Even though I woke about seven, it’s been a lazy morning without doubt. Currently I am making a recording of the bells ringing. I wonder how long they will ring? It’s very nearly noon. Is there a mass at noon? Who knows.
I ate one of the pastries I bought the other day. It’s like a calzone with apples in brioche. Handsome as well as delicious.
I have typed this. And I suppose I will leave this apartment at some point. Soon? Probably. In spite of the abuse to my feet I am continually restless and cannot stay in here for long.
I make another long walk. Who needs feet anyway?
I head for a large park called La base de loisirs de l’Ile Charlemagne which looks good for pictures and recording birds. There are threats of rain so I have added my rain layer. About half way there (about a 42 minute walk says G) I remove my insulation layer and stuff that in my backpack. The cloud cover, though not great for photography necessarily, has definitely warmed things up a bit.
I have some trouble finding a toilet because the facilities are partially under construction/remodel and partially because my French is like that of a two year old. But once that is done I get about disappearing into the slight woods and trails of this vast park.
There are many families and pets strolling around the area, but as I walk West (back toward Orléans) I find quiet places and listen to the local sounds of nature and try to take some interesting pictures.
I take a picture of a dog and chat with the owner. Here name is Charlotte Sarou and it turns out she currently has no pictures of her dog. I offer to send the ones I’ve take and take a few more so we are sure there is a good one.
I send those as I’m reminded typing this part of the story.
I make my way through the park, heading back toward the bridge to take me across the river again and back toward home.
Since I have exhausted F&R I seek out dinner for myself. Many places are open but mostly bars. I stop in at a bar and meet some young Frenchmen. One is a student in IT and another is a real estate agent. We talk for some time and I drink a cocktail, also talking with the owner, Ben (Benoit I think).
I need some food though. They tell me of an ok restaurant which will be open. I head there to have the rumstek de bœuf. I talk with a couple who have moved from Paris to Orléans. We chat for a long time at their table but I excuse myself because I really am hungry. We chat again as they are leaving, passing my table. The make a restaurant recommendation which I hope to try Monday.
When I was leaving the bar the card devices were not working (one was dead battery and the other was frozen) so I return again at least to pay. My new friends are still there so we talk again and I have a beer. They leave but I have met a second group of people (a beautiful woman and two talkative gentlemen).
Everyone wants to know why I’ve come to Orléans since it’s not a particularly touristy destination. I explain that I have friends here but that I have worn them out with my enthusiasm. Also, and I mentioned this before, everyone is very friendly. It also probably helps that I’m the exotic traveler from abroad.
Finally around midnight I pay and bid my new friends good night. Elie (the guy I’ve been talking with until the end) says we should get another drink before I leave for Seattle and so I will try to get that in as well. Time is not your friend.
Back here and crash. My toe has a blister. Traveling in the winter is much harder on my feet. I mean, traveling to a place where it is winter. My feet were made to be bare! To be naked! To be free! Fuck, they hate me.