Friday, November 28, 2008

In the valley, no one can hear you shiver

Little was I to know that the cold weather at the pass was only to be about average for the next couple of days. Down in the valley overnight, it got seriously chilly on my willy. Fully dressed inside my sleeping bag, with gloves on. Ah ye gotta love it. Its amazing how quickly you can do things when its that cold. My special pasta and chorizo dinner I have been munching on for weeks now tastes even better, the portions I consume are also monstrous.
Every door seems to be "painted" in Barcalona

In the dark valleys I have seen some of the clearest night skys since fruit picking in Oz. Its funny that it coincides with the National Geographic coverage of night sky pollution. There is nothing better than sitting at the edge of your tent, wrapped in your sleeping bag, counting shooting stars (11 is my best) and sippin some (alot) steaming coffee. I dont care what temperature it is because this is unmissable. When its been raining or when you have had a head wind for days, you say to yourself, its not permanent, I will have my glory days too. To be honest I have not actually had a bad day so far haaa. If the wind annoyed me I would go home, if the rain got me down I wouldnt be an Irish man haaaa.

I was on my second crepe of the evening

By all accounts the climbing was supposed to be finished and that it was to be an easy roll into Barcelona, hmm clearly they have never cycled the route. You can take the valley route through a tunnel but not cyclists, discrimination. So it was to be another climb. This time the mountain was not snow covered but was however pine tree covered breathtaking. The view back towards the snow capped Pyrenees is easily the most picturesque I have ever seen. I feel having struggled up there also makes the view that much better. Anyway the road was not that steep and was filled with wonderful snaking turns giving countless "wow" moments. I bumped into two American guys, Will and Gerald, that were going snowboarding and they gave me two perfectly ripe nectarines. I saved them for the peak, free food tastes soo much better.
Yes still loving the sandals,
even though Dara was double socking it in shoes

When I see a big hill or mountain, I actually hope its in my way now. I also hope I get a good return on my investment. The last one did, 20kms climbing up and 50kms of twisting down hill, the windchill was again divine. Put in the effort and rewards are obvious. I found a nice quiet route to Barcelona but it was getting late so I ducked into the woods at a hairpin turn and slept for a solid 14 hours. My poor legs deserved it.

I am soo in touch with the simple men of the world

So another big day had arrived, I was close to the coast now and I was hoping to get a look at the Mediteranean Sea. Its amazing how much you build up these moments while you crawl across a country. Just rolling along and thinking of the moment I would see the Med made me teary eyed. Well the day was pretty much over distance wise when I came to a provincial park, delighted. I followed along the sort of path you (I) dream about, dirt covered, winding, smelling the Spainish country side. It was a sweaty ride and half way up I had to stop for a number two with the bear. Anyway that sort of gave me a second wind, I decided to see how far the trail went. On and on it went, happy as can be, it got steeper, and the camping spots got more attractive. Buckets of sweat that should only be brought on my bedroom antics.

I was hoping the trail would end just around the hill with a sea view. Finally it ended in a horrible housing estate, haaa. Stubburn me, I went looking for a street that I "knew" would lead over the hill. After much sign language I got onto one. Slight problem, Alex from Guinness Book of Records measured the angle of ascent and said it was 89 degrees and he confirmed it was impossible to climb with a fully laden bike! As I slowly crawled up I caught a glimpse of a little old granny pointing her spindly artrithic finger at my skinny legs and laughing. I have been in Spain a few days now and I can lip read pretty good, the granny was saying, "go home ye skinny celt, ye wont make it". Fuck you I shouted at the coffin dodger and stuck my straight middle finger in her direction and I powered on.

I was out of my saddle now, crushing the bar ends with my grip, handlebar creeking under the enormous pressure I was exerting. All I could think was this is just stupid, just go back and sleep in the beautiful park. Something inside spoke up, it was not my soul or my heart. It was my body, I was not actually that tired and my legs wanted more so I kept going. At one stage Alex from Guinness said "look mate you are pushing to hard, just stop and take a few minutes, its not right for a human". I told him to take a seat and enjoy the show. After what seemed like two hours but was probably ten minutes I made it up over the crest of the hill. You guys will remember the moment I did it because some of you would of felt it. You may have thought you sneezed or choked on something you were eating but no what you felt was my raw power. If you had looked towards Barcelona you might even have seen the sky was a bit brighter. I jumped off my bike knowing my spirit would take over and say something really inspirational to roar at the Med but all I could manage was a pitiful whimper of "thank god thats over". I pitched my tent and enjoyed the most panoramic view of Barcelona and watched it for hours as the sun set and the street lights came on.

