For the third time in the era of WAKEimperial we descended on France. With 2 pretty French boys in our midst – Antoine and Rodolphe (one infact isn’t so charming but the other, being the chief hair stylist for Mens Health makes up for it by the bucketload – of hair gel that is) and a badass grey van with an equally infamous Jake at the wheel we were prepared to stomach all the baguettes, cheese and pate that could come our way. Also decorating the back of the van was Claire and myself (Will) and the dark horse of the trip (who would join us later) Ben Grabham himself. Grabham not only shocked everyone with his ham and his incredible ability to spin 360s but also with his rather bizzare Guerkin fetish.
Anyway, I digress – the road trip consisted of a gruelling never ending drive to the bottom of France with a re enactment of the 60s including sing alongs to yellow submarine and Mrs Robinson. After sessioning the fabulous cable that is Cergy we had a fantastic barbecue (with some equally amazing sausages) with the Desmets (who also kindly accomodated us for the night before).
We then proceeded to a big leisure center at Albi where above all other things, I conquered my fear of heights (funny that eh?) much to the approval of Jake who was sandwiched between me and Rodolphe on a zip wire. We did do some wakeboarding but were more enthralled by the other activites on offer inluding a downhill buggy track (that got the better of Jakes iPhone) and a self controlled roller coaster type machine (despite several signs warning my co-pilot Rudolf to slow down on this machine he never once touched the brakes – I can only assume this is because his hair wasn’t quite wind swept enough to make the cover of Esquire and being an Imperial student, he was trying to improvise).
Our next stop was TNG near Toulouse, where we stayed in some lakeside bungalows for the best part of a week. Needless to say, with 7 hours of riding a day and a bungalow that was closer to wakeboard to than walk from the cable our riding and physical ability deteriorated rapidly. Antoine sessioned his back (for lack of a better word), Jakes elbows were giving him stick, I still think I’ve got a fractured rib from a very intimate encounter with a large pipe and Rudolf, well let’s just say his hair was suffering from the effects of gravity. Claire was the only sensible one that found more productive things to do with her time!
Additional highlights include:
- -Offering an all you can drink night for the Toulousian mosquito population whereafter Jake, Rudolf and I had a cosy night on the terrace under the stars only to be woken by a “Russian tart” at the foot of my sleeping bag with a bear on a leash yelling something along the lines of “Shaggy”,
- -Grabham and his ham on said pipe
- -Antoines Pain Au Chocolat joke as we were eating our pain au chocolat.
Unfortunately during our time at TNG we didn’t venture far from the lake and I didn’t follow through with my plan to test out my French on the Toulousian nightlife: “Tu veux un quickie derrière les buissons? L’herbe est confortable.” That will have to be saved until next time!
When it was finally time to pack up our bags many tears were shed and thank you’s given and Mr-Crazy-Man-With-Orange-T-shirt came around to apologise for harassing me on the cable and to buy some of Rudolfs latest hair styling products. Our journey home consisted of dropping off Grabham with a plentiful supply of large guerkins for his lonely night at the hostel and his flight home. Jake was a superb driver and ferried us all the way home whilst his passengers were busy being drunk and loud or fast asleep.
All in all it was a fantastic trip and the weather couldn’t have been any better (until we crossed the channel into the U.K).
Expect photos soon.