Two friends who broke down during a charity bike ride in France were forced to take shelter – in a NUDIST CAMP.
Henry Partridge and pal George Wilson, both 22, had already cycled 80 miles from London to Portsmouth before getting the overnight ferry to Caen in France.
The duo, who don’t speak French, then rode for another 116 miles to Laval but were forced to stop when Henry’s saddle broke.
They approached what they thought was a nature reserve to pitch up for the night but were stunned when they were realised it was a nudist camp.
Undeterred, the exhausted lads paid 10 Euros each and used the shower facilities before setting up their tents as naked campers wandered past them.
The naked campers helped fix Henry’s bike before they set off the next day and cycled through France and Spain until they reached Barcelona eight days later.
Today (Fri), Henry, who lives in Arnold, Notts., said the 1,000-mile charity ride got off to a memorable start.
The graduate, who just achieved a first degree in Earth Sciences at University College London, added: “We had cycled from London to Portsmouth and spent the night on the ferry.
“We cycled about 116 miles from Caen. We hadn’t really organised sleeping arrangements and my saddle pole broke so we were stumbling around the local village we ended up in.
“George was navigating from his phone and it said there was a campsite so we thought it would be fine.
“We carried on down a gravel path and got to this big metal gate. We were buzzing the intercom and there was no response.
“But then this man turned up wearing nothing but a jumper. We looked at each other a bit surprised.
“We had a conversation in broken English and French where we asked if we could stay. We ended up paying 10 Euros each but they let us stay for the night.
“We were gesturing with our clothes saying can we stay in our stuff and luckily they were okay with it.
“It was cold so most people had jumpers on but there were a couple walking around completely naked.
“When I went to pay the man took me to the president of the site’s camper van and this guy was quite a flamboyant Frenchman who swung his door open and was naked.
“But they were lovely people and were very accommodating. It was one of the nicest places were stayed during the whole ten days.”
Incredibly, the 1,000-mile trip was just a warm up for George’s Iron Man triathlon, which sees competitors swim 2.4 miles, cycle 112 miles and then run a marathon.
George, who is from Calverton, Notts., but is studying medicine at St Mary’s University in London, said: “I just thought it would be a good idea as training for the cycling leg of the triathlon but we didn’t really plan it very well.
“The nudist camp was definitely the craziest part of the trip but one of my pedals fell off at one point as well.
“I had to cycle with one leg for ten miles until we got to the next village where I could buy a new pedal.”
Henry and George spent ten days cycling from London to Barcelona between July 29 and August 8 this year.
After reaching the Spanish city, the pals then travelled to Malaga where they decided to tackle the Pico De Veleta, which includes Europe’s highest road.
Henry added: “The whole trip was scenic and quiet. We ended up cycling more than we slept. We managed campsites every night but none as dramatic as the nudist camp.”
The childhood friends are now hoping to raise £1,000 for Macmillan Cancer Research – £1 for each mile they cycled.
Harry added: “We decided we wanted to do something to raise money for Macmillan because cancer is something which has touched us both personally.
“We left it a bit late to organise but hopefully people will see what we did was actually quite tough and donate to help Macmillan.”
Anyone who wants to support their cause can visit – www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Henry-Partridge12