Camping near a city does not get better than this

I rolled into the city centre after passing along a horrible industrial sea front which really got crushed the buz of the previous day. Booked into the cheapest hostel, free net and coffee, pure love. I always make my money back on the rent with my anihilation of the coffee. My room mate was a Swiss guy heading onto South America for a years travel, he was alergic to fat, haaa very unlucky eh. Went for a bite to eat and I destroyed a savage amount of meat at a Turkish place. The feeding had begun. The next day I met Dara and Orla at there hostel, stupidly I turned up on time, Dara is always hilariously late for everything.

Loads of time to chill

The sightseeing began, Gaudi, everywhere eh. I think he just found an abandoned tile factory somewhere and had a ton of broken tiles to get rid of. Picasso, bowls of fruit and guitars, guitars with bowls of fruit. It was super fun to be able to chat about all sorts again with friends. I really missed that, the topics got a bit extreme at times but it was only us that could understand it, hopefully haa. When I settle again somewhere I hope that you guys will visit me so I can repay the generosity, books, chocolate and a ton of everything else. It was funny to be poked and prodded all the time, especially when I was fully kitted up to leave town. I am used to how I look I suppose. I gave Dara a spin on the bike, now christened "Celona" by Orla, a guy took his picture. All the time I have spent on the bike and not a single pic, Dara stole my thunder, I was ready to fly home I was raging.

It all got a bit too mushy for me

It was a brilliant weekend that allowed to me recharge my batteries, a change in direction now. I am heading west now for Madrid and Portugal. I love the freedom of heading in any direction at any time. Sorry there are no pics the net cafe sucks, next time.
I have my doubts about these people painting these pictures

Monday, November 24, 2008

Becareful what you wish for...

It has been an amazing few days. The canal was so quiet, flat and peaceful. I am glad I met Jean Claude and Hisuk who told me about it. Defintely the easiest days ride so far and I would of loved to go all the way to the coast but my heart was set on Andorra in the mountains.

Fleecing the books

I made it to Dinier and Cecile house, only supposed to be 40kms, I of course took a wrong turn and made 65kms over the hills in pitch dark. What a night, we had a beautiful meal of duck caserole, I mean divine, plus cake for dessert, plus some mint tea. Got to wash all my clothes too, my waterproof socks still stink though haa.

Two of the most helpful and friendly people I have ever met

Their house was just about as cool as they come, up in the hills of Mazere, an old farm house. Inside was just crammed with books, CDs and Ceciles photography some of which was from Ireland so I was loving that. They are the kind of people I would love to bump into again on the road somewhere.

For my next adventure I am getting one of these

So it took another two days riding to get to the foot of the Pyrenees, wonderful valleys to cycle through. I met a young couple Juan and Fred who are just back from NZ and are looking for work in the ski resorts. I gave them a patch to try repair their uni cycle but the tube was fooked so no joy. Fred made me a delish cup of coffee and we chatted about the usual travel stuff, Fred had cycled through Estonia with a backpack celotaped to her bike because she could not afford anything better. That is the attitude I love, do what you have to do. I got about as close to the actual climb as I could and then made camp down by the river. Slept well and dreamt of all sorts of crazy scenarios of what was going to happen the next day on the climb.

The meeting of the waters!

I woke up this morning to find that it had snowed overnight, a fair old dump too. Thats when the nerves started. Everywhere covered in snow, and this is at the bottom of the climb. I am gonna be found out, I am no cyclist, I am a fake with skinny legs. I was all packed up and fed and ready to go nice and early at 7.50am, this was only the second time I have got up really early, the last being when I dropped my bike in the Welsh lake!

Dinner with a view

So began the hardest day of my journey so far. God almighty I have not been so exhausted in all my life haaa. Ah it was pretty hard but sure I am able to come into the internet cafe and right this so obviously there is still a bit left in the tank haa. It was about a 20km climb and it started off with a blue sky. Sweating away and I am thinking its hard but I didnt come here for hard, I came here for extremely hard. Well some god somewhere heard my thoughts because not fifteen minutes later the clouds closed in and the snow came and it brought its friend Mr. Wind.

