Wed 6th Aug.
A late start due to extreme laziness, compounded by buffet breakfast and the fact it’s tipping down outside. Eventually I summon the get up n go and head to the campsite to pack up the tent we left to air! Its not too wet, so pack it up, return to hotel and reorg for sight seeing day at MSM.
You can’t get all the way to the mont using your own vehicle’s now (as you used to be able…..tide depending) cos they’re building a causeway, which is a bit of a shame in my opinion, still, can’t have nature ruining your revenue stream I suppose!
However, there is a free bus service in some rather natty double ended wood clad buses with driving cabs at both ends
We spent a good few hours wandering, exploring and ‘avin a bit of cake!
One thing I should mention is that the higher up the Mont you go, the more expensive it gets!
Did some Petes pants
Following which we headed back to Pontorson, repacked again, spa bathed….again, then scoffed at Le Relais Gascon. …….again. This time a melt in your mouth Lamb steak; lovely.
Thu 7th- Fri 8th
After making full use of the buffet breakfast (cheese n ham rolls for lunch!) Not forgetting the spa bath one last time, it was off to Pontorson station to catch the train to Caen. We’ve already “done” this part of Normandy so agreed to cut it out and concentrate on the new!
Therefore train it was, with one change. ….using the aforementioned back wheel/rear load up the escalator system!
We reached Caen in the late(ish) morning and started up the canal to Pegasus bridge, crossing over after paying our respects, and heading north…..after Petes pants of course
The coastline between Caen & Dieppe is a tad undulating with deep river valleys heading to the rugged coast, interspersed with long sandy beaches. However, just up the coastline is Merville, which apparently is quite important to the Paras of WW2 vintage, and looks well worth a visit
The campsite for tonight is in Cabourg, a seaside town and resort centered around a mahoosive Casino and founded in the 1850′s.
Unfortunately on the way to Cabourg I noticed Anns rear wheel was slightly wobbly, and on closer inspection realised another spoke had given up the ghost …..bugger!
Once the tent was erected I took said bike around a number of bike shops but to no avail!
The stormiest night so far endured under canvass, torrential rain, thunder and lightning with storm force winds……..should have pegged out the guy ropes I thought……altho to be fair I haven’t yet and it turned out “Bertha” huffed and puffed and didn’t blow my tent down.
Morning Greetings from another savage hill! What a way to start the day. We continue treading along the coast looking for a bike shop to repair Anns wheel.
We came across many
With a variety of different machines, but unable to fix a wheel
After what seemed and actually was bloody miles we arrived in a posh townfull of people who “DO” and I managed to persuade a shop to fix the bike, altho I supplied the spoke (Surly has spares) and it still cost €30! Still. ..it was done and we started moving along again.
Ooh-says Ann a mile or few further on- look at the size of that bridge! Mmm says I, forgetting to mention we’d be crossing it…..when we eventually reached it.
Its high, there’s a traffic jam all the way across….Ann hates heights, but buggered if she’ll let a load of French bloody holiday makers know it
The view off the side from same position
Our 1st selfie
Miles to go yet to tonight’s campsite at St Juan Brunival, but there’s surplus adrenaline sloshing around in Anns system and the afternoon flashes by.
Another stormy night courtesy of Bertha. ….who apparently is planning on hanging around for a week or two. ….excellent, NOT! the plan it may be a changing.
We manage to get up and pack between downpours. Out of camp, turn left and in 100yds it starts raining, in 400 and I’m as wet as I ever could be and it doesn’t matter how much more it rains I’m as wet as I can be…..oh joy!
On the plus side (my glass is always half full-at least in this weather it is) the wind is behind us pushing us forcefully towards Dieppe. …..mmmm isn’t there a ferry to England from Dieppe? Oh yes!
Its wetter than the proverbial Haddock’s bathing costume. There are also a number of rather savage (as in steep down into & long up out of) river valleys to negotiate along the way, with rivers of water flowing down the roads too.
On reaching Fecamp we retire to the Golden Arches for respite and sugar. I was hoping to catch a train but unfortunately the 1st one out of town is at 1700hrs….so we soldier (or should that be sailor) on! On the bright side…..Anns black dye from her home dyed saddle has transferred onto her cycling pants…..which left a very interesting “pattern” on the Mc Donalds white leatherette seat.
After brief respite in the golden arches we set off again and lo….after only 35 miles it stops raining!
Altho looking at the sky ahead you’d be keeping your jacket to hand.
At the Maccie D’s in Fecamp I utilised the free wifi and booked an F1 in Dieppe for that evening. ….1) so we’d have a dry night and 2) so we’d have to get there!
It worked. ..we got there up one last mother of a hill…….why are they always always at the top of a bloody great hill?
Using the F1′s free wifi I checked out the weather for the next week and lo! Bertha was a visitin for a week or two. …..so I checked the ferry times and after a quick discussion we decided on cutting short our continental sojourn and catching the ferry to Newhaven then the train home.
The only fly in the ointment was the ferry left at O my God its early! So we’re a peddling to the port at 3 in the morning. ….with no lights & it’s dark! We finally get to the port after an horrendous climb up & over & around about to find that thankfully the ferry is running late cos of Bertha….so yes there’s plenty of time to check in.
Checked in and Q’d up we then get free entertainment watching the -attempted- illegal stowaways getting hauled out from beneath the lorries, shouting out they’re behind you to the police as more climb the fence, before they are rounded up and herded away by rather nasty very big dogs. All joking aside….its chaos. The risks these people are taking are almost beyond reason. Why on earth do they want to come to England after crossing most of Europe?
So…the end of another adventure, but…….we’re off again soon, this time Budapest up the Danube to Basel, then down the Rhine to Hook of Holland.