While we were cycling from Dole to Besançon, I received a telephone call and an e-mail from Sandra, the indefatigable press attaché of the University of Montreal who told me that I would be receiving a call from a journalist at France 3 (part of the national television network) who wanted to interview us. He called shortly thereafter and we agreed to meet in a little village on the way called Montferrand-le-Chateau. He told me that he would wait for me by the church, which sounded perfectly sensible since everyone knows that every French city, town and village has a church. Of course, when we arrived at Montferrand-le-Chateau, we found out that we had probably picked the only village in France that doesn't have a church, but after a quick cell phone conversation, we agreed to meet at the Gare (train station). The interview went very well, he shot some footage of us and we then stood around chatting for a couple of minutes. He asked me where I had been and I explained our route, and I told him we were just coming from Burgundy which was fabulous. He told me he was from Burgundy and he asked me what we had done there, and I told him that we had visited a wonderful vignoble called Domaine Meuneveaux. He then told me, to my utter astonishment, that Didier and Therese Meuneveaux, who we met yesterday and are in the photos I posted on my blog yesterday, are his mother and father, and that Freddy (who is pictured on my blog yesterday cleaning a barrel) is his brother. For the rest of the afternoon, I marvelled at the coincidence, and I imagine he did too.
His reportage appeared on the 7 p.m. news on Besançon which Paul, Serge and I watched together. He told me that it would be posted on the internet tomorrow and as soon as it is, I will post the link up on my blog.
Another highlight of the day was our departure from la Chaumiere. After he heard our story, the owner Joel Cesari sent us off with warm wishes and the gift of a wonderful bottle of wine from the Jura district where Dole is situate. It was a really nice gesture.
The trip from Dole to Besançon was along the banks of the Canal du Rhone and the Doub River, it was peaceful and beautiful even though the weather is not great (cold and windy - part of the sport). At lunch time we stopped in a small village and came across the "Artisan Boucher-Charcutier-Traiteur Philippe Beaulier" and enjoyed a terrific lunch of his home made charcuterie and salads, and a baquette which we bought from the local boulangerie.
Besançon is a lovely small city situated on a penisula and dominated by a huge fortress build hundreds of years ago on the cliffs behind it. Tonight we ate dinner at Osteria Enoteca Italiana, did our best to speak Italian and all had a delicious degustation des pates, plenty of carbs for tomorrow.
Ten years ago I was diagnosed with acute leukemia. I was 49 years old, with a wonderful wife and two adorable children, many fulfilling interests, and a great career, In short, a charmed life. From one day to the next, I was thrown into a battle of life and death.
Thanks to the wonders of science, the help of devoted, caring and skilled doctors and nurses, and a bone marrow transplant (from my brother) I survived. More importantly, through the experience of my illness and recovery, I have grown and flourished.
To celebrate my recovery, and all those without whom it would have been impossible, I cycled across Europe in April and May 2010, and the blog of my trip is at www.acelebrationoflife.blogspot.com.
In 2012 I published Portraits of Hope, see www.portraitsofhope.ca.
This year, to mark the 10th anniversary of my reciverywe established the Maryse and William Brock Chair in Applied Research into Stem Cell Transplantation.
Together we can beat leukemia.