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.
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!. 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!
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.
. 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.
I’m an early riser, so I’m up and start working my Yardtamer magic on this yard. It takes me maybe 2 hours?
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.
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?
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 Lisbon. i say my goodbyes to Stanley and thank him.
I TAKE THE TRAIN TO BORDEAUX AND STAY AT THE ONLY HOSTEL IN TOWN.
I 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.
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.
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”
NEXT? After 3 weeks of solo travel I’m finally meeting Natasa in Lisbon, now the fun really starts.