Day 13 – Ligardes to Roques via Toulouse (Pyrènèes)

COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO!!!!!! Was my wake up noise this morning which I though was a bit of an old school Kellogg’s cliché. I unzipped my tent to a majestic view of a sea of (at least) 10 million sunflowers.

Across the road, an older topless man was tending to a vegetable garden. As I got out for a stretch he looked over and caught my eye. We nodded in actknowledgment of each other’s presence and exchanged Bon jours. I asked him “c’est possiblé tu rechargez void telephoneo?” (I know it’s shit French but it gets me by). He nodded and all systems were go. I munched down my watermelon and 2 pain au chocolats and set of for Toulouse.

WARNING; THIS NEXT SEGMENT CONTAINS STRONG REFRENCES OF GRAPHIC HOMOEROTIC METAPHORS. IF YOU MAY BE OFFENDED, FUCK OFF TO RUSSIA!!!!!

Soon after getting myself on my way, I quickly realised that yesterday’s feeling s of loving contentness was about to be butt fucked out of me by the big throbbing daddy dick that was the Pyrènèes. Constant bombardment of hill after hill was absolute torture on my legs and soul. With every incline, it felt peeled me harder and harder. It was hurting me bad.

Of course we’ve all heard the song ‘what goes up, must come down’ (the horns in that song are killer by the way). But the down in this instance was only brief respite before the punishment continued in the form of another 10/30mins of accendening.

This went on for about 3 hours. Big daddy Pyrènèes had dominated me and then left the room without leaving me his number (what a cunt!!!)

After about 60 miles had passed and the hills had eased up. It began to get hot once more. It was like cycling I’m a Diana with a hair dryer on in your face. The temperature of my water was no good for cooling me down. Luckily in these parts every house has 10 hoses attached and everyone is friendly enough to let you use them. I refreshed myself into a relatively happy state once again and ploughed in to Toulouse. The land scape was stunning and it has been a shame I was too busy hurting myself on the earlier gradients to pay them any attention

Toulouse was harder to get to than I had given credit. By the final stretch, I was practically at crawling pace (old men were passing me on their bikes with ease). The 1st place I saw that sold food was a Subway. I devoured a foot of sandwhich as if it was a canapè. My stomach was still aching for more. So on the back of one of John Robertsons highest recommendations, I seemed out a kebab from Toulouse. That mother fucker was bang on. It was delicious and made every other kebab I had eaten until that point look like a cheap imitation (admittedly I was fucking hungry at the time)

I went into the station to do my things and recover. A massive electrical storm had broken out and the strong winds that were gusting through the station were more than welcome.

Outside the station there were about 5/6 obvious crack heads that would take it in turns to come in and ask around for change. They would get kicked out fairly sharpish as the security in these French stations were pretty tight. However, out of the blue an older pale fella approached me and said “you’ve come along way from home”. He had caught me off guard, and with a mixture of disbelief and surprise, I asked how he knew. He pointed at my jersey which said in bold letters ‘HOLME MOSS‘. It turned out he was from Sheffield too, travelling with his wife.

I waited till the storm had eased off and then set off in the general direction of Montpellier. I didn’t get very far before the storm picked up again but this time even harder. It had ramped up to a 10 million mega watt storm that was beautiful to watch, but nigh on impossible to cycle through in the pitch black of night in the Pyrènèes.

“Have fun, but be safe with it….. Just kidding FUCK SHIT UP, cause we’re on 2 wheels baby”

-Jemima Pearl

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