And so it begins

Trip Start Jul 30, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
A farm house

Flag of France  , Basse-Normandie,
Friday, July 30, 2010

The trip which had been sitting patiently in the back of my head for nearly 4 years began just after 5am when i walked out of the door at home to walk to the Godalming station, i had with me nothing but the passport in my pocket, a debit card just for the train and the ferry, and a my driving licence.
It all started quite badly as I had mistimed the amount of time it would take to get to the station so i had to run the last 5 minutes- not the start i needed, as i was now sweaty in the only pair of clothes i was going to be wearing for a while, great!

Anyway, on the train i met a chap who happened to be getting the same ferry as me, this happened to be fortunate as when we got to Portsmouth harbour we had to get a taxi to the ferry port, which David paid for (would have been another run if i had been on my own!)

Once on the ferry my new short term travel companion bet me 10 pounds that i couldn’t organise myself i hitching lift before we got to France, now i don’t want to brag but i did it before we left the harbour. I was rich 10 whole pounds- i thought at the time i may be cheating in my desire to reach France with nothing, but on the other had the 10 pounds was a toothbrush and another pair of boxershorts, so it was now 10 pounds safely in the pocket.

With my lifts Dave and Darren (the two people that allowed me to win 10 pounds) we headed off the ferry at 12:30, the journey had begun- here i was- no place to stay, knowing no-one, and knowing nowhere to go. Now at the time when i spoke to people and told them what i was doing, the common response was “you are nuts!”, and for some reason, i was always filled with a glow of confidence- and know i was feeling the same way- no where to go, nowhere to stay and i was full of confidence. This confidence though was to diminish later, as i’ll explain.

So long and the short of the hitching with Dave and Darren was we got totally lost, the sat nav took us completely the wrong way, and anyway by the time it came for us to part ways it was 7:45pm. So great situation for me standing on the side of the road in the countryside, with 10 pounds, as well as 20 euros that i had been given by my now departing company.
So i started walking, (my motto “when in doubt, find a farm!”), eventually i found a farm where fortuantly the son in law spoke English. I explained my situation- almost not believing the words as they came from my mouth, what the hell did they think of me?
Well after a little explaining they said they had a tent and i could sleep in the garden- YES SAFETY IN GENEROSITY- relief doesn’t express how i felt, a bed for a night and also food, real French food- wine and the famous Calvados (a real treat as it was only usually bought out for special guests).
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