BONJOUR!... Me Australian.

Trip Start Jul 02, 2013
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of France  , Normandy,
Wednesday, August 21, 2013

EM_TY are back on the road! Check FACEBOOK here.  

We settled back into a little London stint, mostly in order to recharge, but also because we didn't want to say goodbye to our friends or our comforts. We stayed a little longer than expected, trying to squeeze in an extra Saturday night with our friends. Our last Hooraah started with a windy but lovely cycle along the Thames, until we made our way back to the Dalston street food markets where all the cool kids were hanging, eating around a brazier with fashionable craft beers. It started innocently with a 'mother f*&%#ing holy bloody mary’ (which tasted exactlyas it sounds), progressed through to the gin bar, beers, vodkas, then onto the reds. With a little relocation at some point in the night to a squishy sweaty jazz bar we eventually stumbled home, still with intentions of getting the ferry the next night.

Obviously the next morning that idea was replaced with some sloppy food, water, panadol and a whole lot of sleep. We mustered enough energy to finalise some things with the kids (as long as it didn’t involve bending over, sending round two drunkness back) - an oil change, a few screws added and just shoved what we could in the panniers. After what felt like a marathon effort I grabbed the sports drink bottle like I had been wandering the dessert for days looking for water - only to discover Trace had put the excess engine oil in it. It glugged into my mouth with it’s peculiar taste. If my hangover didn’t make me spew, this certainly did. It was my ticket to go back to bed and hope that the following day was more of a functioning success.

The next day we packed and paced until we had nothing left to fulfil our jitters so took off at 2pm.We were still in no state to digest the enormity of the next 24 hours, let alone food, but the ride to Brighton went surprisingly fast. We turned the need to post a letter - with no envelope, pen or stamp - into a treasure hunt hoping it would kill the 4 hours we still had left. We had a fittingly (in theory only) last meal in the UK – Fish and chips by the beach and took off along the cliff road to find the ferry.

Waiting is not a sport I am good at, but waiting we did. I pushed a rock along the ground with a stick, I invented a beat on the fuel tank of the bike, I hummed the Nintendo Mario brothers tune until Tracey could not cope any longer. She turned into a hyperactive three year old way past her bed time. Finally, with the bikes locked in about 10.30pm, we went into action mode to find the best possey for an attempted few hours sleep. We found a nice little bunker room with aeroplane style seating and set up camp. Before long others started to filter in, but as they did, they frantically started pulling the seat cushions off. For a very small moment I had the urge to not miss out (?) scanning the floor to find my spot,keeping my hand on my cushion so it wasn’t stolen, but it was too late. The truckers had their shit sorted. They pulled out a sandwich, red wine, ate and laid down to bed. And so began the orchestral number titled "Many Truckers Snoring".

If my house was burning down and I could only bring one thing, I would probably grab my laptop,Tracey would grab sleep. It is her most prized possession, it rules her world and when she is stripped of this, she becomes an angry little ant (I did have something way worse written there, but she does proof read – and wishes to putit on the record she was in a ‘rather tolerable mood’ when entering a fully fledged foreign country in this manner at this hour) Add this to pulling out of a ferry at 3.30am, onto the other (wrong) side of the road, with poor visibility and not a thing in sight and no real idea where you should be going,in not nearly enough layers to be even close to warm. The coldness on the air ate through our helmets and jackets, to the point of burning us.. So we just rode in weary silence.

We rode along a motorway, turned here, went there, then all the way down a steep road, we stopped to jump up and down on the spot to thaw our fingers, toes and face, ate some chocolate and kept riding. We rode back up out of the town along a baron stretch of road where endless fields were covered in settled fog until our bodies had a life of their own convulsing from the cold. We pulled over and like soldiers, ran laps up and down the side of the road. Next, in desperation,we actually touched our exhaust pipes on and off with our gloves on – oh the warmth. Then recommenced the laps. I really wanted to just slump against the fence and whisper to the imaginary jungle warfare leader to go on without me, leave me here to die, but I just got back on the bike.

As the sun came up we had a little more hope of something in this country being open, that sold food that we could walk into and thaw - and there on the horizon like a mirage blurring into view was a service station sign. Haaaaaaaalleluiah, a blaze of sunshine broke though the clouds and guided us to croissants, coffee, fuel anda toilet. We sat giddy as the tingling came over our bodies, and then we thought….. now what? So, like good soldiers we got back to duty, we just rode and rode some more. It was like someone had turned on the lights, we could see the cute French cottages, farms and fields of rolled hay. It made a beautiful distraction while riding more and more, all the way to Lisieux where we were sent another sign from God, literally: “Camping”.

We rode into the site while most others were packing up. I think they had never seen a  motorbike or maybe a lady on a motorbike, or maybe they realised we were crazy fools having to pull in at this hour. They all watched us, their heads following our movements like a crazy freak show just came into town. And let me tell you, all they saw were two stiff lasses kick in tent pegs at rate never seen before. We set up in fast forward. In my mind I pictured Tracey doing a Jack Nicholson moment bowing with her arms spread and eyes popping out of her head, loudly spraying GOOOOOODNIIIIGHT! But she just squirreled into her sleeping bag, I joined in and we were out for the day.  
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JusTamTomMilla on

Thank you for the postcard! We told the kids you are now in the country that has lots of croissants! Safe travels x

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