Europe End-to-End 2010
Day Eighteen - Saturday 21st August
Orleans to Bidart, both France
Took three attempts to find my way out of the industrial estate, cracked it at last by riding through the DHL truck compound, the security guy at out gate just waved as I went out. Out on the main road by 0730 hrs, traffic manic right from the start and temperature was up in the mid 30’ies by mid morning. The traffic tail backs were frequent (probably about 20 times) and big but I pushed as hard as possible, any tarmac surface was fair, in total I must have done a good 20 mls on hard shoulders then there is using the exit and access lanes at junctions. Filtering in France is OK, motorists very good and when the traffic is moving at a modest speed, say 50 mph cars space themselves (don’t like driving alongside another vehicle!) so you can weave between lanes.
Got chatting to an Indian/French couple and they said that most holiday areas were full as it was peak holiday week in France but gave me directions to the camp site they were staying at, turned out to be a life saver! Rode through Biarritz where there was some sort of Ferrari event on, but there would be wouldn’t there! About 50 road cars taking people for trips around town. The Tourist Office was still open (!!! At this time of the evening), the lady told me that they did not keep lists of ‘camping sites’ but they wouldn’t there would they, but anyway everything would be full.
I cracked on the last few miles to Bidart. I was very de hydrated when I got there and also think I got the last pitch and it was very expensive, my piece of deadish grass was occupied by gecko’s and sparrows on my arrival. After, re hydrating, showering and doing the washing, anything will dry overnight in this heat I had a meal in the café, omelette chips and salad washed down with a glass of the local red, my best meal since setting out from home and all for 8 euro! Walked down to the sea to watch the sunset, spectacular but over which ocean/sea?
Travelled today 420 miles
Total distance covered 4561 miles