Brief encounters


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Day 5/6 cntd…

That was, until 4am when I was forced to leap out of my tent and make as much distance as possible before a bout of highly explosive diorrehia napalmed the entire area.
At least my system is finally working!

I woke in a sweaty mess of condensation at 8am smelling like death. I mean, seriously, even my own nostrils were fighting to avoid the overwhelming odour from my pits so I packed my tent away and headed back into Caen centre to find a public toilet, scrub up and swallow my final mouthful of pride by getting the train to Rennes, disappointed at the true realisation of my “careful” planning but excited to get onto the eurovelo1 cycle way and truly start my travels as intended – wake, skate, sleep, repeat.

With a few hours to kill before my train, I mill around the shops trying to find the cheapest bottle of ice cold water and some carbs to replace some of the lost fluids and calories from the previous nights stomach evacuation and bump into a guy I shortly after find out is called Jay. Tattooed to the hilt with every visible orifice pierced and loaded for the open road with a backpack that I could tell had seen more amazing parts of this planet than any amount of wealth could offer.
Jay is on a mission to really understand what went on is this beautiful part of the world 70yrs ago. Only in his early forties, I struggle to understand why he has dedicated his time to this cause considering it’s the 15th time he has made this expedition but that isn’t for me to question, after all, what on earth must he be thinking of my crazy story? I enjoyed his company and the comfort of a south London accent.

Making a concerted effort to avoid the hash dealers and morning drunkards hanging outside the station, I head into the air conditioning to experience my second chance meeting.
I never got the names of the small group that I met briefly but it was yet another story that demonstrated how life can split in some ways and fuse in others. Half of the group were from oz and the other from Guernsey. They met on a 30mins bus ride in Thailand several years ago and have crossed the globe several times since to reunite.

It seems the chance encounters you have when out of your normal environment are the ones you can never forget. Well, that was certainly the case here and it was lovely to witness.
They all understood my journey! Ok, so there’s not a sole on this earth that doesn’t raise an eyebrow at first but, they understood because they have already been there and dealt with their own similar experiences, albeit in other ways.

This chance meeting culminated in my third branch of generosity of the trip so far – a €10 note and an order: “get some food and enjoy it on us”. Turning down this offer would have only insulted so I will use this as a guilt free opportunity to get myself my first hot, cooked and sizeable meal in 6 days, and I cannot wait!


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