If the clock here in the caravan is correct it’s 12:30.
To help me on the journey ahead and, to my eternal shame I’m stealing a miniature torch; the alarm clock; chocolate from the fridge; a knife; a small pan; a sleeping bag; a 1.5L bottle of ‘Limonade’ and a pen.
It’s raining again outside. I’m in one of the two bedrooms with the curtains drawn. I’m having a fag, then I’ll have a shower here in the caravan and then I’ll pack and hit the road, Jack.
After a very long walk to South West Paris, stopping for a while in some lovely gardens, I catch a metro the last few Kilometres for the A10 out of Paris. On the Metro is a young lady who smiles back at me. When we arrive at the last stop on the line and get off I try to find out the whereabouts of the A10 from her. She doesn’t know but we both try our best to converse with each other and she gives me a cigarette. When we part I walk off in a direction, hoping it’s the right one… It is.
There’s nowhere at all at the beginning of the motorway where one can stand and hitch. So I walk uphill along the left side of the motorway, in a little gap between the crash barrier and a very tall concrete wall that seems never-ending for about 2 or 3 km.
Eventually, I see a bridge over the motorway where I could escape but I need to cross the motorway to get on to it.
Crossing the motorway takes me about five minutes because of waiting for a gap in the speeding traffic.
When I do run across my body is bowing forward and the weight of my backpack sends me headlong over the crash barrier at the opposite side of the road – I land in a heap in some grass.
A bit of risk to your life (and surviving) is exhilarating.
I cross the bridge but stop halfway to admire the view of Paris from this high vantage point. On the other side I find myself in a village/suburb called Meudon. From here I find a turn off, or turn-in-to, rather to the A10 where I hitch for an hour or two…
I’ve had no joy getting a lift. I did get offered a lift to East France but because I’ve planned to go to the West coast I turned it down.
So I go into Meudon to find somewhere I’ll be able to sleep. Eventually I find an area of woodland behind a small industrial site. After a bit though I decide to try hitching again and walk the km or so back to the ‘turn-in-to’ to hitch for another hour.
Still no joy.
In the end I’ve returned to my sleeping spot. I read some of my book, The Undivided Universe by G. Munro and crash-out with unusual insects for company.