And at around 5 in the morning a tour bus pulled up next to me and disgorged its contents all round my car instantly turning it into a fishbowl. Luckily for me the windows were all fogged up but the laughter and banter of a crowd materialize out of thin air in the middle of the night is, I remembered dryly, why I prefer out of the way places to camp out. Also lucky for me is that the rain picked up again so everyone got on the bus and left after about 15 minutes. I stayed up half awake after that for another half hour or so before I got going myself.
Inspiration that morning did not come quickly in what should by now be the familiar routine of brushing my teeth with bottled water. Nor a little later when I got dressed. Nor after following the hearty breakfast that consists of a mouthful of juice and a bite off a chocolate bar. I didnít really know. I looked at the map but still drew a blank. I saw that it was Sunday which in France means I can expect nothing at all to be open anywhere. Add to that that Iím all of an hour or two away from Paris and I still have three full days to burn before leaving and we have a problem.
The best I could come up with was to drive towards the coastline and if nothing else enjoy the scenery and contemplate at the site of the D-day WW2 landing. Here and there I saw relics of the war in the form of concrete pillboxes and bunkers all now overgrown with weeds and full of graffiti in the middle of crop fields with no effort yet to commemorate the areas with so much as a humble plaque, much less restoration. I guess these people would just as soon forget the whole thing.
I slipped south into France again before noon, stopped at a supermarket for more bread, cheese and tuna then went again on my way when I spotted the perfect place to stop and eat lunch then realized this would be a great place to spend the night: off the road behind a huge pile of dirt with no-one around to bother me. I ate lunch under a stormy mix of hail, sleet, snow and rain the sort that does not fall from the sky so much as blow sideways. The car rocked like a heavenly hand was spanking it and the effect to me, from the comfy warmth inside, was quite relaxing. Since I didnít really have a solid agenda I decided to just stay here for the rest of the day admiring the nastiness of the weather while I played games on my laptop. I took a nap then woke up late in the afternoon and the winds were still howling but the rain and hail had subsided. No wonder there are so many wind mills all over Europe. They spin non-stop thanks to all this wind giving cheap, renewable energy. And I thought about this and other issues, twiddled my fingers, read, wrote and eventually fell asleep.