20 km. away from the frontier with Switzerland I look for the best place to camp and I try to remember my itinerary around this country. The view is wonderful; behind my back I have the Alps that I covered during my last days to arrive in here; in front of me a great valley that ends up in Geneva, my next stop, and around me an absolute peace only interrupted by the birds singing.
I’d like these moments lasted for ever…
A month and a half ago I left Madrid and my travel has changed for sure. The African style has been left behind: travelling with local sponsors and program the stages for several months. Here, in Europe I live day by day; my sales are enough to travel from a place to another, and that’s good because I survive and I like that.
The south of France was special, I stayed in homes of people that I met on my way. I still remember when, while I was changing a tyre of my bike in Perpignian, Nadia, a woman in her forties came close to me feeling like being heard, and in a poor English she told me about her problems. What a lot of stories!.
Finally, she invited me to her place and, as it was going to rain, I thought that it would be a good place to save the money I would spend in a hostel. The hard part was to carry my bike to the third floor through very narrow steep stairs.
After I took a bath, she prepared some food for me. She acted like my mother, although later I became her shrink. What a lot of complications! From time to time I wondered what I was doing there.
I went on meeting people on my way, as René, a french guy son of a Catalan man and his Polish girlfriend, who I met in Ibiza some weeks ago. They found me biking on a road way to Narbonne. They stopped the car, surprised by the coincidence, and right away they made contact with Alinka, the Polish woman’s daughter, so that she received me in Sigean.
Alinka was nice, and also my guide for a couple of days; she invited me to the wildlife reserve where she worked and she showed me the city.
Very nice people and René turned out to be a wonderful cook. What a paella!
I went on biking towards the north by the shore, the landscapes of vineyards and some hills were changing into beaches with clean water and white sand.
In Montpellier, I went to Eloide and Naima’s house, two girls that had given me their phone number, after I met them in the Rambla of Barcelona. I spent just one night in that house, because they went back to their home town the following morning, so I had to help them with the moving, carrying the furniture. And it was hard; from the 4th floor to the truck…
Montpellier is a city of students, there are no industries and a high level of unemployment, although it’s a tourist place because of its beauty and proximity to the shore. People have not much purchasing power, and I saw it in my sales.
Anyway, I stayed there for two days. Then I left the city with Barbara, a girl from Austria who travelled by bike, too. She was on vacation travelling around the South of France. It was funny biking with a partner.
I heard French people are unfriendly and arrogant but, in accordance with my experience in the South of France, I disagree. Although, excepting René, I only met French women.