Jour something or other: ...what does it matter what number day it is? It's my last day in France! SOO sad! - France on a roll -- depending on charm - CycleBlaze

July 17, 2011

Jour something or other: ...what does it matter what number day it is? It's my last day in France! SOO sad!

Oooooh, this SUCKS! Why didn't I plan to stay longer. Why, I say, WHY!? But, I'm an idiot and I didn't plan to stay longer, so off I went on the ferry for England and the way home...

It was a nice sunny day, which, on the one hand was good but on the other hand makes you wonder if the weather gods really ARE evil for making it so nice on a day that I would not be riding anyway. And then there's the question of whether they were taunting me, as if to say, "....aaaah, ha ha ha! We COULD have made it sunny for your riding but why should we. Go home, American cyclist and learn more French, and if you do, the next time you come we will give you one extra day of sunshine! AAAAAH, ha ha... Stupid American!"

On the other hand, it was nice to be able to sit out on the deck of the ferry...

I boarded the ferry at St. Malo, which is a really nice city, so I'm told, but I really just saw the hotel room, and a little bit this morning when I made my last stop at a boulanger for my last, sniff sniff sniff, pain au chocolates! Oh, the agony! I bought 3, except the woman must have thought I said 4, because she put 4 in the bag. And who knows, maybe I DID say 4 but I meant to say 3. But no matter, 4 pain au chocolates are much better than 3 in the end.

So, where was I? Oh yes, the bakery. I also got a Camembert sandwich and a baguette with raisins and stuff like that in it. All this only proves that the French can even make raisin bread and a cheese sandwich delicious, which both were I might add!

The ferry ride was 8-hours, which sounds like a lot, but I met 3 other cyclists on the boat, er, I mean ship, and we chatted and hung out on the deck and stuff. They were from England and none of us knew each other beforehand, but after 8-hours on a boat, er, I mean ship, you get to know people.

We arrived in Portsmouth around 6:00pm and I set off looking for "accommodation", as they say in England. Except, just like the last time I was here, 4 weeks ago, there was no "accommodation". So off I went to a campground, I mean a "camping" that was listed on my Garmin...

"How much are pitches," I asked the woman.
"Twenty pounds," she said.
"Twenty pounds!" I said, because that is about 4 times the amount I paid in France. "I'm on a bike. Are you kidding me?" But she wasn't. It wasn't even as nice as the campings in France. The only good part is that I could argue it was a rip off in my native language, which is always more satisfying somehow.

But in the end I stayed, by then it was close to 7pm and I didn't want to look for other "accommodation". Later at the campsite, I met another bloke who had toured in his younger days. He stays at that camping often and agreed it's a rip off.

Aside from that I could tell I wasn't in France anymore. The campground had a little restaurant/pub and I went in for a sandwich and to use their wifi. Man was it loud! In France things seemed really quiet. It wasn't just the music, but the guys at the bar. They were talking really loud, and then, out of the blue, one guy, who was totally shit-faced drunk, started singing at the top, and I mean the TOP, of his lungs! ...uuuuuuuh, okay, guy at the bar; and by the way, you look like an idiot, and sound even worse!!

Still, I made it so far and tomorrow I head north.

Oh, and by the way, the passport guy in England busted my chops a little. He asked me the normal "passport stuff" and then asked, "where will you be staying" kind of thing.
"I don't know tonight?"
"You don't know?"
"Someplace in Portsmouth, probably," and then I added, half joking, "I'm kind of a drifter."
He smiled, I could tell he was laughing a little inside, but he said, half joking and half NOT joking, "you know, if I told them in America that I was a drifter they probably wouldn't let me in."
"That's kind of how it is on a bike," I said.
"Yeah," he said and again with a little laugh, "but we like to have a more definite answer," which, I gathered meant, even if you're "drifting" on a bike, make something up to make the passport guy happy.
"Got it," I said and he smiled again.
If he had not let me in would he have sent me back to France? COOL! :-)

Anne, Graham and Duncan on the Ferry from St Malo
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The harbor at St. Malo
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The walled city of St. Malo
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Pulling away from France. See ya, France. Oh, sweet pain au chocolate how I'll miss thee...sniff sniff...
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Sailing through the harbor, though technically we were not sailing, we had some kind of powerful motor, not sails.
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Now THIS guy was sailing!
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The ferry. It was a big ol'thing, with cabins even, for night crossings. I would have preferred a night crossing, so I didn't "waste" a night, but there was none available.
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Cool. Near St. Malo.
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Outside of St. Malo
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This one's for my brother, Tom, who insisted on a cat picture, which would be a "chat" in French. It took some time but I finally got one. Cat's are a tough nut, they don't graze out in the open like other animals, they are more sneaky!
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Cool ship...
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Today's ride: 15 km (9 miles)
Total: 1,740 km (1,081 miles)

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