9. ‘Le Puy en Velay’ sign in sight

Le Puy* sign number 1, outskirts of Saint-Etienne

Le Puy* sign number 2, outskirts of Saint-Etienne

It was getting pretty late, so every time someone drops you after around 5pm, you have to have half an eye on whether there is anywhere out of the way to spend the night. I still felt confident I could make it further today, despite some advice from some workmen making their way home that it wasn’t going to happen.

Around half an hour later, two young guys picked me up. One of them didn’t have any legs. Now I feel a little uncomfortable mentioning this, as if its something worth commenting on – in a politically correct world, I wouldn’t. The thought went through my head that perhaps they didn’t need to be helping someone else. But that’s one of those thoughts you shouldn’t necessarily share – I didn’t feel this strongly enough to act upon it, thankfully.

A little techno later, they dropped me on the outskirts of Saint-Etienne. After the Neuchâtel experience, I made 100% sure to be very clear about the drop off point whenever I was picked up. With these guys I persuaded/they offered to drop me on the far side of Saint-Etienne, so I could catch traffic leaving the city (I had been dropped just before Zürich, and then had difficulty finding anyone who wasn’t simply driving into the city).


*She lives in Le Puy en Velay, south of Saint-Etienne, not in Lyon. I just said Lyon because it’s the nearest big city.

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