MICKEY MOUSE LOVER STANLEY IN ROYAN, FRANCE

I met Stanley, when he was bike touring  in Portland 6 years ago.  He joined us on our annual Oxbow Park introduction to bike touring camp out.  I toured Europe in 2011 with The Dandy Warhols, I had to have my Euro-Rail sent to his house in Royan.  Stanley’s  mom didn’t want any guest, so I rented an apartment from their friend. We’ve been face-book friends and last saw each other in Prague, Czech last summer. I always seem to hit the ground running, when visiting friends.  Stanley bought a little house in Morocco and has learned to cook Moroccan style. So we packed the car (yes car) and brought  all the ingredients to  Christophe’s house.

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HE TREATED US TO CHICKEN AND VEGETABLES COOKED IN A CLAY TAJINE

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                          SEBASTIAN, CHRISTOPHE AND STANLEY

I ask Stanley if we can just walk around town a little, OK.  They had a great farmers market  everyday I was here.  We walk around Royan, which I don’t think Stanley does very often and probably most of us don’t walk much around our cities.either? I love walking through the shops just to see what I can see THERE WAS AN ECLECTIC ART SHOP WITH THESE BIKE SCENE TILES.  SUPER NICE!. IMG_2955 IMG_2954 IMG_2953 I usually like to write about biking but that said walking can be a great way to explore a new city.  We walked along the docks, shops, a sardine shop, and the super farmers market. Stanley told me his mom didn’t want me in the house and he would bring me coffee in the morning.  OK? I  guess.  But by morning Mom came around and welcomed me into the house.  Mom ended up extending a very warm welcome, she cooked us several dinners, authentic French Food. We go biking on these Fat Tire bikes, which made riding on the beach sand,  AWESOME! AND FUN!

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            I HAD JUST ENOUGH CLOTHES TO NOT BE COLD.

People were constantly staring and asking questions about my bike, in French of course ( go figure).  Stanley said it was fun for him the first couple times, then he said he started to just ignored them, so
I took his advice and just kept on riding.

. IMG_2980IMG_2981 THESE ARE FISHING HOUSES ALONG THE BIKE PATH IN ROYAN, FRANCE, A SUPER RIDE I’m staying in an apartment attached to the house, it’s basically in the backyard.  Stanley got his mom to agree to make an Air B&B out of the apartment. I guess I won’t be staying for free anymore. But Good Luck anyway. So my 25 years of landscaping skills kick in and I see where I can make a difference.  I love giving back to my host, it’s makes my traveling adventures more meaningful.

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                                                  THE BEFORE PICTURE

I’m an early riser, so I’m up and start working my Yardtamer magic on this yard.  It takes me maybe 2 hours?

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                                THE AFTER PICTURE (you can see where the ivy was)

Stanley’s Mom  asks me where I got all the stones?  They were there all the time, just buried.  Then she got excited about what we could do.  She wanted these thorn tree branches cut off, (French Style trimming).  I hate ivy so cutting it is always good,  it was growing into the shed and starting up the side of the house.

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                                 EVERYONE GOT IN ON THE ACTION, IT WAS A REALLY FUN TIME.

We had cut the thorn tree first, then attacked the ivy.  Were standing there and Stanley asked for my camera?  He takes a head shot of me? What?

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WHEN I CUT THE THORN BRANCHES ONE BRANCH BRUSHED MY HEAD AND LEFT THIS THORN. i WORKED FOR AN HOUR WITH THE THORN IN MY HEAD. THANKS FOR THE PHOTO STANLEY.

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FINISHED AND REMEMBER TO NEVER PLANT IVY

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FRENCH STYLE TREE TRIMMING, REMOVE ALL THE BRANCHES

Mom cooked us dinner every day so, to give her a break, I went to the Farmers Market and bought Spanish Seafood Paella for us.  I also bought a window cleaning kit at the Farmers Market.  I was skeptical at first, no solution, just water with a scrub pad and bamboo cloths.  I did 2 windows testing it out, it worked great.  Now I have my traveling window cleaning kit.
Active travel is hard work and I’m getting tired.  I don’t want to be dead when I meet Natasa in Lisbon in a few days.  I opt to stay in Bordeaux before flying out to Lisboni say my goodbyes to Stanley and thank him.

I TAKE THE TRAIN TO BORDEAUX AND STAY AT THE ONLY HOSTEL IN TOWN.

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HOSTEL BEDS WITH PRIVY CURTAINS , I’M #2. (I’ll survive)

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I REPORTED TO THE FRONT DESK THAT SOMEONE HAD STOLEN THE TOILET SEAT LAST NIGHT! YOU SEE THIS ALL OVER FRANCE,

IMG_2997I RARELY SAW ANY BUILDINGS THAT WERE PAINTED AND IF THEY WERE IT WAS SOME SHADE OF STONE OR CONCRETE.

Walking around Bordeaux I can smell coffee roasting, I ask at the Hostel and they tell me where it is.

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I’VE STRUCK GOLD, 25KG BAGS OF: GUATEMALAN, COSTA RICAN, BRAZILIAN, MEXICAN, NICARAGUAN and MANY MORE–ALL “FRENCH ROASTED”. I BUY SOME GUATEMALAN. 

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WHILE WALKING I DISCOVER THIS PART FLEA MARKET PART ANTIQUE MARKET.

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SOME AFRICAN ART MASKS

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I WAS TAKING THIS PHOTO AND THE OWNER CAME OUT AND WANTED ME TO PAY TO TAKE THE PICTURE, I JUST WALKED AWAY.

I’m flying Easy Jet to Lisbon, which means you can only bring 1 small bag, nothing more.  The last day I packed my bag early to see if I had room for some more coffee. If your in Bordeaux, visit cafebastouil-alvarezetfils  for the best coffee I have found in Europe. IMG_3060 IMG_3062

SHE DIDN’T SPEAK ANY ENGLISH-NONE, BUT THAT’S OK THE COFFEE’S GREAT!
Thanks for reading and by the way, Stanley-“I Love Mickey Mouse too”
Jeff

NEXT? After 3 weeks of solo travel I’m finally meeting Natasa in Lisbon, now the fun really starts. coffeef1 coffee2 coffee3 coffee4 coffeef

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