Thoughts and tales from the saddle - on my own in Europe.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

France - Interlude

My arrival at the gite was, as Grannyspit kindly points out, greeted with a round of applause from the assembled car/van drivers and the consumption of too much lager and barbeque food. After six days on the road with a minimal diet of cereal bars, dried fruit, pasta and bread, and approximately 10 pints of water a day, very few of which ever saw daylight again, the lager and sausage onslaught was rather too much to handle. Still, I managed to get used to it again fairly quickly and spent the next five days re-acquainting myself with life ‘out of the saddle’. Half way through that week our band managed the seemingly impossible and played at the wedding, which was, after all, the whole reason we were down there. A good time, as they say, was had by all.

After five days it was, sadly, time to leave the gite. I had a week before I had to catch the return ferry from St Malo and had two options:

1. Cycle back up the same route I had taken down,
2. Get a lift up to Le Mans and spend the week in the Loire valley and make my way up to the ferry.

I chose option two and spent 7 hours in a pink van entertaining a two-year-old boy. A different kind of tiring to cycling for 7 hours, but still not un-enjoyable. The first five hours weren’t, anyway. The main reason I chose to take the lift was because it would mean this week would be more like the ‘Avoiding Europe’ trip next year. As I would be closer to the ferry, there wasn’t as much pressure on me to do so many miles a day, so I could take it a bit easier with the cycling and stop at places I liked.

We actually camped about 10 miles out of Le Mans and stayed for two nights, meaning I had a full day to kill, so I cycled into the centre of town for a look around. Being Sunday it was dead, but I enjoyed riding on an un-laden with 6 days of cycling strength in my legs. The following morning I got up early with my friends, who were hoping to leave at 9am to catch their ferry in Calais. They left at about 10am in the end, and missed the ferry, but that’s another story. I also left at about 10am and headed towards Blois, in the Loire valley.


Post a Comment

<< Home