Day 12 (I think)
Pornic – nowhere
Itching to get into the sea! I say itching in the literal sense. 5 days without a shower and doused in mozzie repellant isn’t a comfortable condition by any stretch. Icky, sticky and rotten, that morning I didn’t strive for a lay in for once but woke with a smile, looking forward to a morning skinny dip like it was Christmas firkin day! But, alas, the stocking only had an empty walnut shell and a rotten satsuma to offer. It was 30mins past sunrise and it seemed the sun was the one enjoying an extra hour in bed. Grey sky’s, greying the waters, my heart sunk, my dreams of fresh armpits shattered. I was cold! Way too cold for a cold water. Slipping about in my shoes, I shake sand, pack my tent and head back into town. Not a good start to not a good day.
That’s it! Rest day. I must find a shower and really need to get power in my devices before heading south again. I reach a cafe on the seafront and wish I had the budget for 22 espressos but carry on walking but then, oh… my… board! A waitress pops out to collect the mountains of money left on tables. A level of beauty I’ve not witnessed in way too long. She was incredible! Standing about 5ft nothing with a face I just want to stare at for at least the rest of the trip. Squinty little eyes, perfect skin, totally radiant. “Une cafe American au lait sil vous plait” rolls off my tongue with no regard to my budget. Man, I’m such a sucker for a beautiful girl. I take a carefully chosen seat in the breaking sunlight, do way to much of an excellent job of not looking at her and sip away so slowly the tip of my tongue dries out before I’ve even had a chance to swallow. For reasons unknown, I seem to have a level of confidence I’ve never possessed before. I want to talk with her, I want to introduce myself, I want to buy her dinner and stare at her awesome face but my newfound wave of confidence is quickly kicked to the curb by a whiff of green mist rising from my armpits. For fuck sake Michael what are you playing at? You don’t speak any French, she’s WAY out of your league, gotta be 10yrs your junior and, as if that wasn’t enough, you’d be approaching her whilst wearing a pair of Under Armour boxers that have been glued to your arse crack for 12 days now!! Why don’t you reconsider after you’ve travelled back in time, found the cure to make pattern baldness and had a decent wash you tramp! The coffee was good though!
30 mins later I run out of excuses to stay any longer settle the bill without showing too much anguish and skate further into town without the foggiest idea of what’s next on my blank agenda for the day. Oh, that’s it, I remember, helped by the green mist, shower and battery charges!
I find a hotel with the word “Brit” attached to it and feel a level of shame for being sucked into the advertising. No amount of over elaborated limping helps with the negotiations but an empty foyer with reasonably prices coffee and a seat next to a power source sees me settle in for 4 hrs. Enough for a single phone charge and wifi to boot. It suffices for the time being. I try to chat with the concierge in order to see if they’ll give me a room for €60 less than the €65 price tag but this isn’t even enough for them to let me into a room for a shower so I do my research and head to a campsite for the evening in search of hot water.
I skate a few km out of town to the cheapest one on the menu, dump my bags with a level of disregard I daren’t ever adopt again and head for the shower block full of joy. Which didn’t last long – cold water showers only! Please God. Don’t do this to me! With no other option I fill the room with “ow” and “ars” at volume 11 as I do some kind of tribal dance under the freezing water determined, no matter how excruciatingly painful it is, to get rid of the grime. Drying off I read a sign “please leave the shower factories as you wish to find them” and say, far too out loud, “I’m sorry, I didn’t bring a hot water source, toilet seat or any spare loo rolls with me you inhospitable fucktards!!!” Shivering my way out of the washroom I bump into the owner, smile, offer a pleasant “bonjour” and walk away ashamed of my immaculate mannerisms.
But I get a decent nights kip for once, a solid 6.5 hrs and a sub to beat all subways stretching my belly.