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Category: La Velodyssee – EV1

Three weeks cycling La Velodyssee, the French section of the EuroVelo 1 in September 2018.

La Velodyssee – Summary, Learning & Conclusions…

La Velodyssee – Summary, Learning & Conclusions…

La Vélodyssée:
Stretching across the entirety of France’s Atlantic coast, La Vélodyssée is France’s longest cycle route. The route covers more than 1,200 kilometres from Brittany down the Atlantic coast to the border with Spain. La Vélodyssée forms part of the longer EuroVelo 1, named the Atlantic Coast Route. EuroVelo 1 is 8,186 km long and runs from North Cape in Norway to Sagres in Portugal.

Info available on the web:
Below are some web links to sites with info on the route:

La Velodyssee:

Brittany Ferries:

When to go:
Jobs & kids limited when we could go – our window was September, starting on the 10th for 3 weeks. This is pretty late in the Velodyssee season & we found that some of the more northern camp sites were closed. The up side to this was that it was pretty quiet – we virtually had the route to our selves.

On the whole the weather was kind to us with only a few days rain. The temperatures were not hot but still T shirt & shorts cycling for most of the time. Night time temperatures dropped low & meant my thin Aldi sleeping bag was not really up to the job. I think if we were doing it again we’d only go about a month or so earlier. The temperatures would be warmer and we would still avoided school holidays. For us one of the joys of this route was it was not crowded ! The other advantage of going later in the season is that accommodation is slightly cheaper 🙂

Route finding & Maps
The route itself is pretty well documented on the Velodyssee site and is signposted between Roscoff and Hendaye with the logo on panels throughout the route. Depending on the region crossed, you may find different types of panel bearing “La Vélodyssée” logo.

So you have two real options for navigation…

1,   Map of the route + the waymarked signs.
2,  GPS mapping + the waymarked signs.

We opted for a mixture of the two. I took Michelin maps, or scans of with the route marked on it and I had the route on a phone app.

So how did it go ? Well the printed maps are far bigger than a phone screen and were useful for both of us looking at where we were & general planning. The maps didn’t work well for actual navigation because they had insufficient or no details – this is where the phone app came into its own.

The app, which could be zoomed in to street level showed a “you are here” and the route. I had the phone mounted on my handlebars with a rubber mount . This made it very easy to follow without constantly having to stop to refer to maps. I think the ability to know exactly where you are without having to concentrate on paper maps allowed us both to enjoy the sights more and not have to stop so often.

In summary I’m a convert to electronic mapping though there is a down side which is battery life. Constantly having the screen & GPS on uses the phone battery quickly – too quickly. Luckily I’d worked this out before going & had taken a USB battery charger & the bike had a dynamo hub. More on those later…

My phone is an android phone and the app I used was Maps.Me.  Onto this app I had loaded the .GPX route file which is available from the Velodyssee site. In addition to this I loaded waypoints for all the camp sites in France (details later). The only caveat to electronic mapping is rain. My phone is waterproof but the screen failed to respond when it was raining. I think it was my phones was saying it was time for a coffee stop !

So what about the signs & fingerposts ? Well in some areas they were brilliant but in other & especially round towns a bit scant or missing.

Examples of different signs used throughout La Velodyssee…

So the conclusion is that electronic maps are the way to go as long as you can keep your phone charged. So my advice would be – follow the signs but use electronic maps as well.

Which Direction ???
This got us thinking for a while….
Ideally we thought it would be best to start in the north & move south so as it got cooler through the month we would be moving towards the warmer south. There were two issues with this plan:

  1. The prevailing winds are south to north.
  2. The ferry home from Santander only runs once a week so if we missed the ferry by one day we had to wait a week to get home. Ferries from Roscoff were daily.

The ferry issue settled it & we decided to cycle south to north… If we were doing it again we may go the other way as we felt the southern half of the route was more pleasurable.

Travelling from the UK:
With the direction set I then looked at the logistics of getting to the start at Hendaye. In principal it seemed simple. Train from Penrith to Plymouth – ferry to Santander – Train from Santander to Hendaye. The return being ferry from Roscoff to Plymouth – train from Plymouth to Penrith & home for tea & medals…

Sadly nothing is that simple. The trains to Plymouth were very expensive and trains seem to hate bikes. So for this bit of the journey it was cheaper (and easier) to take the car & park it up for three weeks (yes it is madness). The storage company we used for the three weeks was SECURE OPEN STORAGE Ok so that bit sorted…

Ferries – they are great. All easy there. The fun started when trying to sort train travel from Santander to Hendaye. The top line – there is no through train. You have to use different trains from different companies with different web sites. Joy… Anyway this is what I found.

