‘Oui mon chapeau il a quarter coins’?
Having been dropped of By Nigel, on a road which he informed me would get me roughly heading south east towards Nancy, I found myself heading south west towards Paris. I walked along some very nice country roads with stunning scenery and fantastic rain, until I found a motorway pay station which seemed a good place to try and thumb a lift. I thought my hitchhiking skills had deserted me when two hours later, I was still stood there waving at every motorist who went past. I received lots of signs in return from people who I think were indicating they would be back in two minutes, a few who were showing me a French gesture with the middle finger which represents the Eiffel Tower, and a couple who showed me how much they enjoyed ‘Gold Blend’ Coffee.
I was just about to give the whole idea up when a huge lorry pulled up (my first lorry woo hoo), and I climbed the 15000 feet into the cab, stopping only take oxygen onboard. Once inside and recovered, I met the driver, Jan, who was a cracking lad and was just doing his daily transit to Paris to ‘Dump his load’ (each to their own). It was the opposite way to where I truly wanted but I decided to roll with the punches and go with it.
We had a good chat during which Jan spoke very good English and I very bad French. He eventually dropped me at Senlis which is North of Paris and just to the west of absolutely nowhere whatsoever. I tried to thumb another lift but the police then arrived and set up a vehicle check right where I was stood, thus ruining any chances entirely. I eventually moved on and walked into Chantilly, ending up spending the night there.
It was easy to thumb a lift into Paris the next morning and I did so in good time. I visited the Eiffel Tower (Which so many had visually advised me to), before I caught a lift with a guy who was heading to Nancy. It took 4 hours to get to there and she wasn’t in….wehey!! (I thank you!).
I spent the next 24 hours in Nancy (that’s not a confession), during which I basically slept, then ate then slept again. It appears I needed to stop for a day.
Day 21 saw me move to Metz and managing to Thumb a lift in less than a minute (with a cameraman in a Landrover), who then dropped me right in the centre. I’m currently sat enjoying a beer, watching life go by and basking in the sun (sort of!). I did meet a guy called ‘Sani’, when I very first entered the town, who approached me and thanked me for being his brother, invited me to eat with him and then marry his sister, before we would both then travel the world together spreading love and tenderness. I know I said I was rolling with the punches, but when he went to the toilet, I climbed out of the ring and ran off!