It was not sugar

Haaaa it got so hard I thought I was gonna have to chicken out, I was going so slow. I could barely move the bike forward. That was when I relaised that my rear brake had clogged up with snow and frozen solid. It was one of the those thank fuck moments, so I disconnected it and the ride got a little bit easier haaa.

I wanted cold, well I got it

Eveything froze eventually, the teperature droped so fast. Water in the bottles turned almost solid ice, undrinkable. I could only use one gear, thankfully I had it in first all day haaa. It was a dream come through, it became extremely hard. I loved every freezing second, seeing the Andorra sign made me shed a tear, which quickly froze to my cheek.

Just ticking another box

That was up, down was actually another 10 degrees colder haaa. I was pumping my legs as hard as I could just to stay warm. I got around the corner into Spain and it warmed up exactly as Spain should do eh.
Hot as it gets ladies

So ends my mountain adventure. There was no way in hell I was going around it. Its easily the hardest thing I have ever done on a bike. I did not listen to a single song on the way up, I did not want any help from the Chillies or Snow Patrol. I wanted to do it alone. I read about an old school Irish climber who climbed one of the hardest mountains in France with only a ham and cheese sandwhich. So in his honour I only ate bread with fig jam today. Like Tom Sawyer would do on an adventure, you gotta add a bit of class to it haaa otherwise it aint no adventure you can be proud of.

I wanted all four seasons and I finally got the full winter, if only for a couple of days. I can not even imagine how you could face a winter in Siberia on a bike. I have been looking at the same map for weeks, finally I have made it into Spain. I absolutely loved every second of France, the people, the food, the roads. It is like I am leaving behind a part of my soul with everyone I met. BUT I did not get a single French kiss, so it was all for nothing.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

and I think to myself...

I have been spoiled rotten the last while, really struck it lucky with bumping into the right people. I think each person I meet has been ringing the next town on my route and they are trying to out do each other in a lets over feed the skinny Irish man.

They did not offer me a single fish
even with all my fishing knowledge I tried to pass on

A few days back I stopped to ask for some water, as soon as I knocked on the front door a little old granny opens the window and hands me a cup of coffee to drink. I joke not, I could barely hold the cup steady from laughing. I then rolled down around the corner to a beautiful lake in Larche and the first people I spoke to invited me up to their house to stay. It was one of those moments where the stranger says "look up the hill, see the green house", which is big and beautiful and you think they will say "well ours is the tin shed next to it" but they dont. What a house, with an amazing view of the lake and hills.

Jean Claude and Hisuk, the other guy is just so hot

Jean Claude a semi retired computer geek and Hisuk is a Korean pottery maker. We spent the night melting cheese and solving the worlds problems. Hands down the best food I have eaten in France, I took so many portions but I just could not help myself. It was one of those nights where the talking just keeps going on all sorts of topics. They have done some great trips in their time, my favourite was Jean Claudes to Ireland in the 60s on a hybrid bicycle/motorbike thing but he could not afford any petrol so it was just a heavy bicycle, love it. They gave me a jar of yummy jam and a packet of soup for the road. The gift of food while on the road is without doubt the greatest joy. Although I do wish someone would give me a fishing rod. I combined the soup with the last few spuds that Mono gave me way back in Jersey and I had me the finest lunch of all time looking down a lonely valley.

The soup and spud spot by the road

I pulled into a garden to ask for some water, I am a pro at this stage on my approach but this time I caught a woman in her kitchen off guard and fook me she screamed her heart out when caught sight of me. I mean the scream was worthy of an oscar, once she calmed down and I apologised as best I could in sign language she invited me in for some crepe. Now I may not of got any loving done in France but crepe is as close to lovin as a single hairy smelly guy is gonna get I recon. Delish, plus a single espresso to wash it down. Her daughter could speak English and we chatted for a while, she was uber hot but I could not get the Kings of Leon lyrics out of my head, 17... Haaaa

Just thought the place could do with some fresher smells

The amount of coffee I have consumed with locals has been a dream come through for me, any nation that drinks this much coffee is alright by me. I slept in a garden of the cutest old couple, Jacque and Miriam. Once I had my tent set up they invited me in for a cup of herbal tea, I am soo into the herbal stuff now, real hippy love. After we had some soup we sat by a log fire, them two wrapped up in blankets on the couch with their dogs on their laps, me on a lazy boy with my socks off and if we didnt just go ahead and watch two hours of figure skating, ah man it was epic funny. Where would ye ever find it in your wildest dreams of travel eh. It was real tense competition and any time a skater would fall we would all tut and sigh in dissapointment.

