Forest Row Bike Club

Ride Report

Brittany Tour 2009

Thursday 4th June 2009

Today dawned bright and cheerful and Graham got ready for his ride to Portsmouth with Steve. Steve arrived at about 8.00 am and off they went. This left me finishing off my packing and getting sorted ready to pick up the other girls for our journey in the car. Early in the afternoon, I picked up Zoe then Martha and finally Jane and we had a good trip to Portsmouth going the 'scenic route' to the car park for the ferry. We met up with Graham and Steve who had also had a very nice ride and then we all had a meal in a local pub which had in a previous life been a church. Although it was run by a 'chain' the meal was extremely good. Off we then went to board the ferry for St Malo. As we were queuing to get on board we noticed a large contingency of classic cars. They were truly beautiful and we took a few photos. We were to see them on various days of our tour. On board we bumped into Tony and Val briefly said goodnight and went down to our cabins for a night's rest.

Friday 5th June 2009

Graham and I woke to the announcement that we were about three-quarters of an hour from St Malo and we must get up and vacate our cabins! We had obviously got a bit confused by the hour change and so we weren't too happy that we couldn't have a proper breakfast. Anyway, we managed a quick drink and croissant to keep us going. The group met together to pick up our bikes and then we were off. We met Ron & Val in large lay-by not far from the ship. A lot of the classic cars stopped there too. Ron got on his bike to join us and we made our sunny way to Ploubalay where we stopped for a coffee break. We cycled past some stunningly sandy beaches and lovely houses. It was reasonably quiet on the roads and it was really just pleasant to be cycling along in the sunshine. We then had a phone call from Val R. She'd managed to get a puncture, which some kind person had helped her to fix but she was going to wait for us in St Cast le Guildo where we were stopping for lunch. There is a famous and stunning Chateau ruin here which we could see as we cycled along. We eventually found Val and had a lovely lunch and then Val & Ron went off to sort out the tyre for the car. We carried on riding catching glimpses again of lovely beaches and coastline not unlike Cornwall. We detoured to Fort la Latte but decided not to go in although we walked down the path to it so that we could take some photos. This is a medieval castle on the coast and looked by dramatic. A little later poor Tony had a puncture, which took a while to sort out. Jane & I were able to admire all the wild flowers in the hedgerows (every cloud has a silver lining!) On we went to Cap Frehel where we met up with Ron again having sorted the car. We wandered down to the lighthouse and then to the tearoom which is right on the coast. This is a very rocky piece of coastline, which looked beautiful in the sun but is probably rather dark and dramatic in bad weather. On we went down a lovely downhill with the sea below us into Sables-d'Or-les-Pins to the Hotel de Diane where we had an evening meal (which wasn't really enough) . The rooms had lovely showers though! Had a walk on the beach during the evening.

Saturday 6th June

Woke up to a pleasant breakfast and got ourselves sorted for the off with much pumping of tyres. The day dawned dry but a little chilly. We wandered along admiring the views and houses. We wondered what these people did all day as the area was so quiet and there hardly seemed to be anyone about. We had a coffee stop in Val-Andre and visited local shops to get some food for a picnic lunch. Off we went again until Martha yelled that there was a fruit shop so we all piled in to get something - Graham and I ate our banana straightaway. We found a large empty 'car park' near to Langneux where we stopped for lunch. I thought it was a bit mean when straight after lunch we had an enormous hill to climb! Zoe and myself and possibly others too walked up it I'm afraid! Eventually, we came to a huge estuary which could to be seen for quite a while from the road towards Gesson. Up through La ville Agan & La ville Hervy we went along with many other small villages. Unfortunately the weather grew worse after lunch and we had a huge thunderstorm with lightening. We were all suitably drenched when we spotted a Yacht Club where we very cheekily popped in and sheltered. The youngsters didn't seem to mind I think they found us quite fascinating! Once the rain had stopped, we carried on with the journey until Binic where we stopped for tea. We were very damp but it was gorgeously warm in the tea house and I had Earl Grey in a proper pot! A few miles down the road and we arrived at Saint Quay Portrieux to stay at the Hotel le Gerbot Davoine. We all had an extremely good meal - plenty of it and everyone was very friendly. We had a short stroll after dinner and then a good night's rest.

Sunday 7th June

We woke up to a beautiful morning and thought how lovely it was. Unfortunately it was not to last! We had an excellent breakfast and then pumped up the tyres and apart from me having no back brakes due to worn brake blocks (memo reminder - check brake pads next year before the tour!) off we went. Soon the rain came, very wetting and sooo windy too!! Of course against us no such luck at having it behind us! Stopped off at Kermaria to see the thirteenth century chapel with it's frescoes. Unfortunately it didn't seem to be open so off we went again. We were going to have a coffee stop but there didn't seem to be anywhere open and then I had a slow puncture. Thankfully, the rain has stopped for a short time at this point and also Val had arrived so we were able to use the track pump to deal with my tyre, which was a bargain! Then the rain came again and we sheltered near some buildings. Once it stopped the sun came out for a little while. We stopped at Lanleff where we looked briefly at the roman temple and also had a loo stop! On we went and the rain came too. At Pontrieux we stopped on the River Trieux to have a crepe for lunch (well, a galette actually). It was very nice if a tad inadequate. We had some drinks which warmed us a little, but we were all still very chilly when we set out again. It rained on a off for a while during the afternoon but mainly it was the wind that made the ride hard going. We duly arrived at Treguier where there is a famous cathedral, St Tugdual which dates from the 11th century. It has had additions in the 14th C and spire in 1785. A beautiful cathedral, which had lovely stained glass windows. We watched a parade of some of the classic cars that we'd seen on the way over. There were some very old houses with overhanging upper storeys to see - altogether a lovely place. We then carried on through a few towns and also along the coast until we reached Ploumanach where we were staying for the following two nights. This wasn't the hotel that we had originally planned to stay in but it was OK. A good evening meal was had and the staff were very friendly. Graham and I had a walk around the village this evening and there was the most beautiful pink sky as the sun went down which lit up the huge pink granite rocks that surrounded the beach. Really lovely!

