A nice early start and straight back onto the cycle route along the river in front of the campsite. Fairly cool to begin with but a smooth and easy ride along the picturesque Meuse, basically all day.
With plenty of time up our sleeves, after about 30 km we stopped in at the Lecocq Philip café just outside of Bogny to warm up a little. We sat in the front bar having a coffee and some hot chips, while watching the locals drop in. Everyone seemed to know everyone else in the little French café, every new entry required handshakes and double-kisses for all the other regulars and staff. A really quaint little place.
We pushed on to Charleville-Mezières which was only another 20 km from our morning tea stop. Coming into the town we crossed the river and followed around the bend on the other side towards the municipal camping ground. Missing the entrance at first we did a full loop of the campground before having to wait about 15 min for the reception to re-open at 2 pm. We set up, did some washing, and with the rest of the afternoon ahead of us wandered across the bridge into the city for some exploration.
In the town square the girls enjoyed a ride on the carousel.
After wandering the city for a little, we picked up some food for dinner and a couple of beers. After dinner the temperature dropped quickly with the setting sun and we retreated into the tent to plan the following and final days of our trip. Balancing the need to get back to the south of France when the trip was finished with the accessibility of trains and with what we thought might be the most interesting places to cycle, we decided to take the train from Charleville-Mezières to Reims so that we could experience a little Champagne cycling. This would save us over 100 km of riding on quite high-traffic roads. From Reims we would cycle to Epernay and then take a train to Paris before taking a night train back to Toulon.
To see the route, elevation profile, etc., click the link to Ride with GPS below (it should be able to be embedded but WordPress does not allow this).