I was up early this morning (when am I not up early in a tent? I’ve said this many times before but for me it’s not a case of ‘waking up’ when I’m camping it’s a case of when to stop trying to make an effort to get back to sleep…) and was packed by 8am. My official campsite advisor Tim Sanders (who until only a few minutes ago was my ‘unofficial’ campsite advisor but as nobody else has offered their services, I’ve upgraded him to the honorary post; it’ll give him something to chat to Ed Pratt about the next time they meet at their local Park Run in Somerset. Anyway, back to the point…) …My official campsite advisor Tim Sanders messaged at 8:05 asking “Have you met Geoff?”
Today was planned to be a short cycle of 50km. In ended up being the second longest cycle yet at 98km. If nothing else, it will work wonders on the daily average which had dipped down to 75km. I need to get it back up to 80km+ to be in with a realistic chance of making it back to Rotterdam before the return ferry sets off on September 3rd.
According to the bird’s eye view of Morlaix in the image below, that’s the motto of the town. Original, no? It’s been a hot day so far, despite Brittany being the cold corner of the map of France on last night’s TV forecast. I’ve returned to the hotel for a siesta… I’ll head back out soon for anothercwander. There’s a festival of all things Breton taking place in Place Allende this afternoon so I’ll perhaps update this later. In the meantime, note that episode 055 of The Cycling Europe Podcast was published this morning – part 4 of my ’Grand Tour’ series – so if you have 55 minutes to space… All the links can be found by navigating over to the podcast page of the website.
Finally writing this up… Not many will read this (as the post was published last night without any text) but it will, at least, be an aide-memoire when I later use these notes to write a book. In a way the ‘Mercedes afternoon’ I had experienced on the previous day continued until the following morning. Yes, it was a cheap, municipal campsite but it was packed to the rafters with screaming children. One particular specimen gets his / her starring role in episode 055 of The Cycling Europe Podcast which has now been published.
The omens were not good at 8am. The campsite at Saint-Quay certainly lived up to its name by having a ‘belle vue’. Indeed my pitch – as with many others – was facing north-east and if there were no clouds, we were in for a cracking sunrise. I happened to be awake at 5am so I clamped the GoPro to its tripod and set in motion a time lapse video. Alas it was cloudy and the resulting video merely showed black clouds become grey ones. Nothing too spectacular there. However, by 8am the sun had risen and was beginning to poke through the clouds. Perhaps an opportunity to get the drone in action to capture the magic. And it did. You can see that shot at the start of today’s video.
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.
You are not reading this on Wednesday 20th as, yesterday evening, my 25GB of data ran out. I was expecting this to happen at some point and also expected to be able to easily purchase more data. But that’s when it got problematic. A phone call to Vodafone is on the cards when their call centre opens on Thursday morning. I suppose if all else fails I can buy a French SIM card. There’s also the matter of me having had to change my mobile number (could that be complicating things?) but that sorry tale is for another day (and probably another website…)
If I wanted variety after having cycled along the seemingly endless disused railway tracks of the Veloscenie, I certainly got variety today after my day of rest / escape from the heat. The cycling was varied, the landscape was varied, the weather was varied…