The journey was

Train 1:    Santander – Bilbao change trains AND stations then…
Train 2:   Bilbao – Donostia, San Sebastian change trains AND stations then…
Train 3:   San Sebastian – Hendaye

Train 1 – time tables were found at:

Train 2 – time tables were found at:

Train 2 – time tables were found at:

We had originally planned to take two days to get to Hendaye and have a stop in Bilbao.  As it worked out we managed to get to Hendaye in the day but arrived late ~11:pm.  There were no hotels open in Hendaye so it ended up being another couple of hours before we got the tent up somewhere – and all in the rain.

We decided it would be fun to camp with the odd night in a hotel.  I got waypoints for all the French campsites on my phone app. I used Maps.Me and the waypoints from This was a big help along with Google maps come the end of each day for finding campsites. I can’t remember the exact method for putting the GPX files and waypoints into Maps.Me but if you need a hand email & I’ll work it out & let you know.

Bikes and equipment:

We took Dawes Galaxy tourers with rear pannier racks & Schwalbe Marathon Plus Road tyres (32c). This setup was great for the vast majority of the route with only a couple of muddy sections where off road tyres would have helped. With regard to gearing – both Dawes have triples. The granny ring was only used once in the north where there are a few hills. Apart from that the route is pan flat !

Spares & tools:
We decided France wasn’t a third world country 😉 so we didn’t need to take loads of spares. Just basics were taken.

Pack light for speed or pack for comfort – decisions decisions…
We decided that as we were away for three weeks we’d pack for comfort. So we took

  • Ortlieb rear panniers
  • Aldi Dry bag
  • Ortlieb bar bag
  • Topeak top tube bag
  • Topeak saddlebag for tools.

The dry bag was filled with tent, stove & sleeping gear. This was strapped with bungees between the two rear panniers. This seemed to work well with bungees providing flexibility to secure shopping as well.

None of our tents were suitable so we had to purchase new. Neither of us are spring chickens any more so we wanted some space & comfort in a tent. Also I didn’t want too much weight. Days of research later we settled on the Vango Xenon Ultralight 2

This tent did work well. Its good points are:
• Light 2.1kg
• Easy to put up – important when its pissing down…
• Big enough for two normal people to sleep without being on top of each other
• Gear storage in the front porch
• Oversized stuff sack – this made packing up considerably easier.

In conclusion this tent worked well for us & I would recommend.

Sleeping bags & Mats:
Sarah took her trusty down bag & I purchased a new synthetic lightweight 2season bag from Aldi. The Aldi bag packed small & light but it ended up not providing enough warmth for the cold October nights. In addition it was a little small (tight) on my 6’1” 105kg frame. Since the trip I’ve purchased a Decathlon bag – it’s a little bigger and heavier but works better for me.

Both of us had old Thermorests. These were both heavy and bulky so we looked for alternatives. Not an easy choice as our old bones needed comfort but without the bulk & weight. Again after endless internet hours we ended up buying Alpkit Cloudbase sleeping mats.

The cloudbase is an inflatable airbed who’s material has no insulation properties. It inflates to a thickness of 5cm. The material it’s made from looks thin, it packs up really small ( ⌀ 8 x 28 cm) and weighs 415 g.

Initially I was dubious but went for it thinking if it did fail under my bulk (105kg) then we’ll never be far from an Decathlon in France ! It did work well, I shall be using again and can recommend.

Other Kit:
We both took seats with us. Madness I hear you all saying ! Well the thinking was that we’d be spending time in camp sites & it would be comfier/less painful/ dryer not to be sitting on the ground when cooking / relaxing.   Sarah took a Heliox seat & I took a stool. They were just bungeed onto the rack with the dry bag – simples…
They did work well & I would take again for longer trips – you can’t beat a bit of comfort !

