by counting the number of chimes the church bells make, so if I know the hour I can tell that one chime it’s 1/4 past two is 1/2 past three 1/4 to. I have lost track of the days of the week though. I wonder how many people just stop what their doing to watch the trees and leaves move in the wind, or the birds flying in the sky and the patterns they make. I can see a man outside his old beige caravan buttering bread, washing drying in the sun, I’m drinking a beer, not because I want a beer but I bought two at the last campsite and still have one, it’s heavy and I don’t want to carry it anymore. I’m sure it’ll help me sleep soon too as I’m knackered.

I bought postcards and stamps when I arrived yesterday but haven’t written them yet. I was so tired when I arrived I just setup the tent, watched the end of the film from last night. I was comfy but didn’t sleep well. The traffic noise took a while to drift into the background and then go away, my legs were still moving with the thought of pedaling, I’ve always had twitchy feet. I woke up in the middle of the night bursting for a wee but didn’t want to get up and walk to the shower block. I had an empty yop bottle outside the tent door so filled it up. I woke once more with the same dilemma so had to empty the yop bottle only to fill it again, race horse came to mind.

I woke at 07:00 ish but got up at 09:30 ish grabbed my wash bag and went for a nice long hot shower. The shower felt really good on all my aching muscles. I had two lots of Frosties for breakfast and went to tell the receptionist that I would stay another night, I needed to rest my legs when I mentioned this to the girl on reception she gave me a free voucher to the open air pool across the road. I walk around the corner to the big super market and bought pens as mine was running out, bananas and a can of Canada dry. I also had a coffee in the cafe, back at camp I moved the tent from beneath the trees and put my hammock up only to go and sit on it and end up crashing to the floor. Once reattached correctly I sat and drank my beer and lay in the sun.

I may have dozed for 20 minutes or so, the sun has moved off the pitch, just waiting for the church bells to tell me the time, 2pm. I attempted to do some washing but the machine was broke, I reported it to reception and got a refund but didn’t manage to get any washing done. I also found a map for my ongoing route, La Route Des Vins, the wine route. This route would take me from Molsheim to Thann which is close to Mulhouse, should be fun especially getting on the right track. I packed away the tent so leaving would be quicker and sorted out my clothes, so when I came across a launderette it would be easier.

It turns out that riding six hundred miles from London to Molsheim was a good idea as it’s the home to Bugatti, also there’s a party at the campsite tonight so I’ll join in. I have set my hammock up for sleeping in, so looking forward to a comfy nights sleep. The party was actually a camping style dinner consisting of Flambe, this is basically a square, extremely thin pizza base with sour cream, cheese and ham on it, cooked in a wood burning stove. I sat down with four other people who didn’t speak a word of English but we managed to enjoy ourselves using sign language, gestures and trying to speak each others language, it was fun and entertaining.

I left the get together and went to my hammock, I lay there listening to the Eagles and Gerry Rafferty before nodding off, woke around 05:00 to nip to the loo then back to snooze land. I woke at 07:00 to the sound of the church bells and lay as warm as toast in my hammock. I fell asleep again until 09:30 then hit the shower. I left the campsite at 11:00.

Molsheim  was like a scene from Dr Who, old wooden buildings, almost medieval. I went to the Bugatti foundation, it was closed Sundays, which was a good thing as my budget won’t stretch that far. I did however decide to cycle the 6 km Bugatti route to see the factory and their headquarters. The weather was overcast and threatened rain so I stopped at a Mc Donald’s for a coffee, I sat outside to keep my eye on my bike and across the road was the Bugatti headquarters. On leaving Mc Donald’s I followed the road around to Bugatti SAS the HQ gates, then I had to ride back the way I came as my route was a turning opposite the Aerospace factory, which turns out to be Bugatti’s. It seems they also make aircraft landing gear. I passed schools and colleges all named after a member of the Bugatti family.

Their house was enormous and had deer running around the ground. One thing I did notice is all the Bugatti car parks had VW and Audi card parked in them, mostly black but I didn’t see a Bugatti car anywhere.

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About John Holt

John Holt has worked in the travel industry for over 14 years and comes highly recommended by Trip Advisor for his practical and candid talks on travel destinations. Spending 18 months as a "Local Interest Specialist" for a leading tour operator John has become known as having more practical information than Google.

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