Saint Gobain, France

After my WWOOFing experience, I took some time off to be alone with my little flock and enjoy the van that was starting to take shape.

So off I went. No need to go far since I was already in the countryside.

I drove a few kilometers out and found an entry path to a forest. I placed myself a little bit inside the forest but not too far from the road. The road itself didn’t have too many people driving there.

The first day, I believe my presence disturbed a potential illicit deal. If ever in a movie about gangsters they talk about a guy in a van in the forest limiting their ability to meet, tell me. I’ll ask for my share of the money!

The next two days I had no visitors at all.

And then… officers from three different government offices came by. My habit whenever I see there’s any interest from a government representative is to preemptively introduce myself with a big smile and ask what I can do for them. The first were from the National Office of Forests. Essentially, I was on their territory so I made sure they were ok with my truck’s location.

Then I met the hunting and gaming representatives who asked to look in my truck after they saw Miss Piggy (a pigeon) through the window. They wanted to make sure I was collecting wild animals. The third were police officers who were very friendly.

I stayed another two days and then moved on. I went to Saint Gobain and parked near the church there. On my first day there, two friends came to visit. As we sat on the bench a guy came up, shook each of our hands in turn and said hello. Then his friend did that and then the next and so on. After this initial hello, they told us in unison that we’re about to watch the champions of Saint Gobain in petanque. Indeed they were good players. I requested permission to take some pictures of them and they agreed.

A day later, a guy walked up to the van and asked me if I was an undercover cop or something similar.

A day later, the family who lived in the house nearest me was admiring Lucy (pigeon) and decided she needed to be saved. I was in the back of the van when they simply opened the door (I now keep all doors locked always). I shouted at them to close the door and then walked out and explained why there was no need for saving. They then invited me to stay there as long as I wanted and to come back for a music festival in August.

All in all, it was an awesome week.

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