Medical update - jc's hand is still swelling daily as a result of the hornet attack.
Our plan today was to cycle into the centre of Toulouse, have a look around, then make some inroads towards Castelnaudary.
How plans change!
We got up at just before 7 to find our hosts watching the end of Wales v Samoa (not a bad game actually, Hook was replaced by the impressive Halfpenny at half time).
After breakfast we watched England wrap up (a dogged) Georgia before setting off.
Thanks very much to Angela, Paul and the boys for making us so welcome. Rhys, their youngest (6) was very bright and talkative. I asked him, (as I rather boringly ask all children of about that kind of age), "What's the biggest number you know?". I normally counter the "one thousand", for example, with "what about TWO thousand - and so on until the child gives up. (It's an easy way of looking clever to youngsters i find.) But not with Rhys! He said that the biggest number was "infinity". Wow! I was gobsmacked. Bright lad. But this was an example of where the expression 'quit when you're ahead' comes to mind. He went onto to explain - "because if you travel for infinity you go on and on and on for ever, unless you stop for a cup of tea".
I wonder if Albert Einstein fully considered the possibility of the photon stopping for a brew?
Paul cycled with us as far as Blagnac (Toulouse's airport and the hub of Aerospace), to point us in the right direction. Thereafter, a random-French-cyclist, who I stopped to ask further directions, took it upon himself to show us the way. "Suivre moi". He led: we followed.
We got into an area, just north of the river,and stopped for a coffee to watch some street performers, musicians and a girl singer. As we watched, a clown, complete with red nose and spotty trousers, raced out of the crowd and jumped on jc's bike (pictured) and pedalled it, along with all her panniers containing all her belongings (including Passports etc) into the distance. I jumped up to give chase on my hog, only to be told to sit down by the cafe owner who told me that 'Coco' was ok and would return the bike shortly. Im pleased to report that he did just that. Eventually.
Shortly after we moved off to the centre it started to rain so we decided to take shelter and look around the Toulouse Natural History Museum. Very interesting. When we came out though we found that my bike had been stolen. The lock cable had been cut clean through with a pair of bolt-croppers.
After several minutes stunned silence we wandered off down the road and mechanically checked onto an Hotel.
Is this the end of the road for the intrepid explorers?
Will there even be a blog tomorrow?
It's 1645hrs and we're now off to find a bar to drink some beer and to consider our predicament along with the future of Anglo-French detente, the nature of man and the meaning of life...