Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Days 5 to 8

After Cousin Andrew had given much help and advice regarding the cycles, the team cycled 47.43 miles south of Plancoet accompanied by honorary team members Uncle William, and his accomplice David. It was a good ride, which left everyone tired but satisfied. The team cooled off in a picturesque river en reute, living on what has come to be their staple diet of brie, salami patè and of course le baguette. William's commitment to his farm animals only allowed him one day off, but in that time he taught the team an array of skills. Most importantly, the frequent application of talcom powder to one's sweaty derrier.

The following day, the original team members were left to fend for themselves once more, for the first time being completely without the prospect of any outside help. They cycled south for about 55 miles, through Guer, La Chapelle Gaceline, Sixt-sur-aff, and Bains-Sur-Oust, which was where the team (after recieving an impromtu round of applause from the local football team) met the infamous and locally notorious Quiche Man. He approached Team Graham Quiche in hand, but with foresight the team had already purchased their lunch. They thus refused, much to Quiche Man's distress. The team thought that this would be the end of the incident, however, when they stopped for lunch in the next village, Avessac, Quiche Man rolled up in his Quichemobile. The enraged Frenchman hurled tirades of abuse at the weary travellers, saying that their lunch was inappropriate and would give them spots. He then tried to resell the sqme Quiche, which should have depreciated in value, at a higher price. Unaffected by the Man's insulting body language, the team cycled on to Savenay, where they found a bustling Sunday Market, eating pomme frites, cake, and drinking some delicious cider. Alas, Quiche Man had been foiled, and the team heard not from him again.

The team would like to assert that this behaviour is not in keeping with the rest of their encounters with the French, who have been consistently helpful, kind and accomodating, honourably providing directions, charity, and beacoup de l'eau glacé.

Team member James unfortunately contracted some kind of stomach bug, and threw up the nice cake he had eaten, but luckily recovered fully by morning.

The next day, the team cycled 63 miles south from Savenay, finishing in the Foret de Grasla. Awakening early, the team quickly found themselves adrift and thoroughly lost on the misty morning roads of the Loire Atlantique. After recovering their sense of direction, they powered through the morning miles, fuelled primarily by Lion Bars, not stopping for breakfast until they reached Coueron, 20 miles away, where they feasted on Pain au Chocolat, Pain au Raisan, fresh peaches and the like. Then the team travelled into the city of Nantes, to fix team member Tom's dodgy bottom bracket. The urban ride was long and stressful, the roads not being accomodating to weary bicycle riders. Emerging from the urban wilderness shaken but undefeated, the team travelled on to the deserted villqge of L'Herbergement where they dazzled the locals with their intentions of cycling to the far flung land of Northern Africa, which earnt them plenty of fesh cold water for the task which lay ahead. due to the lack of camping facilities the team were forced to travel further south and ended up camping in a forest off the busy D7 highway, which turned out to be a wonderful and comfortable refuge.

They awoke in a thunderous storm, which was not their first, and were foced to put their tents away in the rain. Despite the horendous weather conditions, moral was high in the camp, once the team troopered on further south to drier land. After petit-déjuner in Chauche, the team smashed 30 miles to Luçon in a couple of hours like Agatha Christie's son in a Back to the Future cop car. What lay ahead was deserted marshland and a howling gale that the team battled through at a measly speed. The sky was slowly turning black with rage and the team, lost in the vastness of La Vondée, were quite petrified. However, the arrived in La Rochelle and finally found the campsite after chasing aimlessly after Super U signs. They made sure they were fully stocked up with cheap wine and chicken, and returned to camp to make the best meal known to man with only a single burner.

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