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Via Francigena, Day 5/29: From Tergnier (Auberge de Villequier) to Reims

"A journey becomes a pilgrimage as we discover, day by day, that the distance traveled is less important than the experience gained.", Ernest Kurtz

In this post…

  1. Introduction
  2. The statistics and metrics of the day
  3. The most memorable occurrences, moments and thoughts
  4. Video of Lightfoot Guide Stage 17, from Tergnier (Auberge de  Villequier) to Laon
  5. Video of Lightfoot Guide Stage 18, from Laon to Corbeny
  6. Video of Lightfoot Guide Stages 19 and 20, from Corbeny to Reims
  7. Video footage recorded during a short walk in Reims’ City Centre
  8. Pictures of the day.


Post about the 4th (and 5th) day of journey, published on 10th August 2016This post complements the post I published on the 10th of August 2016 in which I described the experiences I had on the 3rd of August 2016 while riding between Tergnier and Reims, including the additional (and unnecessary, might I add) ride from the Auberge de Villequier, where I spent the night before, back to Tergnier . I am not going to repeat the content of that post in this one again, but I will try to add a few highlights for each one of the stages below. I encourage you to read the previous post before continuing on this one.

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Statistics and metrics of the day

  • Date: Wednesday, 3rd of August 2016
  • Route: From Tergnier (incl. an additional, and unnecessary 7.41 Km to the Auberge de Villequier where I spent the night) to Reims.
  • Distance: 89.65 Km
  • Departure time from Tergnier: Around 9:05h.
  • Arrival at Reims: Around 18:15h
  • Duration of day’s Journey: 9h 11min
  • Expenses this day: Total = € 54.50
  • Overnight Location: Hotel Le Monopole, +33 3 26 47 10 33
  • Type of Accommodation: Hotel
  • Lightfoot Guide Stages:
  • Physical and Body Stats: Link to the Garmin Connect Page for this ride
    • Duration: 9h 11min
    • Moving time: 5h 33min
    • Average Speed: 9.8 Km/h
    • Average Moving Speed:  16.1 Km/h
    • Max. Speed: 57.5 Km/h
    • Total Elevation Gain: 625 m
    • Average Heart Rate: 125 bpm
    • Max. Heart Rate: 164 bpm
    • Calories: 3,048 CAL
    • Number of Pedal Strokes (Cadence sensor): 17,747

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Most memorable occurrences, moments and thoughts:

  • Starting a bike ride under heavy rain is always a challenge for me. Yet, I don’t mind if it starts to rain in the middle of the ride. Go figure!
  • The extra 15 or so Kilometres I rode to and from the Village of Villequier (Auberge where I stayed that night) should be deducted from the total distance to Rome. It was an unnecessary detour
  • The translation of the word “Auberge” (hostel) has different meanings in different languages. In Spanish (Albergue) those are the most common pilgrim accommodations along the Camino de Santiago. In French they are similar to a hotel. In Portuguese (Brazil) they are usually understood as being a shelter house for the homeless.
  • Be prepared to push your bike up to the cathedral / town centre in Laon. Very steep inclines.
  • Laon’s Tourist Information office is conveniently located right besides the cathedral. You can get your pilgrim’s credentials stamped there.
  • 20160803_155420When leaving Laon, if using Google Maps to navigate, beware the App will lead you to a footpath which has very narrow restriction bars at the end. Thankfully, even with all the panniers and load on the bike, I’ve managed to get passed them by raising the bike vertically, but it wasn’t easy.
  • During a water rest at the church in  Corbeny I looked at the guide and decided to skip Hermonville and ride straight to Reims. I wanted to stay in Reims and didn’t want to arrive too late there, so I could have a chance to walk around to city to get to know it a little. I think it was a wise decision, but that was, I believe, the last time I decided to skip a stage in the guide. It wouldn’t have taken me much longer to ride to Hermonville and from there to Reims.
  • The road to Reims was quite busy and no hard shoulder to ride on. Although I did not feel unsafe, I would advise caution. I am inclined to believe the Lightfoot recommended route is probably a better option in terms of vehicle traffic.
  • P1010430Reims is a city worth spending time. The cathedral is pretty amazing, even with all the scaffolding at the time. The city centre is lively with lots of things to see. The opera house (which I called a theater in the video) has some pretty interesting colour changing lighting in addition to being a very interesting building. Reims is also the French capital of Champagne and you will find references to it in many places like in the tourist information office. You can book visitations and Champagne tasting tours to many of the local producing houses. According to Wikipedia, Champagne ages in the many caves and tunnels under Reims, which form a sort of maze below the city. Carved from chalk, some of these passages date back to Roman times. The a look at the footage I recorded during my short walk around the city centre.

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Video of Lightfoot Guide Stage 17, from Tergnier (Auberge de Villequier) to Laon

Video Length: 8 min and 40 sec
To skip introductions and recommendations jump to time stamp 0:35 in the video timeline.

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Video of Lightfoot Guide Stage 18, From Laon to Corbeny

Video Length: 5 min 29 sec

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Video of Lightfoot Guide Stages 19 and 20, From Corbeny to Reims

Video Length: 6 min 55 sec

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Video footage recorded during a short walk in Reims’ City Centre

Video Length: 4 min 15 sec

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Pictures of the day.

Click on any picture for full detail

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