It was the cutest night of the trip

Spent a peaceful night having a wet dream about the hot girl who won haaa. The next morning they again invited me in for brekie, coffee and fig jam, made straight from the fig tree in the garden. Gee wiz its only devine, they gave me a jar for the road and a packet of high energy museli biscuits.

Bull shit

Well its been non stop for the last while and I have not really taken a day off since Jersey so I have hopped into a horrible hostel for two nights to give my poor legs a rest. They feel good but the distance has deffo given me a few niggles in my knees. The hostel is another odd ball place. The key hole for my room is just weird. First night I got back late and could not open it, reception was closed. I heard a couple talking in the room next to mine so I knocked. The guy answers and I sign that I cant get into my room. Ah god, he comes out, sweat dripping off him, he has that post sex grin and is wearing only a face cloth wrapped around his waist. He got my door opened, I thanked him and told him to "give her one for me", he did not speak English so the comment was only funny to me.

Its blurry but ye get the idea with the old Autumn leaves falling thing eh

I have really settled into the trip now, its taken a while but I do feel that it has stopped being a trip and it feels somewhat like a way of life now. I obviously cannot predict for how long this feeling will last but while I am in the zone I will soak it up.

Reminds me so much of Australia, minus the heat

I finally tracked down some English National Geographic magazines, man they spark the brain off no end. On one hand they make me wanna go back to uni and study biology and on the other they make me wanna travel non stop for every single second that I have left on this amazing planet. Thats definetly been the running thought of the week, the size of the world, the places and animals to see. I need to see everything, I need to keep the adventure going for as long as possible.

I just finished Huckleberry Finn and without a doubt
I will be building myself a raft and I will be going on a crazy Kon Tiki expedition

I am glad I have a bit of Eddie Vedder to listen to, the Into the Wild sound track does a good job at counter arguing the whole settling down thing. I read Hubert Wilkins bio while in Wellington, that is how you squeeze as much as possible into a life. Should I surround myself with books on travel and people that have great adventures that way I can justify a life of adventure? Its easy I suppose to get carried away in the moment while on the road but these thoughts have been with me for many years now.

Bloody Romans

Riding along in the hills listening to beautiful music, it does not get much better. Every single corner I turn has some thing new, some thing I have never seen before. Its the kind of goose bumps I get at a new dive site, not knowing the terrain or the animals. Never knowing what will swim by, I miss diving so much but this is easily quenching my thirst for new things.

I wanted to get the most out of my money but I think
I pushed the brake pads a bit too far

It does bug me how my brain keeps reminding me that at some stage I must settle, start working a "real" job and buy a house. Well, I suppose what I must work on is compromise, not a house but a boat will be as far as I would like to settle. Do these sort of thoughts get to you guys, am I alone on this one. I some times wonder is this one of the times I should listen to my soul and just keep going till I have been everywhere and seen it all. Would this be what I was born to do, just like some people are born to be home birds. Why is travelling the world seen as alternative?

It is actually worth defrosting the Nutella, yummy sambos

I held off posting because I had a feeling Toulouse would have some secrets to reveal. The centre is a mess of roads, foot paths and cycle paths that all seem to go in every direction. You would have to be born here to make sense of it, I simply sit and watch it all unfold. Office staff power walking to get back after lunch bumping into eachother. Homeless people with five dogs each begging for money. Everyone just seems to be so busy, meeting, kissing and bumping into each other. Ah the cafes, yep you bet I drank coffee in a just about all of them. Prices are a bit all over the place, from 3.20 to only 1.60 for a double espresso and the cheaper one with free internet computer, happy days. I finally have also found a good camping store, most of them are shit lifestyle sports ripoffs but there is a cracking one on the outskirts of Toulouse.

Coffee time, always

So I hoped onto the old metro, connected with a bus, bike free day today haa, and I was in outdoors heaven. The first girl told me I would have to wait 20 days for a spare tent pole, get a fucking grip, the shop was the most well stocked I have ever seen, next. It took a while but I eventually found a staff member that could be bothered to really help me fix the pole. He didnt have a spare one but cut another one to the right size and its a perfect fit now, he also cut a couple of extra poles for me to keep as spares, extra elastic band stuff and a connector all for free. Got a few other bits and pieces to fix gear and a maintanence kit for my stove and I am ready to rock and roll all over the place. Best of all the dude and his girlfriend invited me to stay in their house tomorrow night, its the right distance and the right direction so I am there amigo haaa.

