Amiens, France

Sunday, August 26, 1928

The church bells woke me up about 6 and I started at 7:30. The hills were fewer today and there was much road [that was] graded but little, still the wind made every foot of the way hard. Had a puncture before going 25 miles and had to walk 3 miles almost to Montreuil before I found a garage. Being very thirsty I went into a cafe and ordered un verre de vin. The glass was about like a thimble and the wine ate my throat all the way down.

After a number of miles more, my thirst became unbearable so I stopped at a nice looking home in the country and asked for un verre d’eau. She wanted me to have de cidre, so I took it. It helped a lot even if it was plenty hard. When lunchtime came I couldn’t find a place to eat and had to ride 20 miles more before I did. I was so weak and tired I could hardly stay on the bike and my throat burned and whole body ached badly.

I stopped and lay down on a stone-pile by the road and must have fallen asleep for I was awakened by Êtes vous malade? I said Non, je suis trés fatigué and off walked the man and his wife. When I finally reached town I could only find one dirty restaurant full of yelling people. Here I was at my lowest ebb and very nearly took a train to Paris. I ordered beef and potatoes and got ham, baloney, pickles, steak, and potatoes in ¼-inch of grease. I had to drink cidre. This only made my throat worse and I could hardly swallow. The half loaf of bread didn’t help any. Leaving here in not much better condition, I bought two bunches of grapes and with these kept my throat moist to Amiens, 44k away. Got a fair room over a cafe for 12F (48¢) and went to the Carlton Hotel for some soup, potatoes and gravy, bread and 7 glasses of water. It was really worth the l6F50c (or 66¢) I paid for it.

Walked to the big Amiens Cathedral but it was closed. It is very tall, has two towers not alike, and many figures in relief over the ornamented Gothic doors. A tall, much ornamented spire stands where the four arms of the cross-shaped church meet. They are nearly 40 buttresses, all having a little tower and two weird-looking bird creatures sticking out. There are hundreds of queer caricatures over the building. Rode about 125k or 85 miles today and am 85 from Paris. The rain this afternoon was a godsend and I even licked my raincoat.

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