Day 8 – Rennes to ‘The lock keeper’s’ house

I woke up feeling as groggy as shit. Checked the time and it was half 10 already which is a decent lay in for me these days.

Getting on the bike for the last 10 miles into Rennes was the last thing I wanted to do. I had ridden myself into the resentment of my on ruddy bike (Olivia Fox – named after a hotty I had a thing for when I was about 18)

I kept saying to myself out loud “just get yourself to Rennes and find a hostel”

No such luck

Couldn’t find one any cheaper than 40 euros and I wasn’t paying that (I am Scottish after all). So I got myself juiced up on a couple of espressos and a royale with cheese (Samuel L Jackson practically made me order it) and set off for Nantes.

Taking the canal route to save my legs from any potential hill climbs, I stopped to take a photograph of a decent looking lock

I dropped my phone and couldn’t reach it from my bike. So I got off to pick it up as some French old dude (I later learnt his name was Bertraud) was approaching me from a house next to the lock

He started speaking to me in French pointing at my tent asking how much it weighed (1.5kg if your interested). I went to my go to French patoir of “Pardon, l’englais” luckily he spoke English and we exchanged some conversation.  He told

Me he was retiring in September and was looking for somewhere in Porto to live. We were getting on quite well so I cheekily asked him if I could charge my stuff at his house for 30 minutes or so.

He was so chilled and replied with “oui, yes of course, but I ‘ave to go to ze town for 20 minutes. So until I get back, I am ze keeper of the lock and you are the keeper of the lock keepers house” then he whipped his leather jacket on and jumped on his motorbike and left me to it.

So after 20 minutes or so he returned and asked if I wanted to stay there for the night. WHAT A STROKE OF LUCK!!!

Apparently French Madame left a dog with him yesterday which he doesn’t want and is trying to rid of. I asked Bertraud what the dogs name was but he didn’t know. So I named him Sven Gorran Ericson as he was a blonde Labrador.

Bertraud made us some dinner and we chatted away sharing some beers and cigarettes (sorry mum) until it was dark. He said the only thing that was missing was a couple of girls …… And maybe one for me too.

“Life your life with passion and you will be forever a happy man”

-Bertraud Marin


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