Le Grand Tour: Day 15 – Domfront To Mont-Saint-Michel (83km)

CURRENT LOCATION: Camping Les Couesnons, La Poultière

If cycling along disused railways for fun (and why else would you do it?), then the Veloscenie is for you. Prior to embarking upon my Chartres to Mont-Saint -Michel section of the route (which is about 80%) I’d read that the Veloscenie connected the capital with the north coast by linking up defunct railway lines but I wasn’t expecting them to be such a dominant part of the route. It must be at least two-thirds of the total length and, in temperatures such as those provoked by this current heatwave, you couldn’t wish for a better place to cycle, the sun been screened for much of the time by the surrounding vegetation. 

However… I’ll be glad to move on to something different in the weeks to come. I haven’t actually put any thought into what I’ll be doing this week in terms of the cycling (other than to use the EuroVelo 4 / VeloMaritime to head in the direction of the EuroVelo 1 / Vélodyssée) but I do hope it doesn’t involve too many disused train lines. I’ve had my fill for the time being at least. 

The further west I have cycled this week, the more cycle tourists there have been. Last night’s €4 campsite in Domfront – put both the campsite and the town on your ‘to do’ lists – had perhaps 15 cyclists in total and I bumped into many of them during the day on the Veloscenie. Similarly tonight at Camping Les Couesnons near Mont-Saint-Michel, there is a good number. The campsite has made real efforts to welcome cyclists and walkers and we are all together in a small section of the site with a hut supplied with electricity and tables and chairs should it start to throw it down. If only… 

The voie verte ended rather comically abruptly about 10km from the mount. You can see it in one of the images below and in the video. After that, although still a work-in-progress, the off-road cycle route wound its way around the bay until Mont-Saint-Michel appeared on the horizon. It was a long slog to get there, especially as the shade of the trees had been left behind with the voie verte. After an interminable trundle across the wooden planks that make up the shared walking / cycling path to the mount itself, I wearily had a wander. I’ve been before – twice – so I was merely ticking a box rather than desperate for a good look around but it was packed with people trying to find shade, even if this meant sitting on narrow stairways blocking free movement of people. It was exasperating so rather than start shouting at people and causing a diplomatic incident (although i did give it serious thought) I made my way out and cycled the few kilometres to the campsite. 

I’ve booked in for two nights. I need a day of rest and, by doing so, I’ll avoid cycling in tomorrow’s predicted 43°c. By Tuesday the temperature will have plummeted to a mere 29°c… I’ll use at least some of the day to think about my onward route. There’s also a new podcast to publish! 

Dusty bike / dusty everything. I might also be doing some cleaning…


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