Trip Start May 22, 2009
Trip End Feb 16, 2010

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Flag of France  , Midi-Pyrénées,
Friday, October 2, 2009

Left the beauty and quiet of the canal for the hectic noise of Tolouse.  Entering in, we came with the canal along the train tracks.  I was amazed at the creativity of the graffiti everywhere.  Not just tagging, but artistic pictures.  I always wanted to include graffiti in some of my art classes, but wasn’t sure about parental reactions. 

Also saw several clusters of homeless people (not begging) but living under some bridges along the canal.   As I passed by them, I began to wonder about how life can take a turn this way.  Here were people without a set address living their lives out in the open (like us).  They had meager belongings (all we have fits in a few bags), but they were taking care of everything.  Newly washed clothes (although worn) were hanging out to dry.  Here I was with a pair of shorts that I’d washed last night drying on the back of my bike.  Strange how life can change, and things you never thought possible come true. 

Other than Paris, we haven’t been to any bigger centers in France, and nothing with our bikes.  Luckily, the canal and river paths helped us through most of the way.  That is until giant staircases blocked our way, and the river route was under construction:  route barrier, interdit au public.  We tried several times to navigate away and catch it further along in hopes that the construction would be over, but with no luck. 

Up into the land of the automobile with cars whizzing by us.  KFC’s and McDonald’s made me forget where I was.  Weaving our way along, it was town after town with no countryside in between.  No towns seemed to offer any campsites or accommodations (other than hotels).  After about 90km I was done.  We’d done so much yesterday I was starting to feel it.  So tonight, our bed is in a ditch in the middle of a cloverleaf joining several roads together.  Perhaps I have more in common with the people in Tolouse than I thought. 
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