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

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Day 13 - St Martin de Ré

Today is my fourth, and last, full day on the island. When I walk into this internet cafe, I don't have to ask to use the net, I just say 'Bonjour, cava?' to the guy who works here and sit at a computer. In the two bars that are affordable to drink in around the harbour, they know that I will want a 'pression' and don't bother to give me the little receipts that tell them how much I've drunk at the end of my visit. They just remember, or they trust me to remember, or perhaps they don't really care. I say hello in the street to the guy from the newsagents (where they sell the Guardian) and the woman at the campsite jokes with me, or perhaps at me, humouring my stuttering French. I like it here.

But I will not be sad to leave. Four days is enough. I'm ready to move on now, so South I will head, tomorrow, hopefully in better weather (it's cloudy and chilly today) to see what it may bring.

Incidentally, my initial comments that much of this island is like the New Forest only really applies to the first 10km, or so. The rest is mainly a sort of marshland, networked by thin tarmac cycling tracks that link the towns, and beaches, on the coasts. I cycled to the tip yesterday, in the better weather that the afternoon offered, and looked out onto the atlantic. I also cycled to the other main towns on the island and was happy to conclude that I made the right choice by staying in St Martin. They consist, as does most of the rest of the island, mainly of empty summer houses waiting for August, when the French take their (month long) holiday. I'm glad I've seen it now - quiet, relaxed, friendly - as I imagine it's a much different place in Summer, and not for the better.

As a parting shot, and because I've had (one) favourable response from my two previous experiments, here's some more YouTubing. My intention was to film my journey from campsite to town centre - a six minute walk that I planned to run in about three because I only have enough memory in my camera for three minutes. Something went wrong early on though (user-error, no doubt) and I realised half-way to town that it had stopped recording. So this is the second half of my walk to town, which was meant to be from tent to harbour, but isn't now for the reasons I've just explained. And yes, my camera-handling does need a bit of work.



  • At 5:37 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    GREAT STUFF DUDE!! good to read your blogs!
    if you ever get lonely and hoesick just remember how boring southampton is!
    see you sometime when our paths collide in europe!
    keep blogging, truckin' and cycling!
    ally xxx

  • At 5:11 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Great great stuff! Hopefully you'll avoid winter in Norway...


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