Across Continents

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The kindness of strangers

I met Mathias close to the village of Pleguien, a little over 10 kilometres short of my next stop in Etables-sur-Mer on the coast of Brittany. He was out cycling. We immediately had something in common, each regretting having not tried harder at school learning each other’s mother tongue.

I explained briefly about my expedition. He kindly offered to provide me with some provisions for the evening. I accepted with many ’tres bien’s and ’merci’s, and we agreed to rendezvous at the church in the next village. A short while later Mathias arrived by car, accompanied by his mother Dominique. The gift of a baguette, pate and fruit was gratefully accepted before we then parted company.

I continued on my journey to the coast down quiet country lanes. A little while later a car approached, passed me and then stopped abruptly. The number plate seemed familiar. It turned around, passed me once more and then stopped again. Mathias and Dominique emerged. It seems that since they had left me earlier, they’d had a look at my website and decided to find me once more and take a photograph for the local newspaper. The kindness of strangers.


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