Thursday, 7 June 2007

Pilgrimage from Auchy-Au-Boise to Olhain 06/06/07

Today was a funny day. I started from my camp quite early, 07:30, with the hope of reaching Bruay-La-Buissiere before lunch. I wanted to be able to check the internet early to see if Dan was anywhere to be seen.

I stopped at a service station just out side of town to ask where an internet café was and the woman behind the desk was kind enough to let me use hers. No message from Dan though. I think he has caught that Easyjet flight to Greece that he keeps joking about.

I decided to go into town anyway and just bum around for a while it was a couple of kms out of my way but I had time to spare. I found a Post office and thought I should send some stuff back. I wanted to give it a week because I figured if I hadn’t used it in that time then I could probably do without it. I managed to skim off 4kgs.

Sending it was quite amusing; it reminded me of being in Japan. I went to the counter and told them I wanted to change some money and send my stuff. They informed me that I had to go to another counter to change money which I did. The woman there then bought me back to the original counter, and continued to do her thing. After finding out the exchange rate I decided to only change ₤100. She then disappeared and I was asked about my parcel. I explained that I wanted it to go the slowest way possible, by donkey would be perfect, but after checking on there computer they told me that it was too big to go the slow mail and had to be sent express??? So I asked about splitting it into two packages. This was going to halve the price!!! So after repacking them into two boxes they then asked me for a French address. When I explained that I didn’t have one they told me the parcels couldn’t go! After five minutes and much debate with the managers we decided to use the Post office as my address. It seemed simple enough to me. Then to top things off when they asked me to pay I passed across the ₤100. They then told me I had to send the parcels first and then change my money??? I was starting to get really confused??? After trying to explain that this was what I was actually doing first I had to pull out the Mastercard. funnily enough as soon as it hit the counter they decided that the money could actually be changed first??? I really did think that things like this only happened in Japan

I then met a very lively woman at the Information centre. She was great! I explained that I wanted to find a camp ground between here and Arrass. There weren’t any open this time of year but she then told me about this wonderful place in the forest that catered for large groups and “tramps” as she humorously referred to me. I then asked her about internet and because she didn’t know of any, and the one in her office was broken, she invited me back to her house. A big thankyou Chris :)

But still no Dan…

So, after a couple of hours more walking, I finally came across the hostel for “tramps”. It was in the middle of nowhere and the whole place was booked out by a school camp! I must have turned quite pale (it was after 7pm and I was really looking forward to a hot shower) because they then decided they did have a room available for me in the infirmary :) It was all good. I got a room to myself, dinner and breakfast all for just €19.

And then just before I got kicked off the internet, guess who emailed me??? DAN! About time the slack bastard! He pushed himself a bit hard and “fucked his foot” but the good news is he is only 20kms ahead of me. I will see him tomorrow. Hopefully his foot isn’t too bad…

No comments: