Saturday, October 21, 2006

My Maps have arrived!

On July 5th on the island of Jersey, at huge expense, I posted home a small parcel of things so I didn't have to carry them any longer on my back! I was given a very precise "63 days" as a delivery time - nine weeks - about when I got home early September. The parcel had my bright yellow cycling jacket, and a few other bits and pieces, but what I was most looking forward to seeing again were the maps and brochures from my Loire cycling trip.
However, the weeks were passing by and I was thinking that perhaps the parcel had gone to Argentina or somewhere else in the wrong direction and that I might never see the contents again. Then suddenly on Friday I had a parcel dropped in my lap at school. My bedraggled maps! I was delighted, though strangely, nobody else was especially interested in them!!!!!
After drooling over my maps I went to the Public Library this morning and got out a couple of books. One was a book of beautiful photographs of villages in the Loire region. I had been to some of the places; and I had been to many others not mentioned. By cycling through the region though I have gained a knowledge of the area that lives in my very muscles.
The other book I got out was about the St James Pilgrimage, starting in Paris. (The author wasn't a walker though.) The book had a photo of the bridge over the Loire at Beaugency, and said that it was built in the eleventh century, mainly for pilgrims going to Compostella. (I had taken several photos of this beautiful bridge.) I am already thinking ahead to my next European trip...... another year of work and maybe I will be ready to tackle some of the French section of the pelerinage of St Jacques. I have started a folder and am getting info off the internet......

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Manawatu River

After posting so much from the Loire River, I am home and it is time the Manawatu River got some airplay!
After a spell of freezing cold southerly weather we finally have some spring weather to be pleased about this morning. So I was able to enjoy one of the loves of my life, a Sunday morning bike ride. I headed out to the far end of Te Matai Rd, where I passed many cyclists, then onto the Bridle Track beside the river. All was going swimmingly well until I struck a rough patch on the path and became aware that I had a puncture! Oh No! So after about 17km of cycling I then had to enjoy a walk in the spring sunshine to the bike shop! (No I wasn't carrying a tube, though I had 'nearly' put it in!) Ironic really, five weeks of cycling in France with no incidents, and first longer bike ride back home and I get a puncture!
Strange thing was though, that I had been intending to go to the bike shop later in the morning anyhow, as my new 'touring' bike was ready to pick up. (I might tell you a funny story about this later....) So I dropped off the old bike and picked up the new bike and rode home on it!