I had been on the road for four days on trains and boats and hitchhiking. It was a clear sunny Saturday evening when I walked around the corner with the sea behind me and the high fuchsia hedges on both sides of the road. There was not much to this village, not like today with its big supermarket and fancy bistro with customer parking and outside seating. A cross road, two pubs, a couple of cottages, the run-down ruin of the former industrial school.
Where to next? I walk up to this good looking young guy trying to catch a lift on the corner but he only speaks French and we shrug shoulders and smile.
In front of the first pub, a scruffy looking young guy with a dishevelled beard is sorting through the panniers of his bicycle and he takes a good look at me. Before I can ask him for directions, the pub door opens and an elderly man comes out followed by two young women with backpacks just like me. He tells me to come along if I am also looking for the workcamp. Next, we are packed into his car and driving up a steep hill. Who the heck is that? says the driver and I turn around to watch the bearded guy following as fast as he can on his bicycle.
Today is his birthday. I have made him 30 birthday cakes so far but today I am not able to. We'll do it another day, he says and smiles.