Chapter Two: A Lesson in Limping & the Importance of Flexibility / 18.11.12

In the aftermath of the accident, I realized the pain that remained was in my upper leg, and my pride. In spite of the injury, Devin and I cycled 60 km the next morning to the town of Antiebs where a possible host and the promise of rest and recuperation lived. After a beautiful yet painful ride along the rocky coastal roads, we arrived in Antieb to find not our host Manford, but instead his temporary roommate named Juliana- and adorable student from Columbia. She was kind, laid back, a bit bubbly and the apartment was comfy and calm- just what I needed to shake the pounding headache and rest my leg in peace.

Shortly after settling in she told us she was having a couple friends over to make pizza, and invited us to join- a low key night with pizza, perfect! By midnight fourteen of her friends had arrived, each bringing a bottle of wine or liquor and an endless supply of beer. They were all ¬†students around our age and came from all over the world to earn a European Maters in Renewable Energy. ¬†Every person there was awesome, friendly, talkative, and knew English well enough to be our best friend by the end of the evening. Music blasted while custom pizzas flew in and out of the oven- some with eggs on top and even “Mr.Pizza” were created and devoured. Great conversation, music swapping and even dancing pushed until the early hours of morning, and then it all ended with a bang- literally.

One helpful friend decided to take out all the empty bottles to recycling at three in the morning and ended up breaking them all before they made it out the door. Needless to say, he and the bottles stayed the night while everyone else left to go take a big exam for the university program they were in.

 

Thinking back, it was probably not a wisest decision on my part to participate the day after a concussion- but its hard to resist good wine, great company, and the energy that a roomful of young adventurous minds can generate.

The next day Devin an I headed towards Nice to meet our next host. We kept a slow pace and walked at times, but arrived at our eccentric hosts house in the evening not knowing what to expect from the run down neighborhood. After trying to figure out which building she lived in for about an hour, a man who spoke very little english let us inside, took us to a door and said “here”! Inside we met three adorable children, two couchsurfing Germans, and a woman who was staying there for a few months with her young son. This was a full house if I had ever seen one. It took awhile to get settled as they questioned our large amount of luggage and the children skeptically checked out our bicycles and ragged appearance, but by dinner time we were all friends. We shared a meal some wine, and a dragon puzzle with the youngest boy who taught me some new french vocabulary. We got to see the beautiful old city of Nice and eat massive amounts of Gelato, and meet our next host named Nick.

Nick is an American living in Nice and the only fair way to describe him is the epitome of “cool”. When we met up he had just come from the police station trying to recover his stolen phone from the night before, and then took us to his huge and “old lady” style apartment located right in the center of the old town. His stylish shades, chic clothes and laid back vibes covered up any hint of America disguising him as a French local. Devin, Kallie, Andrew, and I stayed for only one night which I think we were all sad about. We had a great time talking about travel, cycling, and french culture while sipping limoncello on the patio. We watched a documentary about birds which could have been boring or genius- were not sure, and a french movie about a cyclist on the tour de france. It was a great night with the familiarity of a fellow american sharing appreciation for travel and cycling- what could be better than that.


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One Comment

  1. Andrew said on November 18, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Hey Tori, keep em coming!!! I love the light tone — kal and i were laughing out loud on the ferry — even though I know it’s been difficult. These are fun to read, and I look forward to further chapters…

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