Saturday, 14 July 2007


I slept through dinner and dessert, catching the muffin snack between meals and requesting another later in the flight. After 13hrs and a birds eye views of not only the gorgeous Swiss Alps but the hills we may be racing, we had solid ground under our feet again, this time in a dirty Paris airport. With customs barely even checking our passports we hurried through only to wait 1hr for our first bag on the carousel. We all looked like shit, no exceptions.

First I met Ath, a gorgeous and energetic woman, then before noticing Tiff I met with Daryl who had failed to receive his luggage a few days prior, noted to be an experienced at airport getaways. Much confusion surrounded our exiting of the airport grounds. With the AIS 5-seater station wagon already stocked full, somehow we’re supposed to fit 8 people, 5 bikes and 200kgs of luggage into a 9-seater van?? Funnily enough it was Daryl who got stuck in the car park for over an hour; three visa cards and an attempt at cash didn’t seem please the exit gates. In the meantime Michel was illegally parked at a taxi rank to organise Ath, Kate and I a driver, none keen on the idea of a 3km job. Michel was forced to leave when the Gendarme’s started harassing Bel and Lou in the van! French men with guns…pretty intimidating…

After pleading with Michel not to leave them at the petrol station he returned for the rest of us. Daryl arrived soon after and as luggage was being packed, it unexpectedly began to pour. Everything was wet. A 4hr car drive totalled 41hrs of travel and on arriving at ‘Le Grand Plessis’ in ‘Chouze Sur Loire’ the sun was still shining and smiles beaming as we hit the road for our very first ride in France =) Our first meal in France wasn’t so good. I purchased steak, 80% fat and way overpriced. It turns out that they eat at 9pm here and meals are actually cheaper if you eat inside. Because we’re going leanios (attempting to become lean) Kate tried snails and Lou ordered what she thought was a salad but looked like cheese covered tomatoes, because it WAS cheese covered tomatoes.