Le Grand Tour: Day 19 – Hillion To Saint-Quay (50km)

CURRENT LOCATION: Camping Bellevue, Saint-Quay

A shorter day – just 50km – but it helps me out when it comes to getting to Morlaix by the end of Saturday. Where I am now – a place called Saint-Quay – is about half way between Mont-Saint-Michel and Morlaix and this makes the two planned long days of cycling to Morlaix a bit shorter and hence more manageable. My average has now dipped below 80km per day but I’m sure that will be rectified as I speed along the flat(ish) lands of the Velodyssée next week.

Last night’s wind – which was substantial – had thankfully moderated to a gentle breeze by the morning so whereas I was clinging to the boiling pot of water containing my spaghetti just 12 hours earlier lest I starve overnight due to it being blown into the Atlantic Ocean, there was no risk of my coffee this morning ending up anywhere apart from down my throat.

I skipped breakfast. Well, I had to skip breakfast as the town of Hillion had neglected to open a boulangerie so I trundled at a steady pace towards Saint-Brieuc. When I mentioned to someone – a French person – a few days days ago that I would be passing through Saint Brieuc in a few days they shrugged their shoulders and said simply ‘c’est une grande ville’. I didn’t know what to read into that but now I understand. It is ‘just’ a big town. Gritty, rough around the edges, unkempt, homeless people on the streets… but I quite liked the two-fingered salute it seemed to be giving to the rest of the tourist-friendly coastline upon which it sits. The graffiti – some official, some distinctly less official – gave voice to the people. You can see some of it in the pictures and the video. I’ve never heard President Macron referred to as Queen Elizabeth III before. I assume the reference is to him. That particular Sharpie wielder had his or her thoughts scribbled across various street signs. I wonder if he or she is the local Banksy. 

One thing that wasn’t so appealing about Saint-Brieuc was its location; at the top of a very steep hill. I pushed and looked forward to seeing the sign at the top telling me it was 14? 15? 16? %. It said 10%. Nonsense… Of course the descent was a nice ride back to the shore before more climbs and descents to come. That was the topographical story of the day; up, down, up, down…

The viaduct was fun – see the video – and I have included the timelapse segment in the video so as to highlight the variety of this section of the EuroVelo 4 / VeloMaritime route. You are never going to get bored cycling here… 

Whilst in Saint-Brieuc, I tried to sort out some accommodation so as to avoid last night’s shenanigans. I succeeded and not only have I ended up on a nice site with a cracking view of the sea, but it made this afternoon so much more pleasurable without having the worry of the accommodation jeopardy. Why don’t I do this more often? 


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6 replies »

  1. Presumably “Still No Sign of Mine” sings beautifully to Guns ‘N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child of Mine”.

    Facetiousness aside, another tantalisingly intriguingly enticing video. I am missing France.

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