We begin the day with a hard 400 meter climb out of Saint Hippolyte, but then things even out and the remaining short climbs will all be easy in comparison.
And at every turn the cows will be rooting you on, or at least lifting their head to notice your heavy breathing ! No doubt where these animals get their calories: grass grows fast in these parts !
The French themselves are much harder to spot. If it's summer, then you may catch them working in their gardens and in the spring coming out of the forests with a rabbit or even wild boar ! But these country folk seldom see tourists, so a wave in your direction is a generous acknowledgement.
You'll see lots of forests, hear the murmur of the chainsaws and ride by lumber yards. Forestry employs large numbers in this region and so do the furniture and cabinet makers living nearby.
With the exception of Charquemont (population 2,500), the towns that we pass through today will never have more than a few hundred inhabitants and so we were surprised to find a great little auberge in the town of Luisans with jacuzzi and sauna in this Jurassic hinterland. We can't wait to show it to you.