Indiana June is the main character in a real-life Pick-A-Path Adventure story. She is cycling the globe and letting people vote to decide what she does next. Her fate is in your hands so get voting to choose how the story unfolds. Read more…

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Sunday, 09 October 2011

In bed with Indiana June: 5 nights, 5 beds.

A few people have been curious lately about where I sleep and what I eat on this pick-a-path adventure so I thought I'd give a run down of the past five days for a glimpse into my varied sleep and food patterns.

Monday: Campground in L'Ambois
Today I cycled 75km from Cholet towards La Roche Sur Yon. At lunchtime I google 'french + campsite' and luckily found L'Ambois hidden amongst farmland and leafy cycle trails, only a few km from the city. I've found French campsites to be quite spectacular and this one not only had a swimming pool, it also had a petting zoo! It might seem like a good idea on paper but unfortunately the peaceful and serene ambiance was interrupted all night by Fifi the ostrich and her screeching mating calls.


Tuesday: Hotel in Bordeaux
After a restless sleep I woke up to the alarming realisiation that I couldn't turn my neck in the left direction. I tried to cycle but even the 5km into town was incredibly dangerous as I couldn't look over my shoulder to check the traffic. I was in a hurry to reach the art workshop by Friday so I bought a train ticket to Bordeaux. I arrived at the only hostel in town at 7pm to find it was abandoned and boarded up. I spent 2 hours looking for somewhere to stay and ended up having to fork out for a hotel. I booked it quite cheaply on and it was a 4 star hotel… with my very own bathtub. So I got more than my moneys worth by washing all my clothes AND tent in the bath and milking the breakfast buffet, escaping with a bag full of goodies including soft cheeses, a boiled egg and a variety of fancy tea.


Wednesday: Wild camping in Frontenac
I had no accommodation plans today so decided to fly by the seat of my bikepants and head east. I cycled along leafy tow paths, playing chicken with different lizards along the canal and it was truly stunning - such a relief not having to battle the traffic and my neck was almost back to normal. I got to Frontenac which turned out to be a bit of a ghost town with half a dozen buildings, no open shops and the sun was setting. I decided to pitch my tent in a small field and for dinner I picked wild raspberries which I ate with dry cornflakes. Simple food but it filled my tum.


Thursday: Couchsurfing in Marmande
I woke up to a frosty morning, the tent was saturated in dew but I had to pack it up wet and get moving anyway. My toes were frozen but after half an hour of cycling the feeling finally returned and the sun came out. I rejoined the tow path and passed rows after row of vineyards, absolutely beautiful in the autumn hues. I cycled the 50km to Marmande where I stayed with my lovely couchsurfing hosts Marie Alex and Charles. Marie Alex took me for a walk around the town centre, talking about the history and pointing out notable architecture (and to buy beer). We then tasted foie gras, followed by a meal of raclette where everyone got to do their own cooking/melting at the table in front of them using a special grill. It's a cheesy, meaty, potato concoction that is as decadent as it is delicious and was followed up with a deep sleep on a comfy fold out couch.


Friday: B&B in Gindou
I had underestimated the cycle today, thinking it was 60km not 110km of constant hills as it turned out. Luckily I had a cycle buddy, Sarah from North Carolina to accompany me today on the way to the luxury B&B, Le Perchoir Des Paons. We set off at 10am and didn't arrive until 7.30pm, slightly broken by the final winding hill. Our hosts Mike and Susie welcomed us with cold beer followed by a four course meal with olives, melon and ham, provencal chicken with rice and stewed pears. (Plus our wine glasses were continually topped up with local wine.) It was such a treat to have our own rooms that night and I think it took about 3 seconds before I was snoring after our huge ride and this is the breakfast spread we woke up to.


Five days and five very different sleeping arrangements but that's what makes this journey so interesting. If you have any ideas on places I should sleep along the way, a favourite cousin who might host me or a special camping spot send me a mail and I'll try and incorporate it into my trip.

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Latest Poll Results
New York: What will Indiana June do in the big apple?
21% Track down and visit Oliver Jeffers:
Renowned Children's storybook writer & illustrator
11% Walk the High Line:
A linear park built on a 1.45-mile section of the elevated NY Central Railroad 
11% Be a NYC detective for a day: 
Part game, theatre and tour to discover some of NYC's most off-the-beaten path spots
13% Explore the City Hall Subway Station: 
Abandoned & hidden from the public for 60 years
12% Flying trapeze class:
Hone her circus skills learning how to fly on a trapeze 
30% NZ Flag + Statue of Liberty:
Bodypaint the NZ flag on her body and go up the Statue of Liberty
2% Go to Queens and find a 'Nanny' sound-alike:
Video someone with the nanny accent saying "noo Zealand, i love that place"
Voting closed | 204 VOTES
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