posted by Guest blogger - Kris Goodbody | 0 Comments
After contemplating sleeping rough in Gare du Lyon, and the outlook seeming bleak, I decided on one last desperate reconnaissance mission.
Twenty full hotels later I found myself sullenly walking down a urine-soaked alleyway when I stumbled across the dimly lit, aptly named ‘Hotel Mingon’. Upon knocking, a creature more beast than man answered with genuine surprise at any custom. She quoted some worryingly low price and thus saved us from a night probably filled with unwelcome sexual advances on the Parisian streets.
The next day we left Paris for a three-day cycle to the coast. Our first encounter with the Atlantic was emotional. We found ourselves in a dense pine forest at twilight, looking for somewhere to camp and drink some well earned rum, when suddenly the ocean was just sort of… there. With no further communication we stripped down and made for the cold water, and life seemed pretty dam good.
Again we set off towards our Athens shaped holy grail, down to coast passed Hossengor, where we stayed in a children’s summer camp for a number of days, and then through to Biarritz. Here we met some great people whom we would keep encountering all the way to Barcelona. We surfed and drank too much, and then set off again on our way over the border to Sans Sebastian.
With a stomach full of wine and rum, the joy of crossing our first land border was lost due to some sick stomachs. Yet through the terrible fog, and one of the worst hangovers of myr life, some dull feeling of accomplishment did resonate. Even in the grips of ‘the fear’ I managed to look forward to the Spanish leg, which I was fairly certain was going to be the hardest challenge of my life.