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From Caen to Cork

Posted by on Oct 11, 11:20 AM
Filed under , | Comment [4]

Early September, 2009
We were riding East. Mont Saint Michelle sank like a great ship into the orange glow of the horizon behind us. Caen, Lisieux, and Calais reared up and receded in turn, sundry strokes on memory’s ever-dripping canvas. The cliffs of Treport were before us, under us, and then behind us in a flash: soon we were coasting into Boulogne, and gliding up and down the undulating contours of the road to our hosts’ house near Devres, just south of Calais. We were close: England was on our minds, in our nostrils, on our tongues, and about our ears—Merry England was before us at last: just across the channel!—only a day or two away—or so we thought. However we would soon find that England—the people particularly, did not fit our expectations.
Our stay at the Lenains’ home was happily prolonged. While Alain kept us entertained with stories from his adventurous life, we sampled various French viands, including food grilled piece by piece on the Pierrade, a heated stone slab (see photo), steak tartare, and some toothsome desserts made by Mrs. Lenain. We were roused early each morning by the noisy heehaws of the donkeys. Needless to say, one night stretched languidly into four.
Alain accompanied us to Calais on his bicycle—he’s an avid rider, and could easily have outstripped us. But we took our time along the narrow roads that wound sinuously through tiny picturesque villages and the open fields of agricultural France.
Several hours of steady riding carried us within site of the docks, where we stopped briefly to stock up on wine, cheese, and bread to sustain ourselves in the land of boiled vegetables and clinging vapors.
It wasn’t long before we disembarked underneath the White Cliffs, shattering, as I lifted my eyes, all romantic notions of the place: a chaotic maze of chain-link fence and semi-trucks, overshadowed by gloomy industrial buildings and the chalky white cliffs just above. It was pretty bleak on the whole. We went from notion-shattering to run-ins with the orkish youth of Maidstone.
The next few days would see us through southern England and Wales, across the ferry from Pembroke to Rosslare, and through southern Ireland to Cork.


  1. Ah, now I am up to date with the blog and the journey as far as possible. I will eagerly await your next entry(ies) and the time I have a couple of free hours to peruse them. You and your brother’s photography and writing styles are delightful. I am glad I ran into you this past summer; otherwise I might have missed the chance to follow your adventure via this blog. Take care and God bless…

    — Laura · Oct 13, 08:30 PM · #

  2. Hey, brothers, Just a note to let you know I’m still reading each blog in amazement and enjoying the great photos and praying for God speed as you travel. I’m really interested in seeing your path to your India destination. What I plot out hasn’t even come close so far on your route :-)

    Blessings in abundance,

    — LeRoy · Oct 14, 08:35 AM · #

  3. Your photos are absolutely amazing! They are so professional. Enjoy reading about your never-ending adventure. Best wishes!

    Chris · Oct 14, 02:43 PM · #

  4. Laura, LeRoy, Chris,
    Elated to receive the positive comments—we wouldn’t be able to keep it up without the occasional feedback and reminders that our blog is enjoyed by a few, at least. Thank you!

    Brother R · Oct 18, 01:12 AM · #

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