Published: September 25th 2007September 19th 2007
I left Paris Wed September 19th in the morning and after taking a few wrong turns in the suburbs and riding for a while I got to the beautiful green forest which surrounds Fountainebleau.
About 80km south of Paris, Fountainebleau is a fine destination for Parisians escaping the big city at weekends and a mecca for boulderers from all around the world. Why am I here? It's green, it's beautiful, peaceful and there are lots of pleasant places to climb.
The boulders are not famous for no reason - they allow all different climbing styles and are located in a gorgeous forest. The sandy walks around the boulders and the routes themselves attract people of all ages. It's lovely to see young children trying their first moves on the rock. And it's great to stop and watch the more experienced climbers as they attempt several times the same problems and discuss strategies with others. The trees create a cozy atmosphere, and adding to it the pure air, the singing of the birds and the cool temperature, the Forest of Fountainebleau is a quite a magical place to be.
I was very luck to have met some lovely people bouldering here, particularly Arnaud who is a great climber and one of those hard-to-find guys everybody loves spending time with. Arnaud introduced me to his friends and took me
Crossing the bridge from Avon to Samoreau, where the camping site is located.
to climb in different places, including the amazing bridge Viaduc des Fauvettes.
I camped in Samoreau, where the Municipal site is located, a delightful area on the banks of the river Seine and close to a wonderful lake. About the people camping here I must say the French were by far the most polite and friendly; I won't disclose any information about the loud-not-so-considerate families who also happened to be there! I got on ok with my camping equipment though the temperature dropped to nearly 0 most of the nights and I had to reach for my long johns, socks, jumper plus my silver emmergency blanket! Arnaud took me to Decathlon where I bought a warmer sleeping bag, climbing boots and trekking shoes.
Riding around the area is quite pleasant; the Ile-de-France detailed map was very handy to help me find my way after taking a few wrong turns and I seem to be slowly getting better at reading road signs and fiding directions.
I've spent five days in Fountainebleau and enjoyed it immensely.
Why do I find it hard to leave Fountainebleau? Because I didn't want to leave without updating this blog,
Home for a While
The camping Municipal de Samoreau is very pleasant, on the banks of the river Seine and just a short ride to the bouldering places.
because of the nice people saying "bonjour" everywhere, the beautiful roads through the forest, my enchanted breakfast spot in front of La Seine, and because it was hard to say "au revoir" to my new friends who I wanted to climb more with.
I will be back soon. The road takes me to Dijon next, and I'd better get on the road now!
There are more photos below