French Flat
WTH - Are they still alive?

July 11 – 13, 2018

The last couple of days cycling with Emmanuel and Nawal and their kids.


What happened…

Andrew writes:I had a great time cycling along with Nawal, and chatting with her. She seemed eager to ride ahead, but just as happy to chat with me a lot too. It was a lot of fun seeing her cycle with Emmanuel and the kids also. Amanda and I talked a little bit about maybe we could offer to babysit while the two of them went away on a ride for a few hours, but that would mean Stephanie would get stuck with both of the French kids, who seem to absolutely adore her. We decided to take a rest day, and Manu and Nawal headed back home, with Manu threatening to cycle the 300 something kilometres in one day; in the end, he drove with Nawal.

Normandy continues to impress, and I was really impressed with the American cemetery. Row upon row of white marble crosses and stars, and such lush green grass. And this is just one of 29 such cemeteries that they have around the world!


Stephanie writes:
After waking up and having breakfast, Matthieu was feeling very loving. He came over and was hugging me as per usual when he tore the elastic out of my hair with much of my hair still on it. He then proceeded to put the elastic on my wrist and told me that we were getting married. By the time we left, apparently Matthieu and I had gotten married by his standards. After getting married, we started riding and then stopped at a little beach for Amanda and Andrew to do their classes. While they were doing their classes, I was going to take a nap but Matthieu had other plans. He wanted to play on the beach with me so I let him throw and kick sand in my face while Amanda and Andrew did their classes. After they were done their classes, we headed down to the shoreline and watched as hundreds of people were on their hands and knees digging for clams. It was super competitive and everyone was really into it but I thought it was weird how everyone was getting the clams just to eat. As we were leaving we noticed all the kitesurfers in the water. Once we were done at the beach we packed up and then we kept riding to the bnb. When we got to the bnb we were warned about the stray cat that wanders around the area because it attacked Matthieu the last time that they stayed there. When we got to the bnb we watched the semi finals of the World Cup with a Danish family that was also staying at the bnb. When I went to go to bed and lock the door to my room, I realized that the key and lock on my door weren’t real which I thought was kinda funny.

When we got up for breakfast at the BnB and went downstairs, the table was set up super pretty with delicious food ready for us. After saying bye to the owners and the Danish family, we went to visit some bunkers. The kids got to run around and Emmanuel told us all the cool things about the bunkers. When we stopped for lunch, Emmanuel and Nawal knew a spot and we got to eat on a beautiful cliff overlooking the water and watched jets fly by us. When we arrived at our campsite they asked us if we wanted wifi, running water and electricity with our stay which I thought was very strange compared to our last two campsites. Andrew and I made dinner and then we went to bed right after because we were so tired.

On the next day when we left the campsite, we started off in the wrong direction because Emmanuel wanted to show us some of the fighter jets that were in a museum before we set off. For lunch we stopped in a little beach town and rode on a path to a little ‘island’. After eating lunch, Lise, Matthieu and Emmanuel went for a swim in the water. When Amanda and I headed over to say hi, they started chasing us and trying to throw mud at us. When we got to the campsite we decided to order pizza because it was our last night with the family.

The last day we started off the day by sleeping in and was then woken by Matthieu and Lise. For the last day with everyone, we went on a walk to a lighthouse and beach together. The walk to the lighthouse was super pretty and we did lots of beach combing for beach glass on the way there. Once we got to the lighthouse and beach, Emmanuel showed us all the sea snails and how many people eat them. Matthieu and Lise played in the water next to the lighthouse and collected as many sea snails as they could before we started heading back to the campsite. On the walk back I showed Lise all the beach glass I had collected and she asked if she could have it so I let her have one piece of each colour. Once I gave her the beach glass, she quickly threw it away. For the rest of the walk back, Emmanuel told the story of how him and Nawal met Amanda and Andrew, in french for the kids so Amanda and Andrew couldn’t understand what he was saying. Once we got back to the campsite, we said goodbye and before they left Matthieu had already found the card for Emmanuel and Nawal that Amanda had hid in their car for them to find later. After they’d left, we did lots of organizing to get ready for the next few days to come. After we’d finished organizing and planning we spent some time relaxing.


Amanda writes: These few days were filled with personal guided tour from Nawal and Emmanuel. We cycled along the Normandy coast enjoying the beautiful historic sights. I found I enjoyed the company of our friends even more. Again they were very patient with our pace of riding and we were able to stop along some beaches so the kids could play. The countryside was amazing and hanging out in the evenings camping with them was great to sit back and chat. We’re so lucky to call them friends and be able to just hang out like it was yesterday instead of 10 years ago we met them. Such good friends and I can’t wait to see them again.

After the two days of riding they packed up and drove back home and left us at the campground. We decided to take a day to rest. This really was our first day of not traveling since we left Canada July 4th. Maybe the long cycling days and jet lag finally caught up with us but we literally did nothing. I rode my bike to the grocery store a few kilometres away to get some food and that was it. We napped in the afternoon, ate some food and just relaxed. Clearly our bodies needed the rest.


The aerial view of our sightseeing day:




Today’s Flickr Photographs

French Flat
WTH - Are they still alive?