Hot! … and Font Confused

After four trips to Paris, I have done both the tourist thing and the living with the locals thing. I love the city, but felt that fourth trip was the last I needed. This in turn prompted my trip to Italy last year. But fate – or frequent flier miles – brought me back to Paris, so I decided to get outside the city and follow my climbing passion. That means Fontainebleau.

The biggest challenge for me when I travel is to not over plan. Still, I should have done more on this one. I basically did nothing other than locate Font on a map. After meeting the Millets, I got on a train, got off in Font, missed the bus to the city, walked 15 minutes the wrong way, 15 minutes back, then 20 minutes into town. I had to go to the bathroom sooooo bad, I jumped into the first restaurant I saw. I leisurely ate bad mussels, decent fries and a very good Stella, then left, turned a corner and found all the cute, better looking restaurants. Oh well.

I found the sport store. Tried on climbing shoes – always a good idea after you’re feet are swollen with air travel and massive walking. Didn’t buy climbing shoes – much to the disappointment of the very cute French climbing boys helping me. So I bought a guide book and got some recommendations. Everything was 5K away.

I went to the bike store and rented a mountain bike, found the tourism center – which really needs to be closer to the train station and not on the opposite side of town – and got directions to the forest.

10 minutes later I’m in the woods, stumped by the mysteries of Font. The trails spin off of carrefors like spokes on a bicycle. Each one is well marked, but they intersect often and my directions didn’t give me too much detail. I guessed and followed a long, slowly inclining path, stopping frequently to push the bike up sandy sections (it had just rained) – and check my map.

The forest was beautiful, part Prescott – part 100 Acre Woods. But after 30 minutes I still hadn’t found climbable rock. I decided to cut my losses and go back to Paris for dinner. I packed everything up and raced downhill. Wow! I’d forgotten how fun mountain biking in a forest can be.

I left deciding this was my reason for coming back to France. After all, I bought that guide….


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