Thursday, July 7, 2011

This is Our Job!

Hunting and gathering memories, storing them away for rainy days, poorer times, and inspiring grandkids with tales of ‘our day’.

My favourite moment of the trip had been seeing Mont St Michel from the bike for the first time. Paris was an experience, but it had nothing on Beauvoir. Navigating our way out of Paris and then finally hitting the open road – this is what it’s all about! The feeling rushes back, euphoria, this is why we do it.

We pass castles, a lady loading baguettes into the boot of her car from a corner store, parked next to a field of daisies and horses. The land opens up and there are fields of sunflowers as far as the eye can see, for miles on end. This is our normal, how lucky are we?! This is bliss, the fresh air, the breeze, the heat from the sun. Horses, cows, birds. Waving to other bikes. Seeing the hanging baskets above patisseries, the lakes and ponds anchoring reeds and lilies from floating away on heatwaves.

At one point, we pass an accident. Only the second on our travels, which considering the speed and insanity of the drivers, is far fewer than we would see at home. The first we passed, was an abandoned car, the accident long over. This second one is worse. The car is fine, but the caravan lies on its side, glassless windows echoing the faces of the family that stands near by.

In front of us is a horse float and I think how horrible it would have been if it were the float that had overturned. I only worry afterwards that instead of the horse, it could have been us. The metal grates either side of the lanes worry me for a few minutes, the breeze at 130km/hour becomes a gale.

And then the fields of sunflowers open up again and the world is a better place for it. How can anyone worry about anything when they are flying past sunflowers that curve away and over the hills, faces to the sun, for miles around?

Eventually, the sunflowers give way to vineyards, and with a click of the fingers, we are in Bordeaux. At camp, the pond is filled with reeds, ducks and frogs. The frogs do not ‘ribbit’. They miaow, honestly, and we fall asleep to the sounds of frogs miaowing and reeds whispering, and there is nothing I would swap it for.

Lots of good wishes for the family with the caravan.

Penelope_nz's Bordeaux photoset Penelope_nz's Bordeaux photoset