Wonky Pedal: Journal Of A Brokendown Cycletourer. - Lookin For John Fairweather - CycleBlaze

March 29, 2014

Wonky Pedal: Journal Of A Brokendown Cycletourer.

The room is in a classic old hotel on the seafront with french-windows opening out onto a balcony. Outside there's the roar of traffic. On the inside Sean is busy writing a journal page. I have attended to all the domestic needs, stocking up on enough food on Saturday to see me through Sunday, knowing the supermarkets will be shut. Have washed all my cycling clothes in the wash-basin and they are now dry hanging across the railings out on the balcony.

By noon I've finished the page and need to get out as the weather is gorgeous. I walk and eventually come to a big square from where I pass down to a waterfront street of alfresco dining and cafes where I stop for an espresso costing one fifty, which isn't much as money seems to have little value here. Everything is so damn expensive. Later I stop and have a long coffee in a place doing beverages resembling Costa or Starbucks. I don't know what Is thinking; probably bored with being stuck here the weekend with my bottom-bracket bust, because together with a can of coke the bill come to six euros twenty. The coffee is lousy being near-enough all milk with little trace of coffee. Then I want to pay and leave, but can't get the waiter's attention. He ignores me more-or-less and it takes a frustrating time to settle-up and get away.

Having spent little short of ten euros which includes two for a small slice of pizza and basking much of the afternoon in the sun, I return to the hotel room at five to write another journal page which takes me up to ten o'clock. I have to stop then as I'm hungry and I set about making the now usual pasta on my Trangia. I never quite tire of pasta if it's made right. Just cooked until done and nothing more; then mix in, a good tomato sauce contenting basil, together with garlic, tomatoes and courgettes. I add a small sactual of grated cheese and eat, pouring a glass of red wine as liquid accompaniment.

Later when I've read repeatedly through the two pages I've written, correct all I see and publish, I celebrate with a can of local beer called Columba and lay down to sleep. I wake up again sometime in the night feeling terrible, as if I've drunk a whole case of beer plus a bottle of wine. I switch the light on to look at the watch and see its four o'clock. Then lay awake a long time feeling bad before getting back to sleep, Then sleeping until almost eight. A lot later than I would've wished.

It doesn't look good.
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I still feel rough in the morning, but the juice and coffee of the hotel breakfast cures my dehydration. I check out, have my bags all packed and downstairs on the bike shortly after nine. The scooter and cycle hire shop
is just next door. They have just opened up and the mechanic takes a look at the bottom-bracket, then as expected, with the woman I spoke to on Saturday translating, sends me to a proper bike shop which is not far away. When I arrive there at nine thirty the roller-shutter is still down. I first think maybe the shop doesn't open until ten, so remain waiting. But long before ten I look through the grill and see 09.00-12.00.... on the glass. So come to the conclusion they're shut all day. I just want to cry. Then remember a few years ago when Is also in France and needed a bike shop, the bike shops were closed Monday. But it still means I'm here another day. Another day too long.

I took this when I checked in for another night.
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I return to the scooter and cycle hire shop. The woman whom I'm extremely thankful to for her help, directs me to an Intersport. The man in the cycle department says yes they could change the bottom-bracket, but not today as his mechanic doesn't work Mondays. Come back in the morning. So hopefully I'll be out of here tomorrow.

I have two slices of pizza from a boulangerie. One with anchovies which I find are delicious on pizza. The cost is four thirty. Then return to the waterfront place for un café grand at two fifty, an expensive light lunch.

I have come to self diagnosis that I didn't drink enough yesterday, so intend on drinking more today. In the Spar supermarche I lift two one litre bottles of Badoit carbonated water, which should keep me hydrated.

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