Day 9 – The boat keepers’ house to somewhere south of Nantes

Waking up in an actual house, on an actual mattress, on an actual bed was actual bliss

A couple of beers + my baby bladder = many piss trips through out the night. I felt a little bad as I’m a flusher. I can’t be leaving it sit there till the morning

Heading downstairs, Bertraud was already awake. I could hear him outside shouting “SIT!!!”. It turns out Sven in a naughty puppy. He did his best to trash the place and I think he was matching me piss for piss throughout the night

I sat in the garden, had some coffees and helped out with a couple of lock openings. On on of the boats that went past there was a Scottish woman from Paisley. Out of nowhere my accent had a Scottish twang to it

After an hour or so I left him to it and set of down the canal towards Nantes. 5 miles down the road, I passed what looked like a belt on the ground. Then it moved. I slammed the brakes on to check it out. Turns out it was a little snake. To slow to get my camera out , I missed the opportunity to catch it in its full glory as it was high-tailing it into a bush

Today was HOT man. Up there in the 30’s again. Going topless was on my mind but I opted not to (NOTE:- no cyclists should ever go topless. It’s just not fair to the rest of the world. Our chests are pale and ribby. A bit like a cross between the slimy underside of a flat fish and an albino alien.)

It was only a brief trip into Nantes to steal some electricity from the train station and to buy some food and water for tomorrow. I ended up buying some headphones too as I broke mine a couple of nights ago and I was starting to irritate myself by talking to myself in an outrageous French accent (think Monty Python)

Not that I ever need an excuse because it’s one of my favourite albums of all time, but I listened to Dog Problems by The Format in Bertraud’s honour

Leaving Nantes I was pretty jacked up on caffeine and was ready to put a dent into the long journey to Bordeaux. However as I was leaving the outskirts of the city, I saw some dude roughing up some guy (he wasn’t hitting him. But he had the other guy on the floor with some other hench fella watching him, but apart from those 3 and me, there was no on else around. I carried on riding past as ultimately I didn’t want to get a kick-in myself. I had become a victim of ‘The bystander effect’. I wanted to stop it and help but I felt I couldn’t. Lots of emotions were at play and I carried on and felt shitty about not doing anything to help/stop it. It brought my mood back down and made me think for a while

I definitely got the fuck out of there as I managed a further 40 miles before camping behind a church in the woods before midnight.

I even found a good way of utilising my handlebars to hold my cookies so I could munch the whilst riding

“There is an old cat proverb. It goes ‘ it’s better to live for 1 minute as a tiger than live a lifetime as a worm”

“Yes true, but no one has ever heard of a worm skin rug”

-Cat and Rimmer from Red Dwarf talking about bravery


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