Mon Français et rubbish. Took a while to get bags organised and dawdled over breakfast – mmmm, coffee. Remembered to grab extra bacon baguette for lunch.
I was impressed by the hotel – it was very clean and Scandinavian looking. I’ve since discovered B&B Hotels are a bit like Travelodge – or Premier Inn – they’re fairly cheap and cheerful and ubiquitous in France.
Am sneaking in a bit of spinning whenever I can – the little Bosworth is great – spins and spins and light as a feather. So I was spinning at breakfast. This B&B place doesn’t seem to mind dogs either – there were two with different families at breakfast , so I was able to get my dog fix in too.
I rode around and around a colour coded industrial estate (you know, you get the those maps with “Vous etes ici” on it and blocks of colour representing real life blocks) - I was finally spat out (by now a muddy colour and not amused), in the direction of Paramé. Eventually got on the right road too (Miracles). Met a ‘nice young man’ who read watermeters by all accounts, and who spoke English. He’d never heard of the English Mount St Michael and determined to go home and look it up. He told me I’d soon come to the bay – and he was right: It was magnificent, shrouded in mist. The tide was out and sand banks stretched as far as the eye could see, rocks dimly visible like, shapes lurking like sea monsters. There were lots of people collecting “fruits de mer” (I assume) (or maybe they were offering themselves up to the sea monsters?).
I sat by an interesting building in St Benoit des Ondes, for lunch – and made it a daily draw. It was an 18th century windmill (this coast is lined with them) – called Moulin de la Croix, and it had been converted into a work of art by Jean-Luc Vilmouth. Rusