I’m sitting here in front of my tent in a camp site about 50 kilometres south of Metz. That means I’ve still got about 365 kilometres to ride tomorrow to make Dieppe. I’ve booked my ferry ticket for 1800 tomorrow evening so will be back home late tomorrow to see my loveliness and Nelly the dog.
Today has been about me being completely blown away by France, again. If I were to start writing about it here I’d burst into such descriptive bollocks that you’d all start weeping tears of joy and touching each other. As such I’ve decided to spare you the pleasure and write a few lines about my arrival at the camp site instead. I imagine that what I’m about to write about has happened to everyone but no one really talks about it. Well, it’s time.
So, I arrived at the camp site at around eight. The reception was closed so I just rode in and found a spot. The unwritten rule with camp sites is that if reception is closed you find a spot, camp and pay in the morning. As I jumped off the bike my stomach rumbled in a way that made me uneasy (if you know what I mean). I quickly unpacked, set up my tent and changed into my shorts. I then grabbed my toiletries bag and made my way to the toilet block.
Now, to get to the toilet block I had to walk past everyone else’s tents and caravans and it seemed they were all sitting outside deliberately to watch me as I walked by. As such I felt unable to run to the toilet whilst shouting
“IT’S AN EMERGENCY, GET OUT OF THE WAY!!!”
Instead, I clenched my buttocks so tightly that it would have taken a vice to prise them apart and walked (from the knees down) slowly, as if I didn’t really need to visit the lavatory at all. Then, when I reached the toilet block I zipped inside and looked around for the toilets, I found showers, sinks, nappy changing facilities and even a stock cupboard .. but no toilets. Then I spotted the familiar sign but to my horror the door was locked and needed a code to open. No doubt the code was given to the camper by reception upon their arrival.
“Oh shit” I said mumbling under my breath.
I tried a few numbers but to no avail and walked (from the knees down) back to my tent. Found some Imodium and ate them all.
The game was on, who would win. Would it be the contents of my stomachs, desperate to escape or the power of Imodium? I decided to wait and see. After another rumble I changed my mind. It was time to break the door down. I walk-skip-jumped slowly past the other happy campers smiling at them all along the way. When I got there I tried a few more numbers but to no avail. I pushed the door a little but it was not going to budge.
There was only one option left. I shuffled up to the closest irritatingly happy campers and asked
“Ou est le toilette?” Whilst trying my very hardest to keep my face from looking stressed or in need. They all pointed to the locked door and said
“Deux, trois, quatre, cinq, six” not being native to the country it took me a while to work it out, but the very instant I had I about turned and started towards the toilet. And that’s when the questions started.
“You must be the biker. Are you travelling alone?”
“So tell us about your trip”
“Did you like Romania”
“That’s a huge bike, how do you manage?”
I tried my hardest to be polite but the conversation combined with ‘battle of the buttock’ was zapping my energy and patience. I made my excuses and left. When I reached the coded door I actually said a little prayer to the flying spaghetti monster. I typed in the numbers and pulled the handle down. To my relief the door then opened. It was like opening the door to a giant treasure chest though instead of gold coins and diamonds there were beautiful toilets with toilet paper and soap and everything. I picked the cubicle nearest the wall and took position.
I wasn’t completely sure if It was just going to be a windy day or if Krakatoa was going to erupt but if I was a betting man I’d have gone for the latter. It turned out to be a windy day.
I sat there wondering if the family that had given me the number were wondering how it was going. I wondered if the people I had walked past were wondering what was going on. Why do I do this? Is it just me or is it an English thing? It’s bizarre really as if it was a wee it would be fine but as its a number two (I can’t even say it) it’s all a big secret to be hidden away and not mentioned.
Anyway. That’s my (b)log for this evening. I hope no one is offended.