Tiff is currently sleeping (which she darn well should, since she biked over 50 miles yesterday and almost 40 the day before that!), but I haven't been able to, so I got up a bit early to write a blog post. I just uploaded some pictures from London. The Phantom of the Opera was great, even though we were all really tired since most of us didn't sleep very well on the flight over the Atlantic. After the show was over, we hiked about two miles or so (with all of our luggage, since we didn't have time to get to our hotel before the play started), until we got to the train that took us to the hotel at the Gatwick airport. We got to bed around midnight or something, then had to wake up at 6:30am to catch our 7:55am flight to Bordeaux, France.
In Bordeaux, we spent a couple hours trying to find the DHL place and unpack our bikes, then we drove for another couple hours to St. Jean de Luz, where we started our crazy bike race. It was a 38 mile trek that was mostly flat, but my bike and Tiffany's both were not in good shape, since it had been a long time since we cleaned them and they got jostled around a bit from shipping. So we arrived in St. Jean Pierre de Piet, or something like that, after about 2:30 of travel time. We met up with Mary, Jayme, and Nelson at the hotel, where the people were very nice and let us keep our bikes in the basement. We made it just in time for our dinner at 8pm (although fairly exhausted).
After the quite nice dinner (I had duck and probably the best roasted potatoes I've ever had), Tiff, Jayme, Nelson, and I went for a walk in the town, up to a creepy fort where there were ghosts, goblins, and other such things. It was also pouring rain, so we got soaked. But definitely worth it. Then we headed back to the hotel around midnight, and woke up at 11am the next morning. Neither Tiff nor I were quite ready to wake up, but that's the way it goes! We spent a few hours eating breakfast, looking at the maps, and trying to fix my bike, but ultimately I decided I shouldn't ride it the way it was. So I got in the car with Nelson, and Jayme and Mary got in the other car and we drove to Oloron. Tiff and Jay got on their bikes and also took off in that direction. Fortunately, once we got to Oloron (a 50 mile trip), we found a bike shop and a hotel to stay at fairly quickly. Also, the bike shop mechanic was an incredibly nice guy who did a really good job fixing up my bike. Sadly, the main hotel person was a jerk who didn't like us very much, but that's the way it goes sometimes. I think we've got another fairly long ride today, but hopefully not too long, because my legs aren't that strong and Tiff's knee is acting up. Also, there's an enormous smell of chocolate pervading this town that we should really try to find, but don't know if we'll have time.
That's pretty much everything so far. I'll check back in later, hopefully. (See the pictures!)