When we woke up we realised that piles of ancient rubbish were strewn all around our tent, including around ten extremely rusty vintage bikes. Some of them looked wonderful. I wanted to take them all home to London and clean them up, but had to suffice with some photographs, which are easier to carry.
We suspected that it may be the dumping-ground of some kind of cyclist-killing maniac, but couldn’t verify this theory. Setting off, we covered ground quickly through a hot and sunny morning until lunchtime, when we came across a particularly inviting river. We took a dip, and waved at people in cars passing over a nearby bridge.
Reluctantly we climbed back on the bikes, and traveled another centimetre or two along our map before rolling into Moulean. This was a strange little town, where we saw our first ETA graffiti – ETA being a group of people with guns who would like Basque independence, thanks very much.
We stopped and had a coffee while we pored over the maps, unaware of what a ludicrously frequent ritual this would become.
That night we gave up for the day by a small river, looking for somewhere to camp. We waded through it, carrying our bikes and luggage, and found a small wood with a flat clearing between two streams. We put the tent there, aware that it could get washed away if it rained, but not caring much because it was gorgeous, and we were shattered.
While we were making ourselves at home a man came to fill water buckets for his donkey, and we got chatting about bikes. It turned out that he used to compete nationally in mountain bike competitions, but now he had a donkey. We were unsure why the two would be mutually exclusive, but we didn’t argue, and thanked him for his advice on possible routes for the next day.
Dave seemed to think that he was upset about our lack of preparation. I saw where he was coming from.