I realize now that my 'space' blanket is worthless. My legs were very very cold during the night, and I found myself trying many different arrangements throughout the night in the tent to make myself more warm. Rustling around all night with the giant piece of tin foil, I accidentally ripped a corner off of it. All the blanket seemed to do was capture my sweat...so I was cold and wet. When it got warm towards the morning, I finally got some smooth sleep, and I slept well and late...waking up hot and face down with tarp lines and drool all over my face. The best way to start a run. After packing up and returning the tent, I set out towards Belfort. The run was short, and I arrived around noon.
I gave my couchsurfing host Claire a call, and she met me in the center of town. I took a shower and we had lunch, and she set out for her day of work at the local tattoo parlor. While she worked, I intended to get a ton of things done, including my laundry, my e-mail and some sight seeing. I like to do my laundry on occasion with a machine, because I normally just rinse it by hand, and after about a week my stuff starts to look a little bit more brown than it should. So, I set out towards the laundromat, walking about ten minutes only to find that there was no soap for sale. I turn around and walk for another ten minutes back to the grocery store to buy the smallest box of soap they sell...which was still way too big for a single load, but I figure I can leave it in the laundromat for the next traveller. When I get back to the laundromat, however, all of the machines are in use, so I look up the address of the other laundromat in town, and walk for 25 minutes to get there. It is incredibly hot outside, and because I am washing both of my shorts and t-shirts, I am walking around with a black long sleeve shorts, and black athletic pants with no underwear. I feel pretty muggy, but I make it to the other laundromat with my box of soap in hand. The price of a wash is an amazingly expensive 6 euros. After all this trouble, I feel like I need to pay it, and throw my clothes in the machine. I open up the box of soap that I bought, only to find that there is no place to put it. It is then that I notice a sign above the machine that says that soap is included in the wash. I guess that explains the price a little bit...but what kind of black magic is that? After walking about for an additional hour in search of soap and another laundry facility, I could have just used the first place without doing anything extra. Argh. So, I turn on the machine, not putting any soap in, and sit around in the heat (barefoot now) waiting for my things to wash before drying them. When I take my things out almost 4 hours after I started this whole epic laundry journey, they aren't not much cleaner than when they started, and my white shirt still has some brown stuff all over it that makes it really look like it belongs to a homeless person...and now that I've dried it, it is probably heat set in there. What a practical use of my day.
At seven, I met Claire at her work, and we had some dinner and met up with her friend Céline for a drink at a local pub. Afterwards, we went off to walk around the castle that I hadn't had time to explore during the day. During our walk, I saw the famous giant lion statue for which Belfort is famous. I guess it has an interesting history, but it's main impact on me was getting that Lion King song stuck in my head. "Nants ingonyama Bagithi Baba..."
04 July 2009