Friday, October 24, 2008
I arrived here at the worst of times (12:15) to shop or use the library or visit the Tourism Office. In France many things close up from 12:00 to 2:00 or 12:30 to 3:00. The pace here is a bit different. I've become a regular visitor of the Boulangerie (Bakery). Folks here gotta have their bread. And they are everywhere and in the mornings lines of people form. I saw a cyclist today with a long baguette strapped to his rear rack. And I've learned to say "Superemarche?", when I need water or groceries. Supermarkets here come in all sizes. Also I have learned that a library is a "bibliotheque" and a "librairie" is a news-stand. So I'm slowly catching on. By the time I figure I'll have a handle on the key French phrases I'll be crossing into Germany. I hope to post photos soon.
Posted by Mike Simmons at 6:01 AM
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I am in Aubusson as I write, taking a day off the bike, and enjoying the town center. After Argenton the terrain got quite hilly so I knew by the lack of zip in my legs I was due a day off. I would shoot for Aubusson tomorrow only 60K or so. I didn't leave Argenton until 4:15 and it was longer to Charletus-Marveliex than I had thought. I arrived at the Municipaux Camping at 9:10. Nice spot, great showers, and a good night's sleep though it did rain hard all night.
Posted by Mike Simmons at 3:22 AM
Monday, October 20, 2008
I awoke to a pleasant day though the rain cooled things off. I took it easy from the start knowing I had only 40 miles. I stopped in Ajain only 15 K into the day when the sun came out to dry out my tent in the sunshine. Once I got rolling I twice encountered brief rainstorms. It was a beautiful ride with mostly ups and downs. The last 10K was along the Creuse River. I arrived in Aubusson to the sight of a cemetery like one I had never seen before. On an extremely steep hillside was a very old traditional French graveyard (photo). I found my way to the Tourism Office where English was spoken and I got a map and directions to all points necessary. I made my way over to the Municipaux Campground and can you believe it? I began speaking with my English neighbors (John & Chris Clements) and they said they once lived in Philadelphia. I said I lived near Pittsburgh. The gentleman says he visits Greensburg on occasion. I say that's where I'm from. He says have you heard of the Tuscano Agency? Now I'm incredulous!!! Turns out my neighbors are Insurance Agents and linked to the Tuscano Agency in London. We sat and had a great conversation until late at night. Sometimes it's a really small world. Next to them were camped Keith &Rachel from England who helped me figure out the self-timer on my camera. Thanks again Keith. So now I'm at this Internet Cafe. The French people are amazingly friendly and helpful. When I stop in a village and ask directions at a confusing crossroads they take it on as a challenge to get me going the correct way. I'm loving every mile.
Posted by Mike Simmons at 3:33 AM