After breakfast in the hotel we asked directions from the hotel receptionist to any motorbike shops that might be nearby. Sam was keen to buy some body armour if he could find some. The directions we were given were not all that clear and we walked for about an hour without sighting anything that resembled a bike shop.
We did however, see some interesting houses in a part of Nanterre that we had not previously explored. We returned to the hotel for clearer directions and eventually we found our way to what was really a very small shop selling only a few road bikes and scooters. I asked the men in the shop if they knew anywhere we might find someone selling motorcrosse bikes and we were directed on another ¼ walk further out of town where we did at last find a Yamaha shop. They had lots of bikes, but very few accessories, and no armour.
We were advised that there were more bike shops in the Avenue of the Grande Armee off l’Etoile, so we caught a bus and the Metro in to find them. Sam was in seventh heaven in this part of town. Bike shops lined both sides of the street. However, his delight soon turned to disappointment as he found nothing that suited his needs and/or fitted him.
We continued to explore upstairs and downstairs of each and every shop. We then crossed l’Etoile and walked the Champs Elysee. The Citroen shop was a point of great interest. There were some futuristic cars on display and upstairs there were massage chairs. I had waited outside as I had not finished my ham baguette lunch, but Peter and Sam insisted I come upstairs to find the treat they had discovered. I was very pleased I had done so. Other shops of interest to Sam were the Adidas shop which had stations where he could test his core skills of running, jumping and balance.
He had money left that his parents had given him and he was determined to spend it. The money burned hole after hole in his pocket and he searched for anything to buy, but his search was fruitless. We walked and walked and shopped and shopped but without buying anything. The only money he managed to spend was €5 on getting his name done in Chinese calligraphic images and €1.50 on a desperate and very expensive toilet stop.
We walked until we found the beautiful Alexandre bridge with a view of the Hopital des Invalides, and then headed back up the Champs Elysee to return on the Metro to La Defense. We did one last round of shopping in the Four Seasons shopping centre near the station and at last Sam’s shopping efforts paid off. He found a running shirt at the sports store that fitted him and which he liked. He at last had his souvenir of Paris. He intends to use the shirt to train for his Bridge to Brisbane run in a few weeks time.
We trudged our way back to the hotel after resorting to a dinner of McDonalds and packed our bags in preparation for our early morning departure tomorrow. Peter’s pedometer indicated that we had walked about 27km. My feet knew it!