Day 12 – Bordeaux to Ligardes (Pyrènèes)

I woke up with the regular reluctance of accepting that it was time to start the day. I could hear someone relatively close by with something that was resembling the noise of a chainsaw, which made it a lot easier for me to get my arse in gear.

Slowly winching myself into Bordeaux’s gare du Saint-Jean (somewhere I had found myself once before aged 18 after a failed camping expedition circa 2005)

As it was a train station, there was a high number of people there to greet friends, family members and loved ones from the arriving trains. Watching these guys reunite with each other, made me start to miss my own friends.

Almost as that feeling started to wash over me, I was getting a Skype call from my oldest friend in the entire world, Mr John (motherfuckin’) Robertson. We chatted for 2 hours solid and I’m sure that given the chance it could have been at least 10 more as we just agree with each other on so many levels (I could go on bumming him off, but I’ll hold back or else this could get pretty mushy, pretty fast)

The plan for the remainder of the day was to try get myself to Toulouse. Replenishing my food supplies, I was ready to attack the Pyrènèes. I had managed about 50 miles before conceding that it was simply too hot (it was almost 40C AGAIN!!!)

After a couple of hours had passed, I would cycle for as long as I could into the night, as it would be a much more forgiving climate for my aching body to ride in a cooler climate (after all I had nothing Toulouse WHEEEEEEEYYY!!)

Mentally I was in great condition. Everything I rode past had a certain beauty to it. I had the feeling of being loved up. Not with any body or any one thing in particular. I guess my heart was beginning to swell due to the feeling of contentness and freedom that not being shackled to a job or a person can give you.

As darkness descended over the undulating landscape, there were occasional flashes of lightening that would illuminate the darkness (unfortunately no big electrical cracks in the sky were captured on camera) and a light shower had broken out. Just enough to lower my body temperature to a more favourable degree (it was still about 20C)

Pushing on into the night, I have myself regular breaks every 90 mins or so to top up my caffeine and calorie levels. On one of these breaks, I watched some 4 monsuirs play French bowls for a while on a gravel patch under a well lit area. They came over once they had noticed me and we spoke a little. They were suggesting that Chris Froome was perhaps performing a little too exceptional in the tour this year and were convinced he was doping. I told them about the intention of my trip and the distance I had already covered. They then suggested I was doping too haha

I carried on until nearly 3am before desperately clambering into my tent to hastily catch some zzzzz’s

My bike is Kit and I am Hasslehoff and together we are NIGHTRIDER!!!!



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