Not much has gone the way we thought it would this year, so it was with great joy that my little bike tour company welcomed 5 brave Americans in Toulouse a couple of weeks ago.
That in itself was a small miracle because, although the French government has put no real restrictions on vaccinated Americans entering the country, there was a new ‘pass sanitaire’ being introduced right when our riders arrived. This ‘pass’ would theoretically get you into hotels and restaurants – both pretty essential things on a bike tour. There was a lot of chatter on the airwaves about how Americans could translate their CDC certificates into the French equivalent, but nothing official and it wasn’t clear at all whether it was really possible (it’s pretty bad when you have to rely on blogs and news articles to get information on something so important). We found a friendly pharmacist in Saint Lary Soulan and got that done for them, but it was far from a sure thing. There’s more to come on this story (because things have gotten even more Kafkaesque), but if I were the French authorities I’d be embarrassed at how useless their system is for foreigners.
But every one did make it in and we all ate together in nearly normal circumstances. More importantly, we had a tough and wonderful week of riding in the Pyrenees and it didn’t rain once! Those who’ve spent any time in the Pyrenees will no doubt not believe that last one.
Many more photos and videos on our Instagram page.