A quick re-cap. Steve was in Australia for his sister's wedding. And Nomad was stuck with me (Beric) for another week.
After Nomad and I ran with the bulls in Pamplona we drove about 8 hours to Verdon. This cost us about 100 Euro in tolls which really hurt after we lived like kings on this much money in Mexico for a whopping 16 days.
So, Verdon is a massive gorge with amazing limestone. Surprise! If you've noticed, we only go places to climb things.. Access at Verdon is as easy as it gets as there are roads which run above the cliffs. Despite this many of the bolts we saw were horrendous. The spring scenery around Southern France is magical..
After one night in Verdon we relocated to a new Couch surfing host living in a cottage near Gap. Her name was Eve and she was (another) crazy cat lady. Eve was studying to be a cheese farmer. We learned quickly that French people eat CHEESE, wine and bread ALOT.
CHEESE FOR BREAKFAST, LUNCH AND DINNER
Eve had a killer vegetable garden and Nomad and I were in heaven with all the fresh tasty food available.
Eve also owned chickens!!! They were stashed in a glorious chicken coop out the. This coop had it all. Some sort of BIRD sanctuary next to a river in the woods.
Over the years Steve and I have always worshiped chicken coops. They are always an impressive construction of bent wire, squeif doors, lopsided wood planks and improvised materials. I have a theeeory that chickens are super geniuses plotting unspeakable things...
The Spadge master.. Reminded me of Bloomy..
The Chocolate master..
Eve taught me a sweet recipe for Ratatouille.. and By coincidence Tour de France was actually running in Gap during our visit. Eve took us to have a look.
We couldn't see much except a bunchy of weirdo 60 year old's in tight road bike clothing. You know, the type that hang around at cafe's on Sunday mornings.
Next we moved to our 2nd couch surfing host (Sandra) who lived right in the centre of Gap.
Sandra had two gorgeous horses and some nut bag friends that I went to a party with, these French people had some crazy instruments and traditions..
Our third and final Couch host for Southern France was a hip dude called Manoo. He lived as close as you can get to Ceuse which is a mega famous climbing area. It was only a 2 hour walk up a steep hill from the back of his house! Gold :)
The walk to Ceuse was enjoyable though as there was a lot of flowers and bees, one of which comically stung the Nomad.
This is the view from manoo's window and some shots from the walk to Ceuse..
We brought Manoo out of rock climbing retirement:
Manoo cooks a mean ratatouille:
Girls Manoo is single.. for now..
After Southern France Nomad and I (Beric) went to Paris in search of new love. We drove in a 5pm peak our traffic right into the middle of Paris which was a nightmare. We parked our car in front of security camera and it stayed right there for the next week.
In Paris we stayed with our lovely friend Anne-Claire. We met Anne on the train to Machu Picchu back in February.
Anne-Claire lives in a sweet apartment right behind the main action street of Paris near Moulin rouge.
The next day Nomad and I went to see the famous Louve museum. The Mona Lisa was a swarming mess of tourists with Camera's and I do not recommend that you go out of your way to see it. The painting was much much smaller than I imagined and behind glass. I also heard a conspiracy theory from a beautiful art student in Rome that it is a fake! I assume this is linked to the chickens.
This genius had a fire in a shopping trolley and was cooking corn in a bucket. The police weren´t happy for some reason.
On the Champ Elysees Street we spotted a line of people which was longer than the line for the Eifel tower. We went over to inspect and found these wacko's were gathering to enter an Abercrombie & Fitch shop?? The gate was guarded by two King SMO's..
Anne-Claire and I went to see the Moulin rouge which I would recommend to you all if you can afford it.I couldn't but my Mum told me to go so I went..
Cabaret shows aside. The legendary Steven arrived back from Townsville! The Monkeys Reunite!
Steve didn't stay with us though. Anne Claire's friend Zabeth let Steve stay with her as there would be more room.
|Steve and Zabeth|
Now let me tell you about Zabeth. This chick is rocking! ohh and she literally is a famous rock star. I was highly impressed to learn that she has spent time with Metallica, she was under the same record label as them and a few years ago they both released an album on the same day. She got to go to a personal concert with them and an after party which I was extremely jealous to here about. All hail King Hetfield and Zabeth:
Zabeth was kind enough to show us around Paris and she even organised for a chef friend of hers to cook us frog's legs! Eating frog's legs was a child hood dream of mine and despite what you here they are very difficult to find around Paris unless you know someone.
If you go to Paris I also recommend you see the Catacombs. This is an underground tunnel full of human bones. All macabre and sadistic like. As with all tourist attractions in Paris go half an hour before they open. Or you will be waiting in line for 2 hours like a sucker.
I didn't mention before, but Anne-Claire also lives right near all of the Sex shops red light district in Paris.
Steve and I got scammed by a pimp good and proper. We got an awesome deal from him to enter this crazy intruiging building. 2 for 1 entry! But it turns out that they just kept demanding more and more money for services we weren't interested in. We just wanted to have a drink and look inside dammit. But these wacko prostitues surrounded us and demanded we pay for drinks we apparenlty ordered for them. 35 Euro later we ecaped the pestering prostitutes back into the real world on the street. Let that be a lesson!
Steve and I are grumpy old men now.. Bah humbug! You no good punk ass hoolagins! go to school, get haircut and proper job.
Zabeth gave me a glass of Absinth in a curved glass that you can't put down without it toppling. This glass is a dangerous invention. I don't remember what else happened after this in Paris..
Nomad Status update:
Nomaaads gone maaad! Through some brief facebook chats Steve and I have planned to rendezvous with the Nomad at a hotel in Kalymonos Island in Greece soon. From what Steve and I can tell, he has really cleaned his act up lately. His facebook display pic now shows a more groomed and distinguished looking Nomad. I assume this is some sort of preparation for the arrival of his mother Rosemary in 2 weeks.
Today's Classic quote:
You can't take me back to Townsville, you can't make me go back there!!
As promised here is movie I put together of Southern France. There is no footage of North France as our camera paid the price horse riding in Southern France. I made this movie during the same car trip that I also made the running with the bull's movie. After 8 hours in Euro traffic staring at a PC and editing crappy footage, my vision and sanity was a little frayed. This may reflect.. And for those of you that don't know, the bins in alley ways are full of all sorts of good food thrown out by Restaurants. I'm not paying for food like a sucker!
NEW MOVIE: All Hail the French Chicken Lord!