Mon 22nd April.
Rue to Liomer.
Not an early start, but an earlier one then yesterday.
I woke up to the sound of kids playing in the concrete playground nearby. One of the kids playing ASAP Rocky’s ‘Goldie’ on repeat from his phone while they were kicking a football around. This made me smile. It felt like although I was somewhere different, it wasn’t that different at all…
The two above images where in the very small town on Rue. It had a rustic and industrial feel. It was nice cycling through it.
I entered Abbeville. My first French city and I was excited to see what it was like. I found a small petrol station, the first shop I’d found in a while. I bought some haribo coke bottles and a Magnum strawberry ice cream which I went further into the town to consume, as it stank of sewage near the petrol station.
It was a nice place with a lot of small, intimate streets, old buildings and a river. I was looking for a place to consume my ice cream and I found a street where a digger with a drill on the end of its arm was destroying the remains of a lovely old red building, clouds of red dust spewing all over the place. Quite a few locals stood around watching, hands in pockets, fingers on chins as this relic of a building was coming to an end.
I had my ice cream. It tasted like a strawberry pavlova Müller yogurt. It wasn’t that good and at €2.30, I sadly realised I wouldn’t be having many of these treats on my trip.
Again, most things seemed to be shut and I found a small Turkish kebab restaurant called ‘Istanbul’, authentic. I picked up my first good feed for a while for about a fiver. I took my parcel to the river and got to work.
I got going after a while as tonight would be the first night with a host, rather then the tent. Things were going well, I was making good time and was expecting to be in Liomer, with the host, for about 8pm. Then for no reason, the GPS just stopped working. It had power, but whenever I turned it on, it would shut down instantly. I’d like to add that this thing is about 2months old at this stage.
I started to worry, as I had been using the GPS for all navigation and felt lost without it. I stopped in a small village, looked at the signs and luckily had a few maps on the iPad that worked without Internet, so I was able to orientate myself using that, town signs and my compass.
When I got moving, it was very liberating to be navigating myself without aid from satellites. It was nerve-wracking at times, but I got to Liomer quite succinctly, with help from a few non-English speaking Frenchmen and managed to find my host, Alain’s house.
He took me in gladly and it was a HUGE relief and sense of accomplishment to find him.
His wife came home from a meeting as I arrived and we ate together, soup, then eggs, cheese and white cheese and jam (white cheese being very similar to yoghurt but better). They showed me my room and asked if I wanted to stay another night if I liked…
It was like a dream given how the day had gone.