Malcolm Green Blog

Day 26: 800 miles up – just 40 miles to go

Day 26, Monday 2 October

Sainte-Enimie to Cassagnas via Florac

44k (and about 1000 ft up vertically)

Feeling: Good. Last day tomorrow!

The challenge was to cycle from our house in Wimbledon to our house in France, which I estimated at about 800 miles. It turns out to be just a little further. My bike computer currently shows 1310k, which is 814 miles. From up here in Cassagnas there is about 65k to go tomorrow to Mas des Costes, providing I don’t hit any unforseen snags. Cassagnas is high in the Cevennes mountains, at an altitude of about 2800ft. Tomorrow, there’s one more short climb, and then it’s a big descent: we’ll drop more than 2000ft. before lunch.

The morning started with Michelle’s wonderful breakfast  – everything was homemade: pain de châtaignes (bread made from chestnut flour), brioche, pain au chocolat, assorted jams, yoghurt, etc. Terrific.

Then some stretching:

Stretching in front of Barbier La Jasse

Then Doug and I cycled up the rest of the Gorges du Tarn, stopping to look at the village of Castelbouc squeezed against the cliffs on the far bank of the river. Doug wanted a proper tour guide:


Then, on to Florac to meet Liz, who drove up to meet us.

Rendezvous over lunch in Florac

Liz now plays the vital role of taking our panniers in her car, to lighten our load up to Cassagnas. It made a huge difference. Only 12 miles this afternoon but up a 1000ft. We practically flew up! Doug checked our altitude from time to time:

A brief stop on the severe ascent

The Cevennes looks wonderful:

Les Cevennes

Finally, on to Les Mimentois at Cassagnas, where we were greeted by Lola:


Les Mimentois is on the Robert Louis Stevenson trail (from Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes). Several other guests are retracing Stevenson’s footsteps, walking about 250k, staying in simple accommodation such as this. Excellent supper tonight: Pistou soup; Paella (made with fish rather than chicken); fromage; tarte aux poires. Time for bed. Big day tomorrow.




10 thoughts on “Day 26: 800 miles up – just 40 miles to go

  1. Caroline H

    Well, amazing Malcolm. Wonderful to see the photo of your rendezvous with Liz. Have the best day tomorrow, will be thinking of you as you descend down towards Mas des Costes. What a fabulous trip.

  2. Liz

    Even though I have now been married to Malcolm for 28 years (!) I am still awestruck by his amazing powers of organisation. I said goodbye on a cold foggy morning in Chenenceau and 16 days later on the nail I’m meeting him exactly as planned in Florac.. Almost to the minute. The trip has been pretty well exactly as Malcolm envisioned. Which given the vagaries of weather and terrain and human endurance is truly extraordinary.

    It felt like cheating to just drive over the Cevennes when they were toiling en . velo. So I felt honour bound to climb a couple of mountains a pied.

    Will do the same tomorrow before rushing back to make sure I get that magical arrival photo.

    Am thinking maybe the Stevenson trail should be our next challenge but won’t dare to mention it for a few weeks…

  3. Tomas

    Well done Malcolm, Doug and Liz and nice video! I’m now in Budapest and living next door to the Liszt Academy! Looking forward to hearing about your final descent tomorrow :))

  4. Simon & Dnzil

    What an amazing achievement…Malcolm
    We will miss your blog ……… looking forward to the next series .

  5. Sue

    What a fabulous trip of a lifetime Malcolm. Glad to see you being joined by Liz. We love the photos. The Cevennes looks amazing. Enjoy the last 40miles descending down to your final stop. We will miss your daily blogs and all the B&B coverage.

  6. Georgiana

    Simply wonderful, big congratulations!
    What a lot you have achieved and what pleasure you, Liz et al have given us readers via your blog. Thank you so much. Have a great day tomorrow and catch it on film. Gx

  7. Julia Eilers

    Wow; how fantastic!

    The views have been wonderful and so insightful for your viewers

    We want you to do a similar trip every year now Malcolm!!

    Many many congratulations

    Julia, Anthony and Elizabeth xxx

  8. Mike Clark

    Many many congratulations……an amazing feat! So impressive….will be at Mas des Costes to wave flag etc!