Monday, August 15, 2016

[Life list] Riding Segways in Aveyron

Last week Saturday, I headed to Rodez for a visit and canoe outing planned with some Rodez friends that Sunday. When I got to Damien's, we were going to go pick up something to eat—but first he had to make a quick phone call. He was confirming the time for something, and I clearly heard the word "Segway."

What?! Then he said he had a surprise for the afternoon—but, you heard on the phone, right?

Yup, I heard, and boy was I excited.

It's been on my life list (and is now crossed off!) for some time to ride a Segway.

We drove about 40 minutes to Saint-Geniez d'Olt and rode Segways for an hour with the owner of Gyrofun12—Aveyron's first (and only, at this point) Segway tour company—and it was awesome! Completely surpassed any expectations.

I think it was so fun because you really have to stay involved to maneuver the Segway depending on the landscape, whereas last fall when we went horse riding, for example, you just sat on a horse. The man who took us around was fantastic as well, which also contributed to the positive experience. (Our horse riding leader, if you recall, spent the two hours on her phone and smoking...)

So Damien and I both really liked driving the Segways. Unlike Segway town tours, where they stop and tell you about different landmarks and whatnot, we were riding around this town the entire time—which we both preferred. There was a park with lots of hills, where we learned how to go up them, go down them, and go across at an angle.

We also rode along both sides of this river, and were briefly in the roads at times too.

It was actually the town's summer festival when we were there, so there were booths and fair-like things all over the center of this tiny village—which we walked through briefly after our Segway hour was up.

On Sunday we drove upwards of an hour (lots of swirvy, country roads) to a camp site near Najac where we met up with friends to go canoeing/kayaking.

All was well on the two-hour canoe ride until we got to the third rapid. Our canoe hit a huge rock (water levels were lower than usual) just at the top of the descent, we flipped, and were both thrown into the rushing water, with rocks all over. We all had helmets (thank goodness), life jackets and tennis shoes on, which were absolutely necessary when this happened.

I banged up my elbow and knee just a little bit, and was mostly in shock from flipping and falling and being pushed by the current. I saw my paddle and grabbed a hold as I tried to fight the current and stand up (but, the rocks). When I got to Damien, he pulled his hand out of the water and went "Owww!"

One of his fingers was completely dislocated, and we thought perhaps broken as well.

Are you squeamish?

Might want to cover your eyes and skip the next three pictures then.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Here they come:

I will skip over retelling the slowest, most anxious part of the whole event (trying to get from the river back to the campsite, no phone service, etc.), and jump straight to when Seb, our friend who we'd carpooled with (from Rodez to the campsite), drove us 20 minutes from the campsite (which had been in a tiny town) to Villefranche, the closest town with an emergency room.

It was small, and there was one doctor working that weekend, but Damien was only in the waiting room for five minutes before his name was called.

Ten to 15 minutes later, he came out with the finger popped back in place (they'd gassed him before doing that), wrapped to the neighboring finger in some gauze to help keep it from moving.

He didn't pay a penny (this is France), and off we went, back to Rodez.

He is doing fine, and we were both lucky not to have had any more serious injuries from that tumble.
Rapids are dangerous.

So I was on a roll of firsts—riding a Segway, canoeing where there are some rapids, going to a French emergency room—which I continued on Tuesday when we saw a movie at the theater in Rodez: Ice Age 3D (I don't know what number this is in the series; it's the only Ice Age movie I've seen.)

When we lived together in Rodez and Palavas, we never went to the theater, but after I moved from Rodez, Damien seemed to go every couple of weeks with this group of friends. I had still never been to a French movie theater (by choice and since the occasion had never arose; I mostly watch Netflix or stream because theaters are expensive!), so I liked the idea of going this once to experience it. (I've gone to movie theaters both in Spain and South Korea while living in each country, so I wanted to see what French theaters were like.) It was even more expensive than I'd thought, but the friends we went with had this two for one discount code they let us use. Not bad!

After much excitement since arriving there last Saturday, I caught a BlaBlaCar home this past Thursday and had a calm end of week and weekend catching up on reading, writing, letters, etc.
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  1. Yikes, glad you are both OK we r in door county with Karl's sibs. We went on our first segway also, it was fun . Missing you can't wait to see you Love you, kayse

    1. Oh nice! We'll have to compare riding experiences, then. Yes, I'll see you in just over a month!