Yesterday was a tough lesson... the previous night we were camping in a farmer's field ... my rear bike light doesn't turn off when it rains a lot. So to stop it from glaring out across the field, I used my homemade shoe covers, made from strong plastic bags, to cover up the light. That night it rained hard, and so this morning my shoe covers were soaking and I had to ride all day without them.
It rained even harder that day, at one point I couldn't see anything and my face hurt from being pelted by the rain. When my trainers soaked through, which took only minutes, my feet froze until I couldn't feel them, and stayed like it all day, until we found a McDonald's in the evening where I stood holding my socks and soles of my trainers under the hand dryer for 10 minutes hoping no one else would come in. Luckily no one did, because McDonald's was pretty much empty, as nobody seems to come out of their houses on a Sunday in France. In fact, much of the time when riding through french towns, I am baffled by the lack of humans. Anyway, lesson learnt – don't leave shoe covers out in the rain.
We've been in France a week now and have camped every night, we're getting good at it, in that we care less where we do camp. Initially it took us ages to find a place well hidden and suitable, now we just find anywhere which is partially out of sight of the road and set up. We are eating well, all the french food tastes delicious. We bought a loaf of bread a couple of days ago, it's sole purpose just to be used to mop up whatever we had for dinner each night, but it turned out it was sweet bread and tasted amazing. Everything tastes good.
I had my first puncture of the trip on day three of France. Did a quick turnover, repaired it and put the inner tube back in. A few hours later it was flat again. I then checked the tyre for anything sharp, which I should've done the first time, and found a piece of glass stuck in it. We repaired that one too, and cycled on. The next day it was flat again, air coming out of one of the patches I'd put on, so I stuck another one on it. Then, the following day it went flat again, this time air coming out of the other patch I'd put on, so I put another patch on top of that one. Four punctures, all because I didn't do it right first (and second and third) time.
We were on a budget of about 11 euros a day for food for both of us, but decided we could do with a night in a hostel each week, so we can have a proper shower (without stinging nettles), a bed, and get all our clothes and the tents dry again. So we are now down to 7 euros a day, for two people, for three meals, plus snacks. That way we should have 30 euros extra a week for a night in a hostel. Not as hard as you would imagine, and we are still eating lots of food.