“Call zis numba, selleck buttin une aind sum one will besable to elp yu.”
“Will they speak English to assist?”
These were the instructions communicated by the young fella serving us at the time we purchased our mobile sim card on arriving into France. Sometime the data connection as been a little patchy however mostly we have had cloud connectivity.
Extremely important when hot spotting the technology and searching for a bed to lay the head when establishments WIFI isn’t secured. Mostly about wanting the little pad lock icon in the bottom right hand corner when hooking into ones network.
Our data connection is due to expire in two days time so we followed the instructions given to the inth degree.
Outcome, plan A failed so plan B – we ended up cycling 5 kms to a mall to visit a Bouygeus Telecom shop (our provider) where the shop assistant didn’t speak an once of English which dampend our customer service experience, him having no enthused interest to our pending situation. Plan C – lets speak with the receptionist at tonights accommodation place (they can usually speak a little Anglais) and try to get sorted.
We rode back the 5 kms to our starting point at the head of the harbour to compose ourselves which was more to remove the woollen prolyprops. The temperature was scrambling up the thermometre quickly this autumn day or perhaps it was the little up and down ridden out to he mall and back. Huge mall too, our start of transitioning back into rat race suburbia I guess kind of began as we count up the days left remaining in the Northern hemisphere.
To see the tide in that raised the boats off the mud flaps from yesterday was a great constrasting view. There was something about Pornic that had some pull to wish we had of stayed a little longer, a flirtatious attraction of the sorts. Nothing to do with its name either!
The La Velodyssee cycleway took us away from the coastline for most of the cycling and inland to where vast wet lands criss-cross the topography. Lots of turning right then left then right and some straight before another left. It was a smorgesboard of grasslands, inland wetlands, arable land, urbanized areas, heterogeneious (diverse in character) agricultural areas and coastal wetlands.
But, and this was a dissappointing but, the waterways we followed today were significantly polluted. The contamination, maybe hundreds of years in the evolution, was horrendous. The stench from some of them, putrid. The waterways also act as a boundary for stock, the only fences were to block crossing accessway onto the land. And some of the surface layer experienced today was banked up raw putrid shit. Plastic bottled water unfortunately, will be a forever thing here.
There was a little sweat grime riding into quite a strong head wind. Wind turbines got larger, close enough to hear their swooshing blades rotating, making the most of what we were pushing into. A little longer on the saddles today and a huge difference from the picturesque coast line, most definitely.
We arrived at out accommodation to check in. Oh dear, the receptionist didn’t speak and ounce of Anglais! We needed to now find a plan D. And that coincidently happened shortly after our arrival when Dorian rang to ask where we were and that he had an idea and did we have plans for dinner? We arranged to do another face to face catch up which was just magic. Only he was 2.5 hours away and would need to drive to us for which he did. How cool was that.
We used the time to laundry both ourselves and our clothes, sort out accommodation for tomorrow night (strong secured wifi where we were staying, awesome) and BClaire attend to some work tasks. When Dorian arrived around 7.30pm, he was able to understand the receptionist suggesting where to eat which was another township approx. 10-15 minutes drive away. Got a little lost when a ‘Deviation’ sign had us detour without any further signs as to where the hell to go, a few dejavue moments driving down the same streets in circles! The township looked closed. But here in France, they eat their dinner late and we found what we were looking for which was patroned by others. Even others came in after us to eat.
Amongst the face time yackity yack, plan D failed. No one at the other end of the phone to take our call. Plan E, be present with Dorian as we ate and chatted some more. Walking back to his van, another place was opened so we decided to have a farewell drink. It was a craft beer place with a heap of different brews. The sour beer certainly makes the face winch up!
Dorian delievered us back after some more circle driving of the township. We bid him farewell for a final time. He was really keen for us to visit his turangawaewae – his place of belonging.
A another plan hatched for another time.
(Footnote: full cudos to New Zealanders pushing the stance to clean up our polluted waterways for future generations. Have enough reasons, trust us).