Fra(i)ncia XIV – How’d you like them..?

Apples..Avallon, Island of Fruit or rather the Apple. See if my luck will hold up here. I must run out at some point right? 

Josiane dropped me off at the end of a busy shopping street, the whole place was painted Christmas and the jingles were in the air from speakers outside of the different shops. She told me that I was always welcome at their place and if I was ever near, I shouldnt hesitate to ring them up. So sweet. She told me about an tourist office at the end of the street as well as a church. A most logical place to go.

I walked there and the tourist office was closed, the church opposite the street wasnt and I took a moment to look around, found some spot on a top floor in the hallway, closed off from the public, cold but somewhere I could sleep at least. Open until 1800h.. Time to go to a store.

I bought some ingredient for an outrageous salmon sandwich and even found a 3 way converter to hijack free electricity even harder. As I returned to the church, it was already closed, fuck me. Not even the church displays the right opening times anymore. What has this world come to haha.

I walked around a bit confident that I could find something else that provided me with a little shelter. At a parking lot in some back alley I found some sort of attic overlooking the parking lot itself, meheheh its something and I dropped my bag and groceries while I went on the hunt for something better. 

The train station, another chapel, some garage somebody left open..Not ideal but I chose the chapel. It was cold but with my gear I would survive and it would be better than outside of the rain. Also a cinema across the street that provided me with a toilet and drinking water. I filled up my water bottle and went to the chapel and since there was a table there, I prepared my outrageous salmon sandwich. Just as Im finishing up my meal the door pops open and a guy walks in with his doG. I got Lucy with me and they started barking and playing immediately. 
He asked me what the hell I was doing there and I explained to him I was a pilgrim, just eating a sandwich and I asked if he was there to close the chapel. He was.

He was also the head priest of the local parish and said that he could host me for a night!

The parish itself was just around the corner and Lucy and me walked after him and his dog Nestor. Father Ivan was his name and it looked like he appreciated the company just as much as I enjoyed his offer of kindness.

At the 5* Holy resort, he showed me to my room. The bed wasnt clean he said but haha, clean is completely subjective to me at this point my dude, Father, dude.. He offered me some soup and we shared a wine while Lucy and Nestor were continuously barking at each other. Some nice conversations about God and life in general and it was a nice addition to the whole warmth/shelter/food thing. He also gave me some advice on which route to hitchhike towards Ambert.

I had a very good night sleep and the next day I attended service together with Father Ivan, there was 1 other pious person there and it was just the 3 of us today. Slightly awkward, since Im not going to sing in a language that I dont fully master. The Bible says to sing in praise of God but it doesnt mention what kind of singing, maybe whales sing to Him? What about birds? Lame excuse but whatever.. My God doesnt need me to butcher song and word in his praise..

I got a stamp from Father Ivan and we had breakfast, he insisted that I paid absolutely nothing which was just really friendly and lucky again.

I’d made a hitchhike sign with on one side “SUD” and on the other side I put “Lyon” and I went on my way.

Bought some snacks and refilled my water bottles so I wouldnt be stuck with nothing in some place, that had nothing. Hitchhiking in France usually goes really well, its more of a culture to offer each other rides in this country. Where people in the Netherlands often look at you funny or laugh at you, over here its the complete opposite and people even apologize by putting their hands up when they dont go your way. Of course this is mostly in hindsight and finding the right spot to stand can be tricky. A little adventure thats mostly fun to talk about afterwards.