Stoves & Pans:
We purchased a Primus Omnifuel stove for the trip. Sadly some clown forgot to pack the gas hose so I cannot report if it was good or not. We ended up carrying it for the whole trip + another cheap stove from Decathlon.
For pans we took a two pan & cup set , a couple of titanium spoons and a swiss army knife. This worked well & I don’t think we wanted for more cooking stuff. The knife did for wine corks & cutting baguettes & cheese.

I thought keeping phones, lights, USB power banks, Garmins all charged would be an issue if we didn’t get mains every night. So after more internet hours I ended up buying a new front wheel with dynamo hub. The thought being that the variable voltage & current from this could be regulated and used to charge a USB power bank. Simples….

Great in theory but ended up being a fail. The wheel build from Spa Cycles had the wrong dyno hub put in – one that was not up to charging stuff. I didn’t realise this until we were on the trip so the system I’d setup just didn’t charge. After the trip Spa Cycles were great & rebuilt the wheel with the correct hub – it now works great.  If you’re thinking of getting a Dynamo wheel made up I would recommend Spa Cycles. Errors can happen – we are all human. What is telling is how people & companies react – Spa were brilliant & the staff are very knowledgeable.

…but for the trip we relied on the USB power banks. We charged these whenever we could & were ok for the trip. Its good to have a USB mains charger with 4 outlets this allows several things to be charged simultaneously if there is only one socket. Sometimes we had to leave the power banks charging over night in the camp site toilet blocks. Lucky they were not nicked…


We loved cycling the Velodyssee…   The route, the country & people were brilliant. Yes there are a few small issues with route markers on the odd occasion but that’s trivial and part of the adventure.  I would say it’s a great introduction to cycle touring – a sort of cycle touring lite ! Why do I say that – well because it’s so setup for looking after cyclists.
If you’re strapped for time & can’t do it all I’d say do the southern part from Nantes (or La Rochelle or Royan) down – that was our favorite part.  Would we do it again – yes, but I think it will have to wait till retirement…
If you’re reading this then you’re probably looking at doing the Velodyssee. Great – just do it, you won’t regret it. If you are new to touring and have questions please email us & we’ll try to help.

If you’ve found any of this interesting and you want to read more the link below takes you to the start of the blog…

Velodyssee September 2019: Nick & Sarah’s mini Adventure….

Day 19 Roscoff   28/9/17

Day 19 Roscoff   28/9/17

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 ?


Day 18: Carhaix to Morlaix 27/09/17

Day 18: Carhaix to Morlaix 27/09/17

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


Day 17: Pontivy to Carhaix 26/09/17

Day 17: Pontivy to Carhaix 26/09/17

Distance today: 55.4

Total distance: 723.2

Disasters: zero

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


Day 16: Redon to Pontivy 25/09/17

Day 16: Redon to Pontivy 25/09/17

Distance today 69.9

Total distance 667.8

Disasters 2

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…



Day 15: Nantes to La Touche Saint-Joseph.  24/9/17

Day 15: Nantes to La Touche Saint-Joseph.  24/9/17

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



Day 14: Nantes. 23/09/17

Day 14: Nantes. 23/09/17

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.



Day 13: Pornic to Nantes. 22/9/17

Day 13: Pornic to Nantes. 22/9/17

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


Day 12: Saint Hilaire de Riez to Pornic 21/09/17

Day 12: Saint Hilaire de Riez to Pornic 21/09/17

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.




Day 11: Aiguillon sur Mare to Saint Hilaire de Riez. 20/9/17

Day 11: Aiguillon sur Mare to Saint Hilaire de Riez. 20/9/17

Today’s mileage 60

Total mileage 427.8

Disasters 1

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 !



Day 10: La Rochelle to L’Aguillon sur Mare 19/09/17

Day 10: La Rochelle to L’Aguillon sur Mare 19/09/17


Today’s milage 48

Total milage 367.8

Disasters 1

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



Day 9: Royan to La Rochelle.  18/9/17

Day 9: Royan to La Rochelle.  18/9/17

Today’s mileage 71.1

Total mileage 319.8

Desasters zero ?

Today was a game of two halves. Royan to Rochefort was beautiful with everything from rugged coast to salt marches. Again all on lovely smooth tarmac cycleways. Towards Rochefort this changed to mud track then industrial landscape – this was no fun, especially as sections were on road with big lorries. We returned to cycle path after Rochefort but this range beside a motorway so was far from idyllic. Finally found a nice camp site just short of La Rochelle. Over 70 miles for the day not bad !


