Saturday, May 31, 2014

Brittany Rain Tour 2014 - Day 8

Today I cycled 50km from Saint Malo to Pontorson. Only sun and blue skies today.

This morning I cycled on a bike path along the beach, passing through Saint Benoît des Ondes. I sent a message to Benoît to tell him I was in his city. He told me I had just unlocked the achievement of chatting with Benoît while in Benoît. At noon, I headed on to Mont Dol and Dol de Bretagne, following the advice of the hotel owner at Pléven. I had lunch at Dol de Bretagne: tagliatelle bolognaise and a crêpe for desert. I'm starting to get used to having crêpes every day now.

This afternoon was a cow afternoon. Because of a blocked road about 10km from Pontorson, I had to take a detour. In part of this detour, I had to go on a road next to a farm with some cows. These cows seemed agitated: a few of them were making noise (meeeeuuuuhhh) and running around. As I approached, they looked at me and started heading in my direction. I wasn't sure if they were pissed off for some reason. I waited until a car came by and stopped it to ask the driver. She reassured me that there was nothing to worry about, and I cycled on through. She will probably be telling her friends about the crazy tourist on a bike who was afraid of cows.

Just around the corner, I saw some more cows who were just chilling out. I got as close as I could to them to take a few pictures. A little boy across the street was calling out to me "Madame Vache! Madame Vache!" I'm going to have a reputation in this region...

For dinner, I went to a brasserie where I ordered a salad for a change. At a table near me were seated four older people, I think all Americans. A French lady was chatting with them. One of the guys said he was from California. A second guy introduced a third guy as his boyfriend. The introduction was amusing:

American man: this is my boyfriend. 

French lady: ton ami ? 

American man: yes, my ami. 

French lady: ton "ami" ami, ou...? 

American man: my "ou la la" ami. (Laughter) 

French lady: Oh,  c'est bien ! 

I thought about introducing myself, a fellow American, to them, but shyness got the better of me, as well as the thought that it would be obvious I had been eavesdropping on them:-)  

A couple of the photos below are from last night's hotel: I watched the sun set from the yard of the manor. I also snapped a photo of a dog who seems to live there. This must be a happy dog, with so much space to run around. There's also a photo of the guestbook inside the gypsy wagon. I signed it:

"Had a lovely stay in this gypsy wagon during my bike tour across Brittany.


-Carmen, the American from Paris."

Tomorrow, I plan to visit Le Mont Saint Michel, before taking the train home. I have to change trains at Rennes, and I'll probably get home after midnight. I have a feeling Monday is going to be difficult. When is the next holiday?!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Brittany Rain Tour 2014 - Day 7

Today I cycled from Pléven to Saint Malo. The roads going into Saint Malo were not very cycle friendly: lots of traffic. Also, the address of the "hotel" I'm staying at was only approximate: only a street name and no number. For some reason, my Garmin GPS had me do a 5km detour only to lead me to a blocked road. But even if this road were not blocked, I think bicycles are not allowed on it anyway. I called the hotel and the owner told me to enter a different address, about 200m from the hotel. My GPS could find correct directions to this point just 200m from the address I had for the hotel, but not to the hotel itself. I tried to do an experiment: find directions from this alternative point to the hotel: My GPS crashed :-) I eventually found the place. It took about 1.5 hours when it should have taken about 5 minutes. So, I've had better cycling days :-)

On a positive note, the weather was quite nice today: fluctuating between hot/sunny and cooler/partly cloudy. I also had some nice views of the sea coming into Saint Malo.

For lunch, I had traditional French cuisine: a Grand Maque. I also rediscovered Sprite. After lunch, I went to a beach nearby and just sat and relaxed for a while.

The hotel I'm staying at has normal rooms, but it also has what I'm staying in: roulottes, or gypsy wagons. There's a guest book inside the wagon signed by people who previously stayed here. I'll have to think of something clever to write in there.

There's a small sort of bucket inside the wagon to care of business if need be. But in the main building there are modern toilets available. I wonder which one I'll use...

For dinner, I went to Casino cafeteria in a mall next to the hotel. It doesn't sound glamorous but it was delicious, and the portions were generous : I had salmon with potatoes, a glass of wine, and pie for dessert. I'm actually writing this blog as I eat. Burp. Excuse me.

After all the cycling detours I did today, I'm just too tired to go for a visit in the center of Saint Malo. If you were hoping to have a virtual visit of the city through me, and you're disappointed it won't happen: tough. Visit it yourself some day :-)  And send me a postcard.