Day Ten: Head Winds and Uphill
May 9, 2012; Distance covered today: 82 Km; Total: 717 Km
Boy, updating my blog takes a long time. With the kind of Internet I am sometimes lucky to get at capgrounds, uploading pictures takes forever. Don’t even think about uploading movies although I have shot some. So… by the time I was ready to leave the awesome campground, it was 11:30 although now I have a pattern in packing up and unpacking my luggage. It does not take as much time as it used to. Now I know the best way to put my stuff in the panniers and balance the weight. I know what belongs to which pannier.
You might wonder what I do for food? Here it goes: First of all, I should admit that I myself am amazed at the amount of food I eat. It is so much that it takes a lot time eating. Seriously, I am not even talking about preparing the food, only eating it takes a lot of time because it is so much. Anyways, in the morning, I sometimes have quinoa with almond, walnut, raisins, and date. I make a bowl of it. In the morning, I pack two sandwiches if I have anything. For Example, this Morning, I boiled five eggs, had half of it with a baguette and packed the other half in another baguette for lunch. I love baguettes. If I don’t have anything to make sandwich with, I buy a baguette and have it with cheese for lunch. For dinner, I make pasta with some really rich sauce—canned vegetables, olives, plus the sauce I buy from stores. I make a big pot. Since I started this trip, I have had pasta almost every night. Boring? Well…the sauce is different though. Besides, if you bike all day, your mouth starts to water even to think about baguette or pasta. What’s more, for me food is a source of energy these days, nothing more. I don’t care about anything else. I make sure I have some kind of vegetable in my diet every day.
After I left the campground, I happened to be in very nice country roads through villages. I was not doing fast at all. Most of the time, the wind was fighting me. I got to Aix en Provence which is a major city. I went to the office of tourism to get a new map and direction. I got the map, but they did not give me useful direction to the road I wanted to take. So I asked a man. He was trying to be very helpful but he was actually giving me the wrong direction. He didn’t know very well himself. I saw a couple waiting and listening to my conversation with the guy. When the guy finished, and I was about to leave, the couple approached me and asked me where I was going. Then they, in English, gave me the right direction. Our conversation went beyond giving and taking direction. They pulled up the map of the area on their cell phone and showed me where I should go, they talked about Canada and the fact that they were seriously thinking about going to Canada to live. We talked about many things. I enjoyed talking to them. When departed, I was thinking, this trip is all about meeting interesting, good-hearted people. It is wonderful to talk to considerate kind people in every village/town/city I go to. I will be able to find my way using my GPS and maps, but I feel better and enjoy my trip more when I ask people for a simple reason—asking for direction, through which I get the opportunity to expand my conversation a little more and find some friends, although I will not see them again in my life. But the feeling I get after encountering these people makes my trip more enjoyable.
In the afternoon, I biked in hilly roads toward Nice. Now I am in a campground called Sarl Bouchez Plain Air Camping. The way I happen to spend the time in campgrounds is kind of interesting. I bike until 6 pm. Then, as I bike, I keep an eyes open for any campgrounds on the way. When it gets close to 7:30, then I see the possibility of bush camping. I first ask people if there is a campground nearby. Today, it passed 7:30, and the weather was cloudy so it was getting dark. I couldn’t find anyone to ask if there is a campground nearby. So I stopped at a fork and waited for a car to take the turn to stop the car and ask. It worked. I didn’t want to keep biking because where I was had a good possibility of bush camping. Had I continued, that possibility might have been lost as well. So I waited and after asking a couple of drivers, two different drivers said that there was one in the next town, so I kept going for another 15 Km, to find the campground. Then the routine: shower, laundry, dinner, blog, sleep.
|An Old House I Visited on my Way|
|My Ride in the Morning|
|The Wonderful Couple Who Gave me Direction|