29-Nov-2014 -- This is the first out of 2 reports reaching confluence points in Central France.
Cycling and confluencing is my favourite combination of travel. To make it to a (to me new) confluence point and back to Zurich within a weekend, I usually get into area by train and start cycling from a train station. Slow trains do take bicycles, but they are – you won’t believe it – slow. High speed trains usually don’t allow bicycles on board. But if the bicycle is packed in a so-called TranZBag, it is considered as normal luggage and can therefore be taken along.
Friday after work at 5:30 PM I took the TGV Lyria from Zurich to Paris arriving there at 22 PM. I had to change the train station from Paris-Gare de Lyon to Paris-Austerlitz to catch the night train to Souillac. After my arrival in Souillac at 4:30 AM, I began directly cycling towards this confluence point. It was still dark, but unusually warm (ca. 17° C). It took me 5 hours to cycle to the confluence point via Martel, Puybrun, and Bretenoux. The last village before reaching the Confluence was
Camps-Saint-Mathurin-Léobazel in 2 km distance.
The confluence point is located on a meadow with open access. A little asphalted road comes as close as 80 m to the Confluence. This meant walking two minutes over swampy grass. There are some pine trees on the field and a fence is within 10 m. As so often, the ground is covered with cow pats.
Honestly: The 45th latitude is my favourite latitude line due to its specialty: it is exactly half way between the equator and the pole (precisely speaking it is not half the distance, but half the ellipsoidal angle). Since this line resembles the ‘average’ from a climate point of view, it represents the Earth more than any other latitude.
After the documentation I cycled further to the East – hitting the Massif Central.
CP Visit Details:
- Distance to the road: 80 m
- Distance of bicycle parking: 80 m
- Time to reach the CP from the road: 2 min
- Time at the CP: 9:20 AM
- Measured height: 569 m
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 0 m
- Position accuracy: 3 m
- Topography: hilly
- Vegetation: grass, pine trees
- Weather: cloudy, 17° C (felt temperature)
- Given Name: The Average Cow Pad Confluence
The story continues at 45°N 3°E.