I am probably over doing the whole stove thing
but I truly love her

I have been looking at Andorra for a long time now on my map. Jean claude and Hisuk have recomended a trip along a canal which a I will do for a day. I have a mountain range in front of me, my skinny legs are already yelling at me to take the flat canal to the coast and go around. But my soul is screaming to go to the mountains and man if you want the big views ye gotta drag your ass up a hill at some stage.

what a wonderful world...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Centre of France

Good day,

Hope everyone is feeling great today, all is dry in the land of the French. This week I made a dramatic discovery, one that will puzzle science for a century. Its a new element which I have dubbed, Heffo1. It turns out that it is stronger than Titanium and lighter than Helium. Yes I have ben powering my way over the rolling French country side and feeling strong. Its been a magic week.

Not many evenings like this left in France

I see so much road kill it gets me down a little sometimes, especially when its something I have not sen alive yet, like an owl or a wild boar or this dude!

I did not kill him but I did cry a single wet tear for him

I did not write this but I agree with them

I used to watch a ton of TV, its something I have reduced over the last while. Now in my tent I am glad I have only the view to look at. So I spend a huge chunk of my day watching the animals, especially the birds of prey. I see about 20 or 30 per day and have yet to see one get a confirmed kill but its brilliant to watch the smaller ones hover over a field and then make a dive for a mouse. This is my favourite show.

I stood alone and naked in a field and howled at this moon

My life must give me the mentality of a long distance trucker. So much time to think about things and twist things in my imagination. Luckily I have a pretty clear mind so there is not alot of room to create strange emotions. The difference between me and the truckers is that I have no bitter feelings of being under paid and over worked haa. So my thoughts are at a strange level of supreme happiness. Especially when I am whipping down a quiet country lane surrounded by golden brown trees.

Sometimes my life is hard and I have to fix things but I love tinkering

I try my hardest to steer clear of all the big cities, they are a mess to get in and out of and way too busy. If I get a good run I might only see 10 cars all day cycling. The other day I was in a beautiful medieval town for lunch. It was about as romantic as it gets, minus the hot girl of course. I was cooking up a lunch of pasta when I realised I had no sauce for it, shit, ok leave it cooking and go to the shop around the corner. Easy yeah... no, not when you are me and the streets are tiny and all look the same and you cant find your way back to your simmering pasta! Awww panic set in and all of a sudden I feel like I am in the Crystal Maze and everyone is looking down into the room shouting for me to run to the door but I am flustered now like the stupid contestants and I cant find the laneway! So I sit down on a doorway step and count to 10 and then figure it out haaa, the pasta was grand and I ate it without sauce and it was divine.

On nights like this I sit up for hours and just watch the sky

I love how destiny and faith can bring you to the mosy beautiful place in the world to camp, if a farmer say no I cant camp in their field I just move on. Its getting late and its looking likely I am gonna have to hide it out over night somewhere crap. Its then you cycle around one more corner and come across paradise. It happens so often that I dont wet myself laughing at how lucky I have been again. I just make camp and start up the old stove and make some dinner and coffee or like the last few nights I have made myself some hot chocolate with Nutella. The simple pleasure of cooking over a stove in the wild has provided me with the most delicious meals of all time.

Sit long enough and stare at the water and you finally notice its a slow flowing river

Even when it rains I am happy because then I let the rain do my dishes

Take it easy guys and remember to chill

Thursday, November 6, 2008

What is clean?

I left it really late to try and find somewhere to camp last night. I was surrounded by crop fields but I could see a small village up ahead in the misty gloom. I asked a couple of different people if they had room on the their land anywhere to camp but was politely shot down by all. I would try one more small farm before heading to the next village or sneak camp somewhere and hopefully get up earlier than the farmer.

I rolled into the farm yard, there was a light on and I could here talking, a great start. Just as I knocked on the kitchen window I caught a glimpse of an elderly farmer and his son blow drying the hair of a small dog on the kitchen table. The older farmer, Robert, came out and I tried to explain that I needed a place set up camp. Communication would be through grunts and demonstrations only. He suggested that he could move his car and that I could camp in under his garage in the yard. Delighted, I accepted. Then his son pointed to a small disused house in the yard. Robert showed me around it and I graciously accepted the offer of the upgrade in accomodation. Next he brought me into the main house and showed around a spare room. This was getting mad but of course I accepted the second upgrade and tired to explain how happy I was.

