From Paris to Bordeaux

Location: Bordeaux, France
Status: Alive and well, arms are getting quite tan.

It has been quite awhile since I have updated and quite a bit has happened. Since Paris, I have stayed in and/or passed through Orléans, Tours, Poitiers, and Angoulême. I am now in Bordeaux.

I have a lot of catching up to do and have so little time to write, so you will have to deal with summaries.


I stayed in Paris for about 6 days at my friend Fabien's flat (Thanks, Fabien!). I went and saw most of the main sights: The Louvre (though I didn't enter), the Arc d' Triumph, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, etc. I also spent a good amount of time just wandering the streets and seeing what I could see. Paris was pretty nice city, and I enjoyed being there, but it was tiring at times. Part of that was because it is a major city, so almost everything seems so busy all of the time. However, a big part of it was the number of people begging for money in the streets. Pretty much any time someone you don't know approaches you and tries to talk to you, it is because they want money. It got to the point where I didn't even want to sit down and stop to take a break from all of my walking, because everytime I did, someone would come up and beg for money. Otherwise, Paris was beautiful, and Fabien took really good care of me.

I left Paris on 9 June, first taking the metro to just south of the city, and then cycling to...


First of all, the ride to Orléans was quite interesting. I don't have a detailed map with me, so I got my directions from Google Maps before leaving, but it turned out that I was not allowed to cycle on the road I had planned to take, so I had to try to find my own way. This involved back roads, dirt roads, some trekking along a trail in the forest(!), and going through a few farmers' fields before finally finding my way to Etampes. After that, finding a road to Orléans was not too difficult and it was a long, hot afternoon of mostly flat road with a light crosswind.

I spent the weekend in Orléans at the home of my CouchSurfing hosts, Luis and his wife Chrystal (if you read this, is that spelled correctly?). They were really cool and extremely nice. They also had two very cute, if somewhat fat cats. They also had a spare bedroom, so I got to sleep in a bed! My hosts were busy on Saturday afternoon, so I was left on my own to explore Orléans, which turned out to be a really nice city. After seeing the place where Jean D'Arc died in Rouen, I got to see where she was born in Orléans. I spent the afternoon walking around and taking pictures, and then at 18:30 met back up with Louis and Chrystal. We then went out to meet some friends and have a barbecue. It was cool to hang out, but I really need to learn French. On Sunday, we relaxed most of the morning, and then went out to meet some more friends and play some football (soccer, for any people in the US reading this). I'm not good at all, but it was fun.

Anyway, Luis and Chrystal were great! Thank you so much! I left Orléans on Monday morning to head for...


Now, before I left for Tours, I had emailed several CouchSurfing hosts in the area, but had not received any replies, so I headed out with the intention of checking my email at an internet cafe when I arrived there, and if there were still no responses, I would continue through and find a place to camp outside of town on the way to Poitiers.

There were no replies. So, I cycled south of Tours, got a little lost, found a likely spot in a forest, and camped out for the evening. Unfortunately, I hadn't planned adequately, so by the time I had thought to buy food for dinner, the markets were all closed. My dinner was a Snickers bar and a Coke from a vending machine I found in front of a closed supermarket.

I slept as well as I could, woke up the next morning, cycled in the direction I thought I should be going, found the road I was looking for, and made my way to the next town, Azay Le Rideau, where I bought some breakfast and filled up my water bottles. Then, I made the long, hot way south to...


It was a long, tough ride to Poitiers. I guess I have been lazy on my travels so far, because my body was not ready for two consecutive days of cycling. I arrived in Poitiers and met up with my next host, a really cool, down to earth guy named Michel. He actually lives in the country-side a bit south of town in a really cool, large house with 4 other housemates, a puppy, and a kitten. I ended up staying there almost a week. However, there was no internet access, so I haven't been able to update.

It was a house of musicians with several guitars around, so I spent a good amount of my time relaxing and playing guitar. Everyone there and their circles of friends were all really cool and all much better musicians than I am. It was a really cool time hanging out, and I learned a couple of new songs. I arrived on Tuesday, but Michel was busy most of the time until the weekend, so I spent a lot of time hanging out with his housemates. That weekend, a few of his friends came from out of town, so we basically partied all weekend. It was a really cool time! Thank you so much, Michel!

