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J35 - Friday, November 20 : Bordeaux (Place de l’hôtel de ville) – La Teste de Buch (Town Hall)

74.7km – 8H42’
7:30 a few fireflies meet on the Place de l’Hotel de Ville: the 2 motorcyclists, Patrice and Michel, direct operations to get us out of Bordeaux and on the road to Mérignac.  Traffic is already heavy.
Alain joins them on his motorcycle exit from Bordeaux and once again ensures safety and guidance for the day
At Marcheprime, 2 runners accompany Serge; the others have stopped along the way.  At Biganos, Serge is 30 minutes ahead of schedule and decides to increase his mileage.  He is doing this more and more frequently.
Because he is early, Serge and all the team stop for photos at the port of Tuiles and at the Arcachon basin.  Two policemen on bicycles ride along with Serge in complete complicity.
The approach to La Teste on D650 is a very urban, long, straight road lined with commercial buildings and 30km/hr. zones.  Serge doesn’t slacken and keeps up his good pace.
We begin seeing pine forests which means we are near the sea and the Landes region.
At La Teste, Robert, who is a physio-therapist and president of the Athletic Club of La Test Arcachon, is one of some 15 runners who are waiting to run the last 2 kilometers with Serge.  Tonight we will set up our headquarters at his place and be his guests for the evening.
The city’s elected officials are in front of the town hall waiting for the runners.
The 10km foot race of Arcachon will be held in ten days time and there will be a drawing for a very nice painting.  We are in oyster country but it’s a shame we don’t have the time to taste any.  It’s worth mentioning that we didn’t taste the new Beaujolais either yesterday (3rd Thursday in November).
Tomorrow we leave Gironde.  Our travel through the department has been beautifully organized by our friend, Alain Rambaud.  He planned the itinerary and made the road books, found places for us to say at night, contacted all the towns on our route so that Serge could meet as many children and young people as possible, mobilized associations and running clubs, followed the race for three and a half days.  Thanks to Alain our passage through Gironde has been a real celebration and I can appreciate the months it has taken him to prepare it all.
And without wanting to bore you with the awful details, my day has been really tough from:
•    Denting the aluminum fender of the camper at 7:40 after I left Serge at the start
•    Spending 45 minutes trying to find a body shop (time that wasn’t on the schedule) and being flashed by radar on a road in Bordeaux while I was going 35 km/hr. (I wonder if it wasn’t a dream)
•    Going to the town hall of Pissos to see if there is somewhere we can stay tomorrow night (my requested received a negative answer but because I am persistent and all the hotels and hostels in the neighborhood are closed, I decided that it would be best to argue about it).  We will sleep in Pissos but it took a meeting with the first deputy of the town to arrange it …Super!
•    Preparing the arrival in Mont de Marsan with a surprise which I will tell you about very soon, and making a few phone calls, of which an important one to make an appointment so I can buy a new computer and sent ours to be repaired. (yesterday the ventilator was making such a frightful noise that I was afraid it was going to explode).
•    Returning to La Test on the road Serge will take tomorrow.
•    Shopping at the supermarket in Biscarosse, where I stopped to eat at a Mac Do (yes, you heard me….)
•    Being at 1:45 in the parking lot of Gujan-Mestras and waiting for r the computer shop to open at 2:30.  While I’m waiting I power up and look at e-mails.
•    Entering the shop at 2:30 and not leaving until 7:30, so for the first time I miss Serge’s finish, which is something very important to me.  I left the PC so it can be picked up by the manufacturer on Tuesday.  Now I just need to know where I can pick it up.  Tomorrow is another day!
•    This evening, everything is not OK with the computer.  For example, the 3G key is not compatible with Windows 7.  The Garmin watch won’t charge, even though the Training Center and ANT software are installed.  I’m unable import the PST files of Outlook so there is no back-up or address book.  And I’m sure I have not seen the end of it.
•    So, I might have had a bad day but it didn’t keep Serge from advancing and having an excellent day.  This evening he is in a very good mood, so is the team.  My only regret is that sometimes I feel I’m on the sidelines rather than living the race.

Town : La Teste de Buch (33)