It all got a bit weird from here on as he tried to have a long conversation with me about food and my room. I got lost in his crazy tongue so I started to tell him about the time when we were kids a bunch of us went on a walk in a forrest and a bee hive fell on my friends head and we got stung all over. The he got lost in my tongue so we both shut up and he got back to cooking dinner for all of us. I sat in the sitting room with his son Unay and I just tried to soak up everything that was happening. The place stank of dog, there was a dog in a little cradle with its four new born pups. A guy walks in holding a dead wild rabbit by the ears and gives it to Robert. I say bonjour and he sits and tries to talk in French to me, I say back to him "oh ah Paul McGrath" and then he stops talking in French to me.

The walls of the sitting room where covered with shelves with a million weird objects on them. Tools, framed baby photographs, chemicals, antlers, empty chocolate sweet tins. The room had the feel of a horror movie. All the photos on the walls were from the 40s and did not even apear to be from this family, it was spooky but I just tried to stay cool. The son prepared the table while holding the dog, the father would come out from the kitchen and hand feed another dog part of the meal we were about to eat. All I could think of was germs, food poisoning and me curled up in my tent in a forrest somewhere dying from the contamintated food.

But who am I kidding, here I was panicking over some one petting a family dog while touching my food. I have no running water, I eat at bus shelters, out of one pot that badly needs to be touched with some fairy liquid. It shows how ingrained society has made me paranoid of germs, granted I could still get sick but its soo unlikely. I settled down a bit and just went with the flow and pretty soon I was playing with the dogs and munching on some bread and cheese. Robert came out of the kitchen and dramatically sharpened all our knives with a wild grin on his toothless mouth. The main course was a big pot of boiled Schuh [spelling] with four different types of sausage and chunks of ham. This was heaped onto our plastic disposable plates, the servings were clearly meant for some sort of prehistoric cave man. Dispite how it looked it was actually pretty tasty and I gobbled it up just quick enough so that the rest of the lads had finished off the pot hence denying me another 5kg portion of meat. I think Robert added the sausage bits in order to make the meal more glamorous for me.

After dinner we had cheese and more bread handed out by the son, 10 out of 10 for the cheese what ever it was. We chilled out with bloated bellies and watched the latest French DVD release which was a romcom based around a couple of Post Office workers. I could follow most of it and also what the lads thought of it as whenever the hot girl appeared on screen the tone in there voice would change to that seedy perverted accent guys do. Once the movie was over I demonstrated that I needed to sleep by placing my praying hands close to my head and faked a yawn. Robert showed me down the hall and into my storage bedroom, again as dirty as the rest of the house but it had a bed and I could use my sleeping bag to keep me elevated off the horrible diseases that would engulf my body and leave only my skinny bones by the morning.

My first night in a strangers house

I did my late night pee in the toilet next to my room, it had cob webs, fifty three dead flys and four empty toilet rolls on the window sill. I usually piss on the side of the road and poo in the woods with the bears and here I am looking down on this families toilet. I lay in my sleeping bag trying to write in my water wrinkled diary when I heard a noise at my bedroom door. It sounded like the son was leering through the keyhole and masterbating on the door. What has happened to my mind? Why was this my first thought? Especially considering that Robert had told me to make sure I kept a chair at the door otherwise the dogs would push their way in overnight. That conversation took twenty minutes yet my scared brain still thought of the worst scary movie scenario possible.

Robert gave me his business card and

very a professional send off

I had a sleepless night as the chickens in the yard were going crazy cock a doodle doing their hearts out. The night desrves detail as the Juliens were the first family to invite me to sleep in their house. What went on in my head clearly shows how nervous I was. I have a long way to go to block out the fear of coming across random serial killers. I do not take full blame for my crazy thoughts though as the house was a touch on the bizzare side. I am just glad to have this one under my belt. I do feel bad about what I thought of their house and its something I will work on over the next while. They were wonderful people and I was estatic to share a meal with them.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I got my Gay on in Paris


Well I hear there are some serious congratulations to be made. Tony winning a fancy dress competition, my sister doing well on the Gaelic football TV show, Obama winning the election and of course Dara getting on the panel for Leinster. Clearly Tonys achievements have out shone the others, I have no doubt that you spent ages on the costume, well done.