Monday 8th June

We woke to grey skies and rain!! We had our day of rest today, which was very welcome but would have been more so if we'd had sunshine! We were looking forward to a day on the beach. Ron wasn't feeling too good this morning having picked up a virus of some kind. He, Val, Graham and I went into Lannion this morning to find me some brake blocks. We found a large sports store where we bought the brake blocks and some waterproof trousers (which I thought would be an insurance against more rain - haha little did I know!) Val bought herself a new T-shirt aswell. We had a coffee in a little café in the town of Lannion but it was raining so much that we came back to the hotel. Ron decided to have a rest and so Val, Graham and I had some lunch and then Val & I had a rest and Graham went out for a long walk. Val & I went later to look at the shops and then the group met up later for our meal and got ready for the morning.

Tuesday 9th June

We all got up this morning to dull but dry weather thank goodness. Had a quick breakfast and then got off on our ride to Lanvollen. We went on some small roads into Lannion where we stopped for coffee meeting Ron & Val. Ron was not well enough to ride today unfortunately. The sun came out for a while which was lovely. We then all bought some things for a picnic lunch and were on our way again. We had a pleasant ride chatting and admiring the scenery and after a bit found a sunny spot for our picnic near a working farm. When we had all finished we cycled along watching a rather large black cloud that had appeared! We did avoid it for a while but then the rain suddenly came down. On went the waterproof trousers and jackets as we sheltered in someone's garage! The rest of the day was very wet and miserable. We were not impressed! We arrived in Lanvollen OK though and found our modern Logis which was clean and friendly. We had a very good evening meal and then went off to finish drying everything before morning!

Wednesday 10th June

We woke up to more rain!! Had a nice breakfast and then got all togged up for the weather. Off we went onwards and upwards as it were - I think we all thought "let's just get there". All in a world of our own with hats on and hardly any chatter! Graham had a puncture and we didn't have a coffee stop as it was so very wet. We did however, stop for a wonderful lunch in Quintin. We found a café where the owner welcomed us in. We were just taking off out wet things when a young lady cam in telling us that we couldn't possibly stop here as the place was being refurbished but we must come with her!! We found ourselves in a 'workman's café' which did a set lunch for 10.50 euros. We hung up our wet jackets in the hallway and were taken to a large table of our own at the back of the canteen. I think there must have been only one woman there already, the rest all working chaps on their lunch break. We had a help-yourself starter that was a meal in itself and then chicken & chips. We were offered a choice of pudding and coffee/tea and wine with the meal - truly a wonderful meal. We felt a lot better after that and got togged up again to brave the weather. Our ride took us through little villages and a town call Quessoy and then onto Lamballe. By the time we had reached Lamballe it had stopped raining thank goodness! What a dear little hotel and lovely chap that ran it. Graham & I had a short walk before supper and a wonderful cup of tea. We had a very good supper and then off to dry out things for the morning - again!

Thursday 11th June

At last, we woke to a sunny day!! We had breakfast and then off for our final full day of riding. Unfortunately, poor Ron was still not well and he and Val decided to go home from here back to England. We wished them a good journey and set off on our own. We rode down some lovely roads through villages until we came to the Chateau de la Hunaudaye. We stopped here to have a look at this ancient place. Although it wasn't open to the public today there was a group of children being shown around and the guide said that we could have a quick look inside. That was great. This was originally built in the 12th century but was destroyed in the Breton wars and was rebuilt in the 15th century. On we went to Jugon-les-Lacs where we had a coffee and popped into the shops to get food for a picnic lunch. After a short ride, we stopped by a pretty lake and sat in the sun to eat. We made friends with a little dog who was I think looking hopeful but then off he went - hope he got home OK. We were just south of Corseul at this point. After lunch we carried on through a few little villages including Pleurtuit. We went on to la Richardais where we had a drink at a hotel in the sun - this is how the tour should be! We then carried on into St Malo. We cycled through the new part of the City until we reached the walled part where our hotel was. We were shown where we could leave our bikes nearby and then found our rooms in the Logis. Good little rooms with a lovely shower! Graham & I went almost straight out and walked the City walls with an ice-cream! The views were lovely across the bay and you can see lots of islands in the water. Also there is a sandy beach with a 1930's swimming pool that fills and empties with the tide everyday. We ate that evening across the road in a small restaurant, which was very pleasant. Steve, Graham and I went for a short walk around the City and did some window shopping.

Friday 12th June

A bit misty this morning but OK. We had a swift breakfast and then got our bikes packed up and off we went to the port for our journey back to England. We had a very short trip to the port and then through passport control and we were off. The sun came out and Martha, Jane, Graham & I had a lovely lunch on board ship. We sat about reading and enjoying the sunshine on deck and had a very calm crossing - thank goodness! Back in England we cycled back to the car park and spent an hour or so packing up the bikes onto and into the cars. A singsong in the car on the way home finished off the tour nicely as did the fish & chips that we had and I know Steve & Zoe did too!!

Kate


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