I ended up leaving on Monday afternoon. There was a lot to take care of, and since it was a late start, one of the housemates, Damien, with whom I became pretty good friends, drove me about halfway to my next destination...


Damien dropped me off in Ruffec, and I cycled the remaining 60 kilometres or so to Angoulême, arriving in the evening. There I met my next CouchSurfing host, a really nice, sweet woman named Aude. I ended up staying 3 days there because I really liked Angoulême. The evening I arrived, Aude and I just hung out and talked at her flat, a really cool little place overlooking the rampart on the north side of the city and the surrounding country-side. The next day, she had to work most of the day, but came home for lunch. Then I spent part of the afternoon walking around Angoulême, before meeting up with her at about 18:30. Angoulême is a really pretty small city. Apparently, it is famous for comic artists, and there are amazing murals all around the city. I'll post pictures when I can.

That evening, Aude and I went out to a cafe to meet up with some of her friends, including a lovely girl named Marie who works for the same organisation as Aude (much more about that in a future post that I will dedicate solely to the organisation), and another girl named Aurélie. We sat and talked and enjoyed a couple of beers and then went out for dinner. While we were eating, two more friends joined us: Xavier and his girlfriend Chrystelle. They were quite funny, and we all sat around laughing and joking.

The next day was the first day of Summer. In France, they celebrate the coming of summer by having music festivals in just about every town in the country. In Angoulême, there was live music around just about every corner that evening. I had planned to spend the afternoon walking around taking pictures, but that didn't happen, and I ended up spending my time at the organisation where Aude and Marie work...again, more details in a future post. That evening, all of us got together again and went out to enjoy the music around town. There was everything from rock to jazz to techno to African drums. It was quite impressive, and it was cool to see so many people out enjoying a musical evening.

I had planned to leave the following day to come to Bordeaux, but Aude was nice enough to let me stay one more day so I could get out and around and see more of the city. So, I spent most of this past Thursday walking all around Angoulême taking pictures. Later in the afternoon, I checked to see if Aude was home (she wasn't, so I left a note), and then headed out to a cafe to relax and do some writing in my journal. Eventually, she joined me, and then Marie joined us. Then I cooked dinner for them. (^o^)v It wasn't the best cooking I have ever done, but it was alright. Then Xavier and Chrystelle joined us and we watched Japan lose to Brazil (*sob*...well, it IS Brazil...). Then, I said my goodbyes to everyone (they were all really nice, really cool people) and Aude and I headed home.

The next morning (yesterday), I woke up at about 06:15, said goodbye and thank you to Aude (and again, Thank you so much!), and cycled to...


I arrived yesterday afternoon at 16:30, rode around a bit, and then met with my first CouchSurfing host here, a really nice, very artistic girl named Noelie. I could only stay at her place for one night, because she is very busy. She will be moving to India soon! Last night, she went out for a little with her boyfriend while I stayed in and rested after the long day of cycling, and then when she got back, we shared a bottle of wine and hung out and talked. This morning, we went out for breakfast, and then relaxed most of the day. She had to catch a train, so we said our goodbyes and I went to my next host, a really cool guy named Philippe.

Tonight we will go out and party with a bunch of his friends. :D

I haven't really seen much of Bordeaux yet, so I will write more about it some other time.


2 件のコメント:

匿名 さんのコメント...


Glad to hear you are alive and well and enjoying yourself. We are all following your progress, and love you very much. Take care.

your sis,

匿名 さんのコメント...

Hello Alex
Nous sommes très contents que tu aies aimé Angoulême, nous attendons les photos sur ton blog...C'était vraiment une joie de te rencontrer. Nous suivons ton voyage avec beaucoup d'intérêt, nous t'écrirons sur ton adresse personnelle.

Grosses bises, bon voyage.

Marie, Christelle, Xavier, Aude.