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Silly sign - 13th August
A few miles south-west of Chinon
11th August - Rest day in La Rochelle
Woke up a couple of times during the night but mostly had a good, though short, sleep. Waking to my alarm at 8am to go the youth hostel and get a bed. No rooms available. Unbelievable. Never before have I not been able to find accomodation at a youth hostel when asking this early in the day. I decided to try the campsite again and they said maybe in the afternoon. So I went to town to have some breakfast and then an internet cafe to kill some time.
I went to the campsite in the afternoon and it turned out to be full and the one on the other side of town as well. However the girl at reception was very nice and when I asked if I could use the toilets she said I could have a shower if I wanted. After 55 miles of cycling and then sleeping on a bench, the shower was the greatest thing ever. I took my time and then left the campsite heading into town but after about 50m down the road I heard a call from behind me. The girl from reception was waving and calling to me. I went back and she said that the other campsite had spaces now. I headed off to the other campsite and claimed my spot. After setting up my tent I caught up on some sleep and then headed into town - bike free this time.
It was a leisurely 30 minute walk from campsite to town but I was happy not to be in contact with my bike for once. Town was as entertaining as the night before but the highlight was an English guy doing tricks. He spoke perfect French but with a Del Boy like accent. "C'est tres dangereux", when introducing one of his tricks, became "say tray donjurer". At the end he pretended to do sword swallowing but it was a long extendable aerial. He said, "Je suis anglais, mais je ne suis pas stupide" (or something along those lines - my french is rubbish).
12th August - La Rochelle to Pui-Hardy
Leaving La Rochelle today, though the morning has already gone and heading to Tours where Mathilde (the friend that got married a couple of weeks ago) lives. Although she happens to be moving a little further down the Loire within the next few days/weeks so not sure where I will be visiting her yet. However, should be in Tours on Sunday evening if all goes to plan.
After leaving La Rochelle had great day of cycling. I was following very quiet roads anyway but then noticed a well-made up road running alongside a canal. I cycled for about 15 miles without a single car passing me. Having had a day break I managed 55 miles in the day despite leaving well after lunch. Late on in the day, I had started looking for a convenient field or forest to camp in, when there was a signpost for a campsite a couple of kilometres further on. I arrived in a tiny village called Pui-Hardy and followed signs down a track. The campsite was completely empty. No campers, no caravan-cars, not even a receptionist. Not even a reception. There was a shower and toilet block however which had notices on it saying that to pay (4 euros) I had to go to the Town-Hall which was open from 9.30am till 11am every tuesday. It was Thursday and I wasn't waiting for a week to pay so they were going to miss out. I wandered around my campsite checking to see if I really was alone. Then I started checking every little noise in the hedges and trees to see if I was being spied on. I thought I heard a car approaching so I ran back to my tent. There was no car so I started looking in the hedges again. Maybe it was because I hadn't spoken to anyone for several days (apart from shop pleasantries) and was starting to go crazy. It was like the bit in The Beach (the film with Leonardo Di Caprio, if you've only seen the film) when the guy is told to patrol the island to stop the touristy people invading. I wasn't going to let any animals invade my campsite.
I managed to snap back into reality after a while and went to set up my tent. Now if your tent was to break, would you want it to happen in one of the biggest cities in France, La Rochelle for example, in a packed campsite where people may be able to help you out? Or would you want it to happen in a tiny village in the middle of nowhere, in an empty campsite with no one to help you? I had no choice in this. The elastic in the front pole arch had broken which is fairly essential (a picture of my tent without the front arch). Threading elastic through poles is not easy and it took me about 45 mintues to temporarily fix the pole. It worked but was pretty flimsy. I gathered my things together for a shower when I heard a car approaching. This time it definitely was a car and it circled the campsite before stopping besides my tent. A woman got out and came up to me. She had come to collect the fees. Very bizarre. She said quite a lot but I didn't understand quite a lot.
13th August - Pui-Hardy to Chinon
With an empty campsite there were no queues for the showers so I was away fairly early on my way to Chinon, the Loire and Tours. Mathilde and William had b
The Friendship Heights Bombing
After the GNR Building started complaining about frequent raider attacks, I decided to check things out. I went scavving around later that day, keeping an eye out for raiders, when I saw what I was looking for. A raider camp. I snuck my way over, and activated a stealth boy, just to be sure. There were two guards outside, and I could hear 6 voices from behind the walls. I pick pocketed the first guard, took his caps and shells, and put a live grenade in. Just to be sure. When the other guard came over to see what turned his friend into a torso and some mangled flesh that used to be his legs, I pick'd 'im too, and popped the grenade. Now the explosions attracted the other 6 raiders. One in particular must've been important, because they formed a semi-circle around him, leaving the back open. They must not think much about tactical assailants. I decided to do something with more panache than just the grenade trick, so I stood up once they passed me, pulled out one of my bottle cap mines, and tapped the leader's shoulder. He must've thought it to be one of his raiders, because he turned around, not really paying attention and said "Yeah, whaddaya wa-..." That's as far as he got, though, because I strapped the bottlecap mine to his chest, and kicked him into his crew of 5. One of them realized what happened and started to run, but that's all I saw. By then I had already ran behind a barrier when the explosive went off. The leader's lower leg landed beside me. I went to do a body count, when I noticed one was still moving. It was the guy who started running, he had only lost an arm. I picked him up onto his feet, loosely fixed up his gaping wound, and pinned a note to his chest that read "Fixed your problem.". I strapped his good arm to his body so he didn't try anything, and used a medical brace as a shoulder harness for a water bottle so he wouldn't die. I pinned a note onto his chest with a dart I had lying around and then sent him on his way to the GNR Building. Told him I'd be watching him through sniper scope from the top of the building to make sure he gets there okay. This was a complete lie, but you pretty much believe anything the guy who just blew up 5 people simultaneously says. Miraculously, he did end up making it, and the guards must've seen his condition because he was able to spread the story of "some kid who bombed the camp to shit and left without being seen". People openly talk about the "Friendship Heights Bomber" around me. They don't even know about what could end up in their pockets if they say the wrong thing about "him"...
There are three Easter eggs in this picture, a bottle cap per Easter egg for the first person to find 'em!
Focusing on the raider instead of me in this pic.
Crap picture is crap
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