Bordeaux, FRANCE

Trip Start Sep 16, 2006
Trip End Sep 16, 2007

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

We've successfully avoided riding through or near Paris, and meandered South through Normandie's farm fields and forests along the South West of France.

There was a lot of rain to dodge and gear to dry out, and some restless nights of camping while wild forest pigs came looking for food and investigated our campsite and bikes.

We've trucked along through some national parks which were wet and lush and beautiful, picking apples along the way, checking out the rolling hills and tiny roads and old villages... lots of crumbling old barns and estates.

We slept at an old abandoned train station in Loudun while the French men's handball association held its' all night meeting nearby and we tried to hide and not scare the old guys. South of the Normandy region, we started hitting the incredibly huge vineyards and castles of the Pointou Charentes region, and some more rains. We even stumbled onto a 'secret bicycle route' south of Parthenay, which we found while navigating by scent and compass alone - in order to avoid any large highways.

Our favorite mass feeding frenzies take place when we find a large dicount grocery outlet type of supermarket every few days, and stock up on deals! It's usually quite a spectacle of us squatting in the parking lot or grass out front, gorging on stinky cheeze and cheap cookies. Also notable- they sell deliciously cheap wines here, even available in clever little juice carton style containers for your lunch break!! yum! Our favorite supermarket so far is one called 'LE MUTANT', which is just what it sounds like.

Oh!! Only a few minor catastrophes too which is good... one involved an unskilled opening of a pressurized bottle of camping stove gas while refilling at a gas station(gas in face) and the other involved a large stick in the road which impaled lucie's front pannier and sent her toward the pavement (think knee chorizzo). Otherwise all has been smooth.

We recently rode due West toward the port town of Royan to catch a cool ferry across the Gironde estuary which was great. We had glorified dreams of catching some nightlife in the port town but there wasn' much going on but some nudist beaches... so we rode on to Bordeaux, where we are now. Big city excitement and a cheapo 'one star' motel later, we got to participate in the amazing late night carnival scene in town, which involved some quality people watching and being followed all night by a creepy old man carrying a phony walkie talkie neck radio thing which he kept whispering into while milling close to us every time he got a chance! here are some pictures from the ride from Amiens to Bordeaux, through the farms and wine fields and forests heading South. Enjoy!
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