Rennes, France - May 2, 2010

My apologies to Mr. Bruggeman, my high-school French teacher. Yes, I should have paid more attention in class.

I have completed a rather abbreviated tour of the British Isles because of the luggage fiasco and more recently because of the rather lousy weather. The weather has been getting increasingly worse daily since London and today was the first of the lightning and hail. Good thing I was on a layover day and not on the road. Even so, it has been a rather wet and chilly experience. So wet in fact, that last night I laid out all my money on the bed to let it dry out. The camera lens is now foggy as is the GPS display. And more rain is in the forecast.

Irish Countryside

Irish Countryside

But hey, what can one expect in April. I had a spectacular ride around the north of Scotland of course and had a wonderful family stay at a B&B in Belfast. The old guy whose home I was in was really funny and gave me a hardcover book his brother had researched and written on the death of Mozart, exploring the rumor of being poisoned by Salieri and all that. I tried to beg off on taking it as I really have no room but he explained that his brother had written it and ordered hundreds of copies and then he himself had died. (I didn't want to ask how). Now he has all these books to get rid of and would I please take one of his dead brother's books and so on. Maybe I'll get to it sometime along the way.

It rained all through Ireland and so I didn't even really take any pictures. Ireland kind of looks all distorted... or maybe that was the water on my visor and glasses. I was cleverly planning on overnighting on the ferry back to England in order to save a night's cost in lodging, but lo, there wasn't any overnight ferry. And so I had to stay overnight in Wexford, on the Irish side (not too remarkable a stay) and wound up the next night in Cardiff, Wales. I think Little Spot didn't get a signal out from between the tall buildings there. I would have really liked to spend another day as Cardiff seemed pretty fun to explore but I had already made arrangements for an overnight ferry (truly this time) to France. I just had enought time today for a quick sidetrip to Stonehenge under rather threatening skies. Very cool place, however. The weather rather suited it well

Unexplored Cardiff

Unexplored Cardiff

Desolate Stonehenge

Desolate Stonehenge

I imagine that the Spot signal that I sent from the middle of the English Channel might have been a little confusing... like maybe I should have been pressing the 911 button instead of the OK button? But I made it across with dry feet and came to Rennes and parked the bike. Only walked a block and found this wonderful place where I am now. Great city for exploring (found one of the old city gates complete with drawbridge today by accident), and the old half-timbered buildings look like they are all swaying to and fro. The lady at the front desk is quite patient with my French, even though she speaks much better English than I do French. Unfortunately, I arrived on May 1, a national holiday, and so most everything was closed yesterday, today and will be tomorrow as well.

At the Port in Plymouth

At the Port of Plymouth

Before the Invention of the Square?

Before the Invention of the Square?

Dancing to the Rhythm in Rennes

Dancing to the Rhythm in Rennes

But I'm off tomorrow (rain or shine... probably rain) to Blois and then the next day to Chartres. No real plans after that.

The bike is running well, no serious issues... only a headlight bulb failure, but I had a spare. I only suspected it because cars were flashing me as they approached. The bulb hadn't been changed since last summer at Rob's in Ontario and so I can't complain. Need to track down another for a spare though.

I have to admit to being a bit run down myself though. Diane sent some good advice about pacing oneself for an ultramarathon, just as this really is in a way. All good advice and I would be wise to take it. It seems like I have been gone forever already and I've only really started. It will take a while to move slowly into this more and more foreign lifestyle. I think traveling east is the better way to go. One is slowly extracted from their culture. I can't imagine jumping from North America to eastern Russia and working my way west. Crazy mon


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Samuel Longiaru
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