Again, there was a ton of traffic getting off the mountain. Ben and I were sick of 18 wheeler / roving drunk Europeans ruining our sleep so we decided to grab a hotel room for the evening. It was also nice to grab a real shower and shave my beard and layers of sunblock from my face.
By the time we showered the only place open for dinner was Buffalo Grill. Its this crazy French spin on a TGI Friday’s type of restraurnt but with an Americana spin. Everywhere in the building were weird photos of scantily clad women with American flags. And at the entrance they had several TVs with footage of the Grand Canyon playing on loop.
Is this what the French think America is all about?
We ordered a few hamburgers, although we were very tempted to order the TexMex Tartar, which looked like a loaf of raw hamburger patty topped with guacamole. That’s definitely a classic American meal.
Ben made sure to order our hamburgers medium well. I took one bite and almost spit it out – it was basically raw. Ben explained to me that what the French consider well done is much different from our version. They also don’t like ketchup much, which is something I can’t live without. I think I need to write a letter to Buffalo Grill to get them to sort out their “American” experience.
We got up early and headed out to try and catch the only climb of the stage. It was a flat day but there was a short, steep climb through the town of Sete along the coast of the Mediteranian.
We got an early start but again were slammed by traffic, this time due to Bastille Day.
We got to the town with about an hour to spare. The climb was amazing, it was a short steep kicker right through the middle of town. I thought about running but the riders were going way too fast, so I just decided to try and give the camera a good wave.
It took me about half an hour before I could get off the costume. Children in the crowd kept coming up and asking for photos. I felt like Mickey Mouse at Disneyland or something.
You can tell a lot about someone by how they react to you when you are dressed up as a mascot. Most people laugh and want to give you a hug or a high five. But some people try and harass you. I even had one lady at the Tour of California come up to me and say “I don’t know why, but I want to punch you”. Hmmmm, something tells me she has some childhood issues she needs to sort out.
In France most people are cool. However, there seems to be a crowd of angry Australians that I see on the stages. They are usually drunk and carry around some type of rendering of a kangaroo with boxing gloves. And they usually try and lightly punch me in the stomach. Who knows, maybe they are upset that Cadel isn’t doing well, but jeez Australians chill out and show Bottle Boy some love!