The Kindness of Strangers


As we neared the town of Coutance, an Irish guy pulled up in a car to ask if we needed any help. He had passed us going the other direction, saw my flag and turned around to make sure we were okay (which we were).

Only 2 minutes up the road another car was stopped at a crossroads and the lady inside was beeping like mad. We stopped and she hurriedly came over to us, smiling and waving. Turns out the lady, Therese’s daughter had cycled all over the world in 2005-2006 ( She asked us to stay with her and her family which we gratefully accepted after spending all day in the lashing rain. She dried our clothes over the log stove then we sat down to a big meal, wine, pate, steak, pasta, cheese…..It was a truly great experience to share a meal with a real French family and their two friends. We woke up to a continental breakfast and a packed lunch of bread and pate that Therese had prepard for us. She was teary eyed as we left and to our surprise, drove to the other side of town (10km up the road) to cheer us on. Her husband Serge, a driving instructor, took his trainee 30km up the road to make sure that we were okay, then waved us on our way.

After another rainy day in the saddle through auburn coloured tree lined roads, we set about finding a camping spot for the night. First of all we asked in an orchard where they made Normandy cider. After a quick tasting, we didn’t have a campsite, but instead, a lovely bottle of their fine cider. Eventually, we came across a deserted orchard, waited until nightfall, then snuck in. The whole place was covered in rotten apples, many of which are still smeared on our clothes and tent. Their pungent aroma combined with the dampness of our clothes makes for a pretty nasty whiff that lingered until we were miles up the road. Lets hope we can get our clothes cleaned soon before we start making people ill!


5 thoughts on “The Kindness of Strangers

  1. Hi Fearghal, it’s great to be able to keep track of your whereabouts! This latest entry especially was fascinating to read. You have definitely got a book here at the end of this trip!

  2. Just reading about your trip and I am impressed but not at all envious!
    Good luck, just sorry that I wont be in the south of France until you have passed by. Keep up the blog, it’ll make great reading.

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