Veronic, John and Emily who fed me sooo much and let me sleep in their camper van

Well after the freezing cold first few days, France has warmed back up. I trundled along towards Versaille, picking up fresh bread everyday, I am like a little old granny who does daily shopping purely because she has nothing else to do. Its the best way to chat to locals and shop keepers, dont tell the French but sometimes I pretend I dont know where I am just so I can have a chat, especially with hotties.

Can you possibly eat too much bread? Only time will tell

On that note, what is the story with the smashing looking French women, over the top divine beauties. Even when I am at my best I would struggle to score one of these angels never mind the scruffy state I am in now haaa. Maybe I spend to much time on my bike and get over the top horny and see beauty everywhere or maybe French women are just smokin hot?

It was not actually that cold or slippy but it was extreme fun

I made it to the Palace of Versaille, eh yeah Powsercourt Gardens times a billion. Easily the most spectacular house I have ever seen. The scale of the place just made me continually laugh so I sat and made myself a delicious salami sambo. The amount of time and money that goes into creating a place like this must be epic. From here on my love of the French really started to grow, they are pretty much mad. Where they trying to out do the Pyramids of Giza? Everyone was cycling down around the lake and walking up to the palace, I of course have my bike and bags. So I cycled up getting some strange looks, like I always do. Took this shot and went over to get a close up look at the Chateau. The Gendarmarie then escorted me off the premises, not similing, not impressed with me crying with laughter that I had not seen it coming.

Not many people will have this kinda shot of the Versailles gardens haaa

My time so far has been split fairly evenly between camping in the woods and in peoples gardens/fields. It had led to some interesting conversions in the absolute most basic form of talking and sign language. Alot of the time we just give up trying to explin what we mean and just laugh. I like to laugh with complete strangers.
Dan let me camp in his garden.
He had no English so it was a funny night
watching Simpsons in French

So I fairly pumped it along into Paris to meet Geraldine. They were doing road works on the road I was on into Paris so I had two lanes completely sealed off from the traffic to myself. I put on the Kings of Leon new album and cruised about 10km on brand new road singing what I believe are the lyrics to their songs, clear blue sky and really warm haa it was the greatest day of my life.

This sex is on fire

We went out into Paris that night and met up with another guy Mathew who worked in the Porterhouse during the summer. He is a typical Frenchie, super good looking, dressed for the cat walk, scarf loosely around the neck. We had a great time going around the sights like the Notre Dame.

Mathew and Geraldine, eccentric Frenchies

The next day Geraldine was pretty busty so I just wandered in around town on my own, mastering the subway system and jumping from level to level like a Parisian. Drank loads of coffee, chilled out wathcing artists doing there thing. My first crepe in France was 80 cent so I felt safe giving the super hot girl a 2 euro coin for one in Paris, she just smiled and winked, I stood there thinking wow my beard must be getting sexy. I looked to the sign and it was 3.50 euro but she just smiled again as if to say its cool I dont give a shit, the money aint goin in my pocket so I walked off dissappointed she was not coming onto me but delighted with my cheap crepe. I love disgruntled hospo workers.

I am not sure why it was painted with a blur but it was my favourite of the Louvre

I did all the usual tourist things, Moany Lisa and Eiffel tower. I did not go up the tower as I like to live my life and not spend a quarter of it in a que. I had also seen all of Paris from the Monmartre.

See the sky is blue and life is sweet

The weather was fantastic and I walked around in a tshirt all day. It was one of the most amazing cities I have been in. I cant wait to go back one day and see if the super hot crepe girl will go on a date with me when I am clean shaven and have big strong legs, although they are at least 1mm bigger now.

Beautiful tree

I did try to get lost down the alley ways and find myself a nice quiet cafe to read in, all the cafes where busy but I loved them all. I think I drank a weeks worth of food in coffee but I dont regret it as coffee is one of the best parts of life outside the bedroom.

A work of art but not in the Louvre, in a Paris back street

So I am in Etampes today, heading straight south. I am still a bit nervous, my legs feel good, all the gear is working well but I just hope that I dont get injured or sick. I dont want this dream to end. I cant believe my life can be filled with so much excitement. I want to make it across North Africa and up to Poland for the wedding in October. I suppose I am happy that I actually made it this far but now I am greedy I want it all. So for now I take it easy on my legs, eat loads, laugh and I bop along to Xavier Rudd.

Streets like this look quaint but they are
a pain in my ass to bounce along on haaa

Thanks for all the emails and I love you all. I have changed, America will hopefully change, could this be the turning point in history for all of us?