Day 8 Royan  17/9/17

Day 8 Royan  17/9/17

Today’s mileage 0 – rest day.

Total mileage 248.7

Today’s disasters 1


The forecast was pretty miserable for today so we decided Royan would be good for a rest day.

Just did tourist stuff today so really not much to say. Royan is a lovely seaside town and we had a good wander round.

The only disaster today was opening the door of a new style auto cleaning public toilet to see a French man having a shite. This was a deeply disturbing site that I cannot unsee…



Day 7 Lacanau Ocean to Royan 16/09/17

Day 7 Lacanau Ocean to Royan 16/09/17

Today’s milage 53.7

Total milage 248.7

Today’s disasters 2


Today started with the sound of rain again and it was cold – around 12°.

The first disaster of the day was leaving one of my cycling shoes out in the rain all night – again.

We quickly packed in a lul in the rain and put bikes and gear in the covered table tennis area while we had a croissant for breakfast. We set off north in light showers for the ferry at la Pointe de Grave.

We then did 30+ miles in forest wilderness with only a single tomato for sustenance – no shops anywhere. When we finally reached Montailvet we were starving and dived into the first cafe – a small surf bar called Williwood. We had a quality burger, frites and beer before continuing to the ferry. This is when the second disaster occurred – while putting my jacket on I felt a sharp pain in my finger – to cut a long story short I’d been stung by a wasp that was trapped in the lining of my jacket. I’ve never been stung by a wasp & it’s actually really painful with my finger swelling considerably.

With the sun on our backs and fueled by quality sports food sped off to make the 5pm ferry overtaking several eBike on route ?.

It was refreshing to see the French don’t go for health & safety crap an allowed all the bikes to ride onto the ferry. Strangely young and old all managed it without fatality! As Sunday is heavy rain we are hoteling tonight and may well have a rest day tomorrow.


Thanks for all your messages of concern following the wasp attack. Due to the high number of messages I can’t reply to all in person ?

It was touch & go for a while yesterday but I survived the night. The swellings down a little but it still feels like its been hit it with a hammer !

On a serious note it’s amazing how such a tiny amount of venom through a puncture too small to be seen can have such an affect the human body..



Day 6: Biscarrosse-plage to Lacanau Ocean.  15/9/17

Day 6: Biscarrosse-plage to Lacanau Ocean.  15/9/17

Miles today 50.3
Total miles 195

We both woke early (5:30) & decided to get going before the rain arrived. So in the dark we got packed up & took all our stuff to the shower blocks covered area to avoid the rain. Sarah opened the door of the child change area to find some random bloke asleep on the changing mat. He said hello and proceeded to smoke strange fags for an hour ! We let him get on with his strange morning habit and went for some breakfast.
We were on the road for 9 after remembering reception had my driving licence so we couldn’t leave till they opened- doh….

Another day of wonderful French countryside on traffic free cycle paths. The journey was broken in two halves by a half hour ferry ride from Arcachon to Cap Ferret. We nearly missed the 11am ferry but the lovely French people held the ferry for us and helped load our bikes !

Found another great camp site and had a fine meal of lentils with duck all washed down with cider. The missing green lighter has now been found – Sarah must have put it in my bag !

The rains come again so we’re now sitting in the laundry room charging phones and keeping dry



Ferry over the river…


Duck in lentils….


Largest Dunes in Europe…

Day 5: Contis-plage to Biscarrosse-plage. 14/09/17

Day 5: Contis-plage to Biscarrosse-plage. 14/09/17

Miles today 47

Total milage 144.7

Today we were woken early by rain & high winds. This did not encourage an early start, nor did the lack of hot coffee for Sarah ! This was because the new stove had been left out in the rain and would now only produce flames from the wrong holes! Sarah not happy.

The clouds cleared about 11:30 so we packed and were on the road by 12. Again we were treated to miles of traffic free road through beautiful forests. We stopped for another lunch of French cheese by a beautiful river. More hills today but we made good time covering 47 miles by 6pm.

