…has been the best day yet in a number of ways. The cycling was more what I was expecting, making good time and not getting wet! More rolling hills, with hills you can see the top of because the road is straight.
[written August 14th]
After writing last night I put my phone on to charge in the washroom (I left the cable for my solar charger at home!) and went to get some food next door. I went back 10 mins later to check on it, and it had gone, with just the plug adapter left in! As you can imagine my heart raced and, as tired as I was, I had to concentrate hard not to burst into tears. I went out the other way and saw a group of kids and said, ‘Avez vous regarder mon telephone? Il son charger dans the salle de bain.’ Was that vaguely correct French? Either way, they all shrugged and shook their heads, and I said, ‘C’est tres importante a me!’ They said no, but then as I walked away I heard, ‘Monsieur!’
I turned around and they said a lot, none of which I could understand. However the boy running away and the hand signals suggested that he was going to get it. I waited, thanking the children for telling the truth (I think?)
What I think happened eventually is; the boy went to his mum who went to another boys mum who made her son give it back. What a stressful 15 minutes. I then went to get my book and sat in the washroom while it charged, which I will be doing every night now.
This morning I was packed up and away quite early, and had a good ride of what I think was about 80km, although my schoolboy error came to fruition! I mentioned before how hard it can be to leave a city avoiding motorways, well I failed leaving Lux and only realised when cars started going past honking at me! I had the same trouble today getting into St. Avold. Thankfully, a bit less honking!
I had two campsites in mind, one a bit closer so I could stop if needed but I made it to Puttelange Aux Lacs. I arrived at the campsite to find that today and tomorrow is Estivales Du Lac on half of the campsite! So far it seems like a bit of a big summer fete, with a few food stands, biere tents and fairground type games. So I sit this evening by a live music stage listening to what sounds like eurovision music to me (which is a good thing!), and eating a limp Pizza. The local teenagers seem to be gradually filing in so I am sure things will hot up as I tuck myself up in my sleeping bag.
This is where I will have my day of rest, by the lake, no doubt with more eurovision in the background. I am assured it finishes at cinq heure tomorrow. My plan is to get an early start on Monday and make a rush on Strasbourg which is 90km away! I will hopefully have a hostel bed waiting- to celebrate my first week. This will also be back on target as I have missed out Metz and taken a more direct route through.
I am finding it very lonely. No doubt the fatigue, the rain and the being behind schedule doesn’t help, but I miss having people to talk through the day with. I have met people, which is always pleasant, but usually stunted by language. The Bible Delights book is truly a delight though, and a real boost each day. Today has been much better though, so hopefully I am just being fickle and weather driven!