Subscribe to our blog: RSS | Atom


Next Stop: Normandy

Posted by on Sep 30, 12:01 PM
Filed under , | Comment [2]

Saint-Nicolas-du-ChardonnetAugust 1st, 2009: Where were the brothers to go next?

It had been hot in the South. Uncomfortably hot. It was high time to make our way the opposite direction and into the British Isles before this eventful Summer slip into the annals of history. I believe both of us had an inward yearning to converse with fellow native speakers of our beloved language. It must be confessed that the Saint-Nicolas-du-Chardonnet interiorprospect of the oppressively flat and monotone sky, modled all in shades of cold grey, would have an adverse effect on my general sanity. That is, if it’s not too audacious to make claim to any small shred of sanity after having dared to commit to such a (if I may say) monstrous journey as this.

I distictly recall the relief it brought to be spinning through sleepy villages and golden wheat fields…

HorseRandall and I stayed two more nights in Paris with some young students of engineering in Paris. They were quite friendly and hospitable. I attended mass at the picturesque Saint-Nicolas-du-Chardonnet church in the center of Paris. Then, we made our escape from the land Neighborof noise and cars and churches and museums and busy-sidewalk-brasseries, and the intense metropolis Campinggradually melted into soft countrieside over the course of four hours of pedaling. I distictly recall the relief it brought to be spinning through sleepy villages and golden wheat fields on smooth and winding country roads with not the least clue of where I would camp for the night. Near dusk, a small apple orchard looked quite inviting. A hedgehog shuffled Second lodgingsabout and disturbed my sleep that night. I shined my light directly on him and he stopped, then began bumbling toward my sleeping bag, and, imagine my surprise when this spiny little softball opened his mouth and started tugging on a corner of my bag! Prodding at him with a stick, he finally got the idea and shuffled back into the neighboring hedge, and I slept.

The security personel either didn’t notice us or cared not that we were camped in such a strange place.

A short ride the next morning brought us to the town of Illiers-L’Évêque. I cannot forget the friendly and amusedly forgiving smile of the pretty owner of the town Robert & Juliapatisserie as she took my orders for bread. I’m quite sure that I abashedly botched every single question and answer I posed in my poor French. Later we met by chance a delightful couple on their way to mass, Julia and Robert (I hope I remember his name correctly…), originally from England and Australia, respectively. They kindly invited us to Councilshower in their lovely country house the next morning. I didn’t have to think twice! It would have been impossible to have a more pleasent time than we did with these two francophiles as we chatted and feasted on a delicious English breakfast, complete with fried tomatoes and mushrooms. It also would have been unthinkable to refuse the invitation to stay in Illiers-L’Évêque one more night with such fine people! This extra time gave us ample opportunity to satisfy the need to share tales in our native toung. At the end of our stay (the next morning) I felt as though we had we had had all been familiar for years.
Lisieux and Le Mont-Saint-Michel were our next targets. We covertly camped in the trees on the small hill behind the basilica of Saint Thérèse de Lisieux. The security personel either didn’t notice us or cared not that we were camped in such a strange place.

Gear update:

The CURTLO bicycle frames have only become more comfortable over the past 8000 miles. This is the best-fitting bicycle I have ever owned, bar none. Our Rohloff gear systems are well broken-in and don’t miss a shift. All of my apparel by Mt. Borah is still intact and the shorts are still comfy!


  1. Wonderful to read about your exciting adventures.
    Ah! St. Nicolas-du-Chardonnet! Gorgeous.

    May the Holy Guardian Angels especially guide you this month on the journey.

    Rachel W. · Oct 1, 01:21 PM · #

  2. Hi Andrew! I enjoyed the blog very much! keep going and hurry! with love from your sister Emma

    — Emma leese · Oct 1, 07:18 PM · #

Post a comment:

Commenting is closed for this article.



100% of proceeds to benefit orphans in southern India! Make a secure donation via PayPal.

Pledge Page

Ride Statistics

Last Updated: Jun 26, 11:50 AM

  • Odometer: 46,033 km / 28,604 miles
  • Countries Visited: 30
  • Calories Burnt: 2,301,650
  • Near-Death Experiences: 6
  • Times Yogurt Spilled in Bar Bag: 4
  • Times Stolen from: 8
  • Flat Tires: 105

View Elaborate Statistics

View our route in Google Earth!



Central Asia & The Caucasus
East Coast
Middle East
South Korea
Southeast Asia
United Kingdom