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France and back again - By Bilbo Baggins.

Bristol Pete

Well-known Member
So on Tuesday I was booked to shoot a job by Bristol Rugby in Bayonne in the South West of France. Cool. Little time to prepare but booked flight and went adhoc.

Departed at 18.10 UK time on Thurs. Arrive 9.30 France. Walked out of Airport to phone wall and rang Holiday Inn. No rooms aside from Business class. Oh well, what you gonna do. Book it and they send shuttle for me. Nice room, loads in mini bar. Decide to head into Toulouse city centre so book Taxi. Get dropped off, have a wander, meet a nice girl called Jean in a weird bar were all the women look like blokes. Still, beggars cant be choosers though she was a hairy thing ha ha ha. Only joking, get back for early start.

Fri AM.

Get up @ 8.00. Full breakfast and pay for room. Back to airport to get a motor. End up with a lovely Mini Cooper with Sat Nav. Leaving Toulouse I realis that Sat nav not working so spend next hour driving around Toulouse looking for A64 to Spain. End up right in the centre and as not needed in Bayonne til 7.30 I decide to park up and get a day time look. Very nice. Lots of French people about.

The Drive.

Finally I figure that if I follow the A29 around Toulouse I will find my exit. Yippee - its there. Head for Bayonne, which is just North of Spain and Basque in region. Pass through the Pyrennesse mountains in hammering rain but see some awesome sights and stop at Lourdes to pray for a decent hi ISO Mark III N camera.

Arrive in Bayonne at around 1.15pm (3 hours on the road with one energy drink stop) and totally lost. Big medieval town with loads of Bridges. The most famous export from Bayonne? - why the Bayonnet attachment for the rifle. After driving around looking for floodlights on the horizon I park up and ask locals for 'Le rugby stadium' in an odd French accent that came out of nowhere but made me sound like Frank Spencer does French. No one understands me, not a jot, nilch, nada, nout. Even after I stand in the street and mime the passing of a rugby ball to a winger........somewhat Pepe Le Pue syle (when in Fance eh?)

Anyway, so there I am trying to get the Sat nav working when I spot Bristol Rugby Head Coach Richard Hill. I charge over and thank my lucky days. Follow him back to team hotel and sign in. Panic over. Then spend three hours enjoying the resplendant glamour of Bayonne. Lots of nice looking women - but all smoking and as such will have gert big yellow teeth one pressumes.

Spend a couple of hours on a wireless network and check out the days news on TP/BBC etc. Get asked to go on the beer with Team. Decline and advise that not a drinker, well, not a 30 pint man.

Then head off to the game. Awful wind and rain but job done. Good win for Bristol. Get images to customers which were Bristol Rugby, a sunday paper and the printers whom supply Bristol Rugby's matchday programmes so nice pay day due. Get really upset at myself as get call to say that I had missed main Bristol newspapers cut off for Sat print run and they have bought some awful stuff elsewhere. (this is validated today). Spend the next hour peeved at myself and feel like I have let people down, but the wireless signal was sooooooo slooooowww it was like treacle.

Finally, at 10.15 I order steak and potatoes. Lovely job. Watch some god awful Hollywood film in French and then wonder why so turn off the TV and get some shut eye after making a tent. (its a man thing)

Anyway, up @ 7.30am and crack on back to Toulouse. Another three hour drive with the mountains in better view. Get back to the Airport no problem. Drop off car and chill in airport. Sat down on laptop when a big crwod of French people start taking pictures and they note my camera bag. This odd 'photograph' conversation starts in pidgeon English with the Fench guys all marvelling at the joys of two Mark II n's and various lens. Show them the nights before work and they love it - in the end they offer to exchange one of the women in their travelling party for all my kit. I decline.

Anyway, board the flight home with the Rugby club. Drink, eat and sleep and get back into Bristol @ 3.10. Back to house to start re-edit all over again but do watch the X Factor.....

Overall, a great experience with the camera's again. Three long days but worth every minute.

Thanks for reading. Here is my trip in a nutshell......












Well-known Member

Great stuff Pete ... if you don't have a blog going already you should have (and if you do, tell me where I can find it!). Sounds like you and your cameras have some great times.

An inspiration to us all.


.... but where are the money shots? I've missed my weekly intake of sports action on this forum.


Distinguished Member
Enjoyed reading that, thanks for posting...

The 'making a tent' bit was just a little bit to much information though:eek: !


Well-known Member
Sounds like an excellent trip Pete. I'm guessing you must be doing this full-time now - or have a very understanding employer?
Its nice when you try and do as many things in one day as possible. :smashin:

My record is 5 different means of transport, 4 airports and a wedding in one day.! :eek:

No pics from the game ?

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