We made it! Cycled 774 miles. Hendaye to Roscoff.
Having been cycle tourists for the last three weeks we’re reverting to type and becoming pissed Brit tourists ?
Decided we just want to carry on cycle touring Europe. I’m just wondering how long it would be before work noticed I wasn’t there and stopped paying me ?
Distance today: 31.1
Total distance: 754.3
Disasters: 1 – Sarah’s mudguard fell off…
Today started with a hearty breakfast served by our friendly hotel owner. The hotel was slated on tripadvisor but we liked it – for no other reasons than he was friendly and the shower was great.
We rejoined our route which now changed from canal to a “green route” which means mud and gravel paths. Again the scenery was beautiful but we made slow progress because the paths were soft and very slippy in places.
All was good until the rains came at about 2pm. At this point we were only 4 miles from Morlaix so a decision was made to stop here for the night to see the bad weather out. This made it a short day but we’re in no rush as the ferry isn’t till Friday.
We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring Morlaix & it’s large viaduct while our tent is drying in the hotel bathroom. With only 15 miles to go tomorrow really should be our last day cycling
Distance today: 55.4
Total distance: 723.2
Perfect start to the day – warm clean dry hotel room. Only problem is the room stinks – probably because everything we own now stinks. Sarah isn’t happy about this and stars having some deva like behaviour demanding some new clothes & wanting to burn the old ones. Luckily no shops were on route ?
Easy miles in the morning dispite some stiff legs. The route continued on the Nantes-Brest canal which again was beautiful. Lunch was a fromage baguette by La Blavet, a large resovoir.
We continued down the canal till a “route ferme” sign. The “deviation” went up a serious hill so Sarah decided to ignore the signs. Beautiful route & no problems until the route was blocked by a guy with a mini-digger digging the route up ! Sarah used her feminine charm and persuaded him to move the digger and let us past.
About the 40 mile mark we’d run out of water and were getting seriously thirsty. There aren’t many cafes on route so we were happy to spot one of the lock keepers cottages was a cafe – problem was it wasn’t a cafe just some Brits drinking in the garden of their house. Anyway to cut a long story short they gave us water and several glasses of wine ? lovely people and they were southerners !
Wine fueled we easily made it to Carhaix & another hotel – campsite closed. Only one days cycling left to the finish
Distance today 69.9
Total distance 667.8
Miserable nights sleep due to heavy rain. We both woke early to find our super new tent had leaked. The rain made packing up difficult and delayed departure till 10am as everything was either wet or covered in mud or both.
It was slow going to begin with as the gravel paths were water logged. This ment everything got covered in a spray of muddy gravel. By lunch the rain had cleared and we began to appreciate all the beautiful scenery and the lock keepers houses that were immaculate and decorated with flowers.
We met two brits who told us about a good hotel at the 60 mile mark in Rohan. We detoured to the hotel but to our disgust it was permanently closed – ahhhh. To cut a very long story short this meant an extra 10 miles on to a hotel in Pontivy. 70 miles on gravel track after no sleep was a big day out for both of us – we will sleep well tonight…
Distance today 59.1
Total distance 597.9
Disasters zero ? (sorry Will)
Hotel starts are always easy as you don’t have to pack your tent and someone makes you breakfast. We were on the road by 9:45 having cleaned and oiled chains.
Navigating out of cities can sometimes be a nightmare but this was a lovely quick route. After 25 miles we joined the towpath of the Nantes – Brest canal. This was beautiful and ran for 35 miles to our camp site. The site is small but has benches which is always a bonus.
We didn’t find any shops on route so had to eat our emergency dried food packs + cheese and crisp sandwiches. Then showered & in bed by 8pm. We’ve decided that everything we own now stinks – even the new tent has a mouldy aroma. If all goes to plan we’ll complete the 760 miles in three days
Distance today zero
Total distance 538.8
Disasters zero ?
Today was a day off cycling – think we needed a day off !
We got up late & had a wander (without bikes) round Nantes. The highlight of our walk was the Machines de l’ile.
Les Machines de l’ile is an artistic and cultural project based in the old covered buildings of the former shipyards in Nantes that were at one time used for ship construction.
The Machines are created by two artists, François Delarozière and Pierre Orefice and aims to promote the city’s image and tries to “build an identity as a creative metropolis of dream and of fantasy”.
Anyway it was really interesting & we had a grand day out ? Back to cycling tomorrow.
Distance today 60 miles
Total distance 538.8
Disasters zero ?
We’ll we’ve cracked 500 miles today. The daily milage aren’t huge but I think we’ve done ok as we’re on heavy bikes with 20+ kg of stuff + food & water. We’re both feeling a little sore so tomorrow is a rest day in Nantes. We need some rest I think as it’s just gone 9pm & we’re in bed already !
The route changes from Nantes as it moves inland. The next time we’ll see the sea is at Roscoff. Hopefully more quiet roads and less sandy tracks. Just hope the weather holds. Need sleep – night night xx
Today’s milage 51
Total milage 478.8
The day started early with a to the shops to get breakfast but more importantly a 2 euro coin for the dryer as all our clothes were still wet.
Coffee and croissants in the cold morning air as the clothes dried then on the road by 9:30. The route was a mix of tarmac and gravel/sand paths that followed the coast except for some detours around salt marshes. The weather held until 2 miles out of Pornic when it started to rain. The dark clouds stretched to the horizon so a decision was made to get a hotel. Trivago was consulted and we found a place the Brit Hotel Les Alizes. The nice guy on reception told us of a decent restaurant & a nice night was had.
Today’s mileage 60
Total mileage 427.8
Woke to a sea mist this morning after a very cold night. The Aldi sleeping bag just isn’t up to single digit temperatures !
Several cups of coffee saw us on our way by 10am. Tarmac paths took us quickly to the large city of les Sables D’Olonne which was beautiful. From Sables we followed the coast on gravel/sand/mud paths which passed some beautiful houses. This section of the route is more populated than the southern section but there is still loads of space compared to the UK.
Found another lovely camp site on the coast. The site has washing machines * dryers so we decided to do all our washing before going out for food. After getting the correct coins from other campers we set the dryer going and went off for food. The nearest restaurant was part of a bowling alley – we were tired and hungry so went for it. It turned out to be a fantastic really up-market restaurant. The food was wonderful but the very camp waiter really didn’t like us. Maybe it was because we were really scruffy and were wearing clothes wed slept in the night before. Anyway great food but zero tip ?
On returning to the camp site we went to retrieve our dry washing. In hindsight the cool “delicates” cycle wasn’t the one to go for – all our clothes for tomorrow are still wet !
Today’s milage 48
Total milage 367.8
Woke up to brilliant sunshine and had a lazy start as we were both a little stiff after yesterday’s 70 miler. The Disasters of the day was Sarah not getting the best nights sleep because her new inflatable camping pillow had sprung a leak. Investigations in the shower showed it was beyond repair so a detour to decathlon in La Rochelle was planned.
La Rochelle was a beautiful city well worth a return visit. The cycle route through the city was not easy to follow – impossible without a gps.
After La Rochelle it was open farm land and canals. The cycle tracks were no longer smooth tarmac but gravel and mud. This made for the slow progress today. We arrived at a camp site after closing but we’re welcomed in – really nice people. The Municipal de La Biae is well worth a visit. They even have a special area for cyclists with benches