Again a lovely camp site that is virtually empty. We threw the tent up and got the stove out for a cuppa. But guess which girl had left the lighter at the last campsite? Doh… So we then got back on the bikes & headed for the shops. So with new lighter and a now dry stove we had tea & a fine tinned paella (Dave & Lynn’s suggestion) Rain again tomorrow so must remember not to leave my cycling shoes outside again…


Rain  🙁


Our camp…




Day 4: Ondres to Contis Plage… 13/09/17

Day 4: Ondres to Contis Plage… 13/09/17

Milage today 56.7 miles

Total mileage 97.7

We woke to bright sunshine packed the tent and were on the road by 8:45. Today was a day of cycling through beautiful forests on traffic free cycle paths.

We had a 6 mile detour to get a new stove. It’s not ideal but was all we could find in a French supermarket.

Back on the route we had more woodland before the forest cleared at the beach and we came to a 5* campsite. We had a nice swim before our first hot meal of the holiday !

Beautiful traffic free cycle ways….





Hot food 🙂



Day 3 continued… Hendaye to Ondres. 12/9/17

Day 3 continued… Hendaye to Ondres. 12/9/17

Miles today 35.9

Total miles 41.5

So after our early morning dash from the caravan site we shouldn’t have camped in things got better after breakfast. The sun came out and we started to get some miles in. The French do cycle lanes well – not just a little bit of white paint down the side of a road but proper segregated cycle lanes. Cycling felt safe ? I won’t bore you with descriptions of the places we cycled through but just say they were pretty.

My only worry is that my dynamo hub isn’t working so I’m going to have to rely on plugging in at camp sites. I shall tinker with the wiring later – the amount of rain last night won’t have hepled it.

About 4pm we found a nice camp site near Ondres. The sun was shining so we got wet tent up & started to wash and dry stuff. Chores done we sat down to cook – pasta bolognaise. But we didn’t cook anything because some twat had forgotten part of the stove. Needless to say Sarah wasn’t impressed with cold pasta bolognaise from a can. I think I won her round with the pudding of mini Swiss rolls though ? The Internet services a wonderful thing & I’ve found a Decathlon on route so a new stove will be purchased tomorrow – or I’m a dead man walking…

Rough sea from last nights storm…


House boat…


Harbour – can’t remember where…






Day 3: Santander to Hendaye. 12/9/17

Day 3: Santander to Hendaye. 12/9/17

A long day on trains and a missed connection saw us arrive at Hendaye about 11pm in the pouring rain.

We tried to find a hotel while having a quality meal from the train station vending machine. While in mid Trivago we were moved on by the police – they probably wanted to close the station. Their helpful hotel suggestions came to nothing so we struck out to find a camp site. After 5-6 miles of cycling we were losing patience so found a caravan park & pitched in a spare space …all by torch light in the rain.

After a poor nights sleep we got up early and started our journey.

Stopped at the first village for breakfast at a cafe.

A day on the trains…


A wet Sarah…


Breakfast after a cold wet night…

Day 2: Plymouth to Santander…11/9/17

Day 2: Plymouth to Santander…11/9/17

On boarding we noticed the pool was empty and covered. This was a clue to a expected rough crossing. It was and I spent most of the twenty hours crossing in my bunk with my eyes closed.

I have to say its been a very civilized way of getting to Europe when compared to the hassle of flying.

Next stage is trains to the border – this will test my limited Spanish ?

Day 1: Leicester to Plymouth.  10/9/17

Day 1: Leicester to Plymouth.  10/9/17

After a quick visit to Sarah’s 101 year old aunt we drove to Plymouth. The roads were busy & frequent heavy showers slowed progress – a long drive.

At Plymouth I phoned the storage company who were looking after the car & was told we’d be met by Olys sister & the car would be stored at a satellite depot.   This turned out to be a luxury gated mansion on the cliff tops ! The photo shows the view over Plymouth sound the car has for three weeks !

The off to find our AirB&B for the night after a quick pint in Spoons

Velodyssee September 2019: Nick & Sarah’s mini Adventure….

Velodyssee September 2019: Nick & Sarah’s mini Adventure….

We needed an adventure….

Our plan’s was cycle the Velodyssee which is the French section of the EuroVelo 1 cycle route.  The map below shows the route – 774 miles starting in Hendaye on the French Spanish border up to Roscoff on the north west coast.  We had 3 weeks in total to complete this.

We recorded the trip on Facebook – this blog consists of the original Facebook posts we posted. Hopefully these will give a flavor of the route and wet your appetite to try it.   In addition to this we will add a  “summary and learning” post  which may help others…   If it does please let us know