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Parlez-vous anglais?

by Tyler

Today we enjoyed a quiet, relaxing day off in the beautiful coastal town of St. Ives. We had a nice morning walk through all the little shops before we made our way to "Pengenna's Pasties" to have authentic Cornish pasties for lunch. They were satisfyingly massive but we both thought were pretty bland. Tara later found a traditional pasty recipe and discovered that neither the crust nor the filling had any salt. No wonder!

Cornish Pasty

After lunch we went walking back along the beach to town, where I spent a peaceful afternoon working at 'The Hub' to the rhythmic sound of the ocean. While I worked Tara wandered around taking photos and visiting the many art galleries in St. Ives.

Fancy some ice cream? Purple Flower

When I was through we decided to head home for the evening. We took the "scenic route" along the beach and we were able to see the tide coming in, a first for me. It was surreal watching firsthand as nature casually told a crowd of several hundred people, "go home."

When we arrived at camp we found to our dismay that the sun we had enjoyed all day melted our free massage bar (from the ladies at Lush). I didn't really care about the loss of the bar but it had leaked all over the tent and made quite a mess. I spent the next hour cleaning while Tara made two tasty dinners from our dwindling food supplies. For me, she made a cheesy potato soup, and for herself she made spicy Thai peanut noodles. We saved the leftovers in our tupperware for tomorrow's lunch. For an evening snack I made popcorn that we happily devoured while watching a few episodes of House.


Tomorrow marks the last time we ride our bicycles west in the UK. We're off to see Lands End and then we will strike east for Plymouth where we finally bid England farewell. We both feel incredibly accomplished looking at our trail of red markers through the UK and can't wait to send a message from our Spot GPS for the first time in France!

Tara has been helping me with basic French phrases on and off for the last few weeks. I feel confident that I will be able to communicate basic needs but not so confident that I'll be able to understand the responses! I'm not sure how realistic it is but I hope to reach a conversational level by the time we leave.

Tara's note: This is a song Tyler made up that he sings very loudly when we're biking through the countryside:

RepeTEZ! s'il vous PLAIT! (Repeat, please)
Je ne parle pas FRANCAIS! (I don't speak French)
Parlez-vous anglais? s'il vous PLAIT! (Do you speak English? Please!)

We added this to his song while we were practicing numbers, "I have" and body parts:

J'ai une TETE! (I have a head)
J'ai deux BRAS! (I have two arms)
et le reste… (and the rest)
je ne comprends PAS! (I don't understand!)

At the very least, the next year will have Tara and I travelling through countries where one or both of us do not speak the local language. While planning our journey there were many things that we couldn't account for and this is one of them. I have no idea what it will be like but I am incredibly thankful we wound up starting in England rather than Southeast Asia. Getting our bearings with a life on the road was difficult enough without throwing a communication barrier in as well.

France, here we come!