November 11th – 19th, 2022
The first full day back at David’s farm was quite uneventful. The highlight was meeting David’s girlfriend, Alexandra. She works in another town about an hour away and needed to pay a quick visit to the house to pick up a few things. I went to the nearest train station to pick her up, gave her a ride back to the farm, and dropped her back at the train station a few hours later. She is really fun and nice and we had great conversations about everything. Alexandra was excited about my lifestyle and asked me many questions. I told her that I will probably visit them next Spring to help them around the farm with different projects. She was really interested in the idea and told me to inform her in advance so she could stay on the farm at the same time as I visit their farm.
David is very interested in cooking and at the same time being healthy and sustainable. He prepared a very simple yet delicious meal for dinner. It was simply cauliflower and cheese with some herbs and spices.
Back to the west coast
Le Mans and Écommoy
November 12th, 2022
David suggested I visit Quiberon for the weekend and on the way stop by Nantes and Rennes. He had to spend the whole week in Paris so I’d be all alone on the farm if I stayed there. He was going to spend the weekend with some of his friends and wanted to visit his parents in Le Mans. So I gave him a ride to Le Mans. It was a good opportunity for me as I could visit Le Mans during the day without being in a huge rush.
On the way, we stopped at a few shops to buy some food items. The first stop was on an eco-farm where they produced their own dairy products and all was done sustainably. Then we visited a local grocery store, meat shop, and of course a bakery. When you buy your products from a small business owner, the feeling is a lot better than buying the items from a supermarket chain. The food is fresher and they are made by the person who sells them in most cases. At least, there are not that many middlemen between the producer and the consumer.
Le Mans is a charming city with probably one of the most beautiful Cathedrals. The old town is also a bit different. It consists of many narrow streets that are built on a hill. So the streets are very hilly and many of them are connected by only stairs.
After a 2.5h drive, I arrived in Nantes. I found a great place to park not too far from the city in a small parking lot next to a canal. A very secluded place or at least it seemed like that at night when I arrived there.
November 13th, 2022
Nantes is relatively small and aside from the castle, there were not many other places to visit. The “Château des ducs de Bretagne” castle is, however, really interesting and is worth spending a couple of hours there. The chateau was the main residence of the dukes of Brittany.
November 13th – 14th, 2022
Quiberon is a small peninsula on the west coast of Brittany in France and is popular among tourists. The weather over the weekend was great which attracted many visitors to the peninsula. That made it a bit hard to find a good parking spot. After driving around and visiting different places, I got lucky and found an excellent place in a small camper service area. It was supposed to cost around 9€ per night, but the payment terminal was broken and there was nobody to collect the fees. I asked another camper if they knew how we could pay. He also did not know and we agreed that we could probably stay for free.
I took the opportunity on Sunday evening and went for a short bike ride next to the ocean and just sat on the rocks and watched the sunset. The place I stayed at was quite remote so there was not that much light pollution. I spent some time just standing outside stargazing. It is not possible to do that often as there is either too much light pollution in the cities or the moon is so bright the stars are not visible.
Monday has arrived which meant it is the working day. Fortunately or unforunately, it was raining the whole day so I did not feel I missed out on much by not spending time outside. Lucikly, by around 5pm, the clouds cleared and the rain stopped. I could finally go out and explore the village. The village(s) are very small and are mostly meant for tourists. Still, a bike ride was appreciated and I could get a dose of workout before heading back east.
By the time I got back to Christina, it was dark. I decided to have a quick dinner and take a shower. I also remembered that my friend, Igor, has a birthday. So I called him to send him my greetings. It was also a perfect opportunity for me. I had someone accomponying me during the drive. I drove and talked to Igor for about an hour until I reached the small town of Sulniac to stay overnight.
A full working day and more driving
November 15th, 2022
It was mostly an uneventful day. I had a relatively busy morning with meetings and fulfilling requests. So I did not get that much chance to go outside and enjoy the small town. Instead, I decided to use my lunch break and drive a bit further to Rennes. First, I stopped at a shopping mall for a bit of shopping. One thing led to another and I ended up buying a new pair of jeans and a nice polo T-shirt. I thought I could claim the cost from the travel insurance or the airline for my lost baggage. While shopping, I got a call that some colleagues need help with a few issues. So I had to get back to the car and attend to the issues. I was planning to have a short visit to the city of Rennes. While thinking about it, I received an email that my baggage is found and will be delivered on the next morning. I was so happy to see the email and excited at the same time. I had been behind my schedule at that time so I had to hurry a bit and continue south. So I decided to get back to David’s farm at Marigné-Laillé. I asked David if it is OK and he told me that the keys are at the same place hidden and I am welcomed to stay for as long as needed. Happy about that, I skipped sightseeing in Rennes and continued my ride to the farm.
A wait with no end
November 16th – 19th, 2022
I had 3 days of absolute nothingness. It was very boring and at the same time stressfull to stay in the big farm away from anything all on my own. I don’t usually dislike being alone out in nature, but this was different. I was stuck at the same place for several days. I kept checking the delivery status. First, the expected delivery was on the 16th between 8:00 and 13:00, then it changed to 13:00 to 18:00, later it became on the 17th morning, then afternoon, etc. I still managed to go for an amazing bike ride on the 17th and explored the forests on my own. It was quiet and secluded, yet many paths and roads were around. The Fall colors were taking over and the whole forest was full of colors.
Finally, on Saturday morning, November 19th I gave up and drove to Le Mans where the courier office was. It seemed that my bag was still there and the new delivery date was on Monday morning. It was a great idea to go there. My bag was waiting for me there. I was very happy to be united with my bag so I could continue my journey.
I had a long ride ahead of me. Bordeaux was 450 km south and I set my mind to reach there already on Saturday. Before heading south, I visited the market in Écommoy to buy some goodies before my journey began. Happy with the great products I had with me, I started the ride with a happy face.