We are in the process of preparing for our return to France.

  • We are looking for places to sleep in between Madrid and Paris (we only need a little corner of land to pitch the tent!). If you can help us out, please follow this link.

  • We already have a couple of conferences lined up along the way. To see the schedule, follow this link. We would be happy to met with you!

We are also looking for an apartment in Paris or the surrounding area, starting in mid-May 2010. Any help or suggestions would be most welcome!

The turning of a page

It’s been almost three weeks since we posted any news! Did you think we had been already caught up in the whirlwind of life without bikes? Of city life? Of the settled life?

Our last message was from the Jura, where we spent a lovely time with my grandmothers who had been impatiently waiting for us. They were able to proudly introduce us to their friends, happy to finally meet us in person.

We had bad weather, and our immune systems proved not at all adapted to European germs. We both caught the worst cold of our whole trip – and in France, what irony! It didn’t stop us from biking through the rain, though, in order to keep to our tight schedule. After wonderful family welcomes in Dole and Chenôve, we spent a couple of chilly nights in our tent, sniffling away. And we biked with our gloves in the cold and grey along the Bourgogne canal.

The first night of our trip, in Alaska, Tony set the tone by inviting us to stay with him for the night. In Paron, in Yonne, only three days before our final arrival, Madeline and Jean-Jacques offered us a meal and a warm bed, and we are grateful to them.

Under the returning sun, we biked along the back roads into the Ile de France to Avon, to see Simone, one of Sara’s aunts. Then, in the yard of the Boissy Saint Léger church, we pitched our tent for the last time and cooked pasta for the last time on our stove.

The next morning, the sun was shining and we had only about 30 km to ride. We biked slowly,  full of reflection. As we folded up the tent for the last time, we couldn’t help but think about all the places that we had pitched and folded the tent over the past two years.

We had enough time to pass by Sara’s university where she got her master’s degree. Sara wanted to go and pick up her diploma, but they were only able to give her a certificate dated a year ago, or two years after her last exam. They told us that if she wanted to pick up her real diploma, she would have to come back on a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday between 10 and 12, and that it was impossible to send in the mail. Sara didn’t even bother to ask for an electronic copy of the precious document. Practical, right? Especially for the foreign students, who make up 20 percent of their classes.

A little later we joined the shores of the Marne, and followed its banks and the banks of the Seine, along the bike paths, all the way to the Gare de Lyon. We took a break at the Seine, and another at the pyramid of the Louvre, and then covered the last few hundred meters, full of emotion. We turned the last corner, and crossed over the Iéna bridge to face the Eiffel Tower and the welcoming committee there to greet us. There were more than 20 people there. After the initial hugs and kisses, we went back to a room in the 16th arrondissement, where there were more people waiting for us. We said a few things to the group, in front of selection of our pictures displayed on a big screen. There was a present for us too, from our families: a beautiful piece of art representing our whole trip, by Roseline, a multi-media photographer. Everything was very touching, and we weren’t expecting that at all. The evening went really well.

Those of you who know us well know how pragmatic we are, and so it won’t surprise you that the next day we started looking for an apartment. After four days of intensive searching, we found a place and we plan to sign the lease next Tuesday.

We’ll keep posting news on the site, to share with you our impressions of life after cycling, something that we found was missing from a lot of the sites that we looked at before the trip.

If you want updates on our next presentations, send us an email at contact@pladusol.org and we’ll add you to our mailing list.

We would like to share our adventure with you, and if you are interested in having us give a presentation, please don’t hesitate to write to us. We travel all around the country (France).

Sébastien

[Drapeau de France Heather | Le 23-05-2010 23:56 | Add a comment]

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