It’s the simplest, stress free and laid back days that are the most enjoyable. On the bus up to Oz en Osians, I met a good guy called Thomas. Naturally, my first response was that is the name of my father., but it’s spooky if you consider we’re both cheering on Geraint Thomas as well! Anyway, check out the two doozy pics he took and sent to me.
I’ve been on the road for about 5 months now, but Thomas has been travelling on and off for over 2 years, wow! Back in 2015 he sold his business, took off and has been on the go since, taking in a few similar locations across Europe, but took time to complete Culinary School in London and he had sailed over via Spain, with a Glaswegian, completing his Yacht master certification. I am just the Luke to his Yoda.
I think the coolest thing, similar to where I’d been, he has been chasing the world cup. Travelling to Belgium for when they played, being in France for the Final and if England had won, he intimated he probably would have come back to the UK. I like his style, he’s a canny guy, happy to let me yap away and he has done the old WordPress Blog thing when he first travelled and is all over social media with the handle ‘aromaround’, spot the chef!
I had a nice wee lye in and got the free bus down to the town of Allemont. As we crossed over the bridge on the hill up from the town, half the road was closed and the medics were over a 40+, stout cyclist chap on the ground getting CPR, proper chest pressure and a terrible thing to see. I checked the local online news on Friday and unfortunately he passed away.
As the bus pulls up in Allemont, Thomas is waiting hoping it’s going on. Unfortunately, he had headed down early to get ahead of the show to Grenoble, however all roads were closed. A short hop over the Tourist office to get the bad news, 5 hours till the next bus back. We sit for a nice wee café au lait and to take stock.
Within half an hour, were hot footing it, in the mid-day sun to the junction at Rochetaillee, which according to Google Maps is some 4km. I will take us about an hour, but a perfect opportunity to get to know each other and swop traveling stories. Apart from one chap, we’re the only ones walking to the race, while many locals are walking back. Some are not interested in cheering the riders, they just want all the free shit the cavalcade give out on the road.
We get there and the crowd is slowly building. It’s gonna be 45-55 mins till the riders come by and Thomas hooks up with some Welsh Dragons he met up Huez, two couples who have big green inflatable cheers, handy to stand behind to watch the race go back. They are doing it the right way, have a two week holiday in the camper van following the tour and cheering on ‘Thomas’.
Not long before the rider’s slingshot by and the show moves on through Grenoble. We find a café restaurant, have a wicked Caesars salad and a few beers and chat like old friends. Safe to say, having a buddy while watching the Tour makes everything better and handier. This could be the start of a beautiful friendship, said nobody on their blog ever, but they did think it.
Bus comes, we get back to Grenoble and head our separate ways. I get back to the gaff, grab some suds and dirty clothes, cos there’s a laundry place right round the corner. Just as well, I was in the place two minutes and the heaven’s opened up. Looks like a takeaway pizza in the gaff tonight for me before I head south to Carcassonne and the end of this adventure.