Plerin.

I’m in the St Brieuc area (Plerin), right now, left the Mont St. Michel area around 10:00am. Pretty long haul and very trying. Lots of getting lost, but it’s not so bad. The worst has been attempting to enter St Brieuc – the larger highways really take over and I had a very hard time finding a local road.

I finally couldn’t, but following a sign to Brest (hey, where I’m going anyways) to a, “N” highway, the on ramp including, of all things, a bike sign, so I followed that,

and wouldn’t you know, there’s an on ramp exclusively for bicycles. This lead me onto a beautiful bridge with a view north of the bay, a castle on a hill, the neighborhoods surrounding me and a marina below. I’m on the outskirts of the town and although the 2 star hotel (probably around 40 euro) just across the street from this Unmentionable Place looks tempting, a quick Google Map check shows that the local road I was looking for all this time is about 400 meters away, so I’m taking that and crashing in the first lush field I find.

Mount St. Michel was pretty interesting, but deserves its own post. I will say that right before I went, I decided to treat myself to some food, as the donations allow me to… eat!

I found the dirtiest looking cafe on a forgotten side street which had a big sign for, ” Moules Frites – 8 Euro”, sat down and told the guy, I’d take that. He said some things I couldn’t understand (which is usual for me), so I , “oui!” my way out of it, and waited. The patrons of this place were awesome. People missing teeth, with horrible haircuts. Everyone’s a local except me and I stand straight out.

Ten minutes later this gigantic bowl of mussels and fries landed on my lap. I mean, big. French are foodies. They love food, but the portions are manageable. I’m an Eatie. I love to eat. 4? 5? 6? Dozen mussels in this bowl? So Many mussels and i was to eat them all. I wanted to take a picture – you would have never believed, but thought against such tom-foolery. Not here.

But I got sort of worried. Was this the 8 euro Moules Frites, or did I “Oui!” my way into a much larger bill?

I was really hungry and in the very immediate present, I didn’t quite care.

And, I managed to eat every single fry and every single mussel. I took every piece of bread on the table and sopped up the rest of the mussel juice. And I was beginning to get high. Mussels – shellfish get me high. I love everyone and everything and I just stumble around going, “I love you” and, “I’m high”. So,

so that was setting in.

I get the bill.

There’s the 8 euro figure on there. And then I completely freak out, as there’s some sort of other large number – to the tune of something like, 53.48.

No label – I can’t figure out what’s going on.

Did I eat my way into a problem? I had the cash, so I put 60 euros down and the guy looks at me like I’m a stupid tourist, gives me back the 50 euro note and takes the 10 euro note, only to come back with 2 euros.

That was, indeed the 8 euro Moules Frites.

And I was happy. In this state of elation that I didn’t do something stupid and high from shellfish, I strolled to Mount St. Michel.

What also was in my mind was memories of making mussels with my family. The recipe here really wasn’t so different.


ne inquitez pas

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This is my eee PC. I thought at the beginning of the trip that it would be a little silly to bring along, but it’s proved itself most useful during downtime (like now). I can now touch type with it – which is amazing and along with a mouse it’s very useful. The desktop linux distro is alright, although some apps don’t work quite like you’d hope and the machine gets a little underpowered while multitasking. But all in all it does pull its weight.


camping sauvage

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The reason I’m able to do this trip at all is that the majority of my stays are in camping sites around the country, ala, camping sauvage. In the states, you’d call this bushwhacking, I suppose.

This is just before leaving one campsite. Not the worst place to spend the night, eh?


Go.

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The French country side looks much like this: fields of wheat for however long you can see. In the distance, you’ll see a church steeple or a water tower and you’ll know you’re close to town. Towns start abruptly and end just as abruptly – sometimes only lasting a block – and then, more fields of wheat.


skatepark

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This is a very small, sad skatepark in a small town. And also very dangerous. The ramps are steel, with no paint covering, meaning, when it gets hot, these gets very hot – hot enough to burn your skin. No one skating today.

If I do get to Marsilles, I may have to find a board to ride, and fulfill a fantasy I had when I was 16 (they have an amazing skatepark in that town)


Nuclear

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I haven’t translated these signs myself, but a town I went by had some, I think anti-nuclear powered signs up. Nuclear power is used primarily in France for electricity. I couldn’t understand, a I thought nuclear plants need a major source of water to run and I wasn’t near one of those, but maybe I’m mistaken.


hyper choice

Also at the hypermarche is the cycling section, which was better stocked then some cycling-specific stores I’ve been to.

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Amongst other things are pairs of sew up tires, a rear derailer in a plastic package and some nice blinky lights. I managed to pick up a few things I still needed.


Baguettes

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Coming out of a hypermarche, which could use a entry all in itself, with a few baguettes in tow. I thought this was a cutesy thing to do, but in town, if you ride a bike, this is how you get baguettes home.


Graf Art

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This is in the middle of nowhere, but shows some of the graf art you see around here. In this one, you have your ordinary “Wild Style”, which seems always mixed in with cartoon characters. In this case, Disney’s, “Aladdin”. I’ve also seen strange purple smurfs and things like that. This piece looks like it was commissioned. It is strange, as we are in the middle of almost nowhere and it doesn’t really fit it.

A lot of the other street art I’ve seen is somewhat sad – it’ll be just somsone’s names – or even notes to other writers. Sometimes it’s on very old stone buildings where you really wish it wasn’t there. Trees seems to be a likely target for whatever reason.

Taking the train to Paris from the Airport, you do see a gigantic run-on sentence of tags, which is a spectacle in of itself, but the letters are all pretty plain and almost all of them are black outlines with white fills. In Paris, I did see things like Dunnys and vinyl toys for sale. I’m not the hugest fans of these things, but it was funny seeing them sold alongside minatures of comic book characters in comic book/video game stores.

I’m sure if I dig further, I’ll find better things. Any suggestions?