Today we met Michel in St Mihiel…..

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Today we met Michel in St Mihiel, a Belgian guy, heading the same way outta town. After spotting him with a good-looking coffee at the campsite, we went along to reception with him where the lady had given him a coffee with his croissant, she kindly offered us one and we all had a good old laugh and chat. We set off with him. It became clear that he was the kind of tourer who had every detail of his trip meticulously planned in advance, and he was able to give us so much information about the surrounding area, it seemed he must have either lived locally at some point, or spent many a holiday there; he hadn’t! He seemed almost unnerved at our figure-it-out-as-we-go mentality. It was nice to get a different perspective on touring, and some good conversation as we climbed up to the lake. Stopping on the hill for some water, we see another loaded cyclist heading our way! It was Bas, a Dutch guy. He was the polar opposite to Michel; and as we rode on together, he explained about his technique; GPS on the handlebars with a pre-loaded map and just follow blindly the directions it gives! I loved the casualness with which he approached his tours. He told me of touring around Madagascar and Iceland. Iceland I’ve fancied for a while, after reading about Bjork’s bike-ride around it; but Madagascar was a new one; apparently with it’s 7 weather systems, you get 50km of one type of scenery and then a complete change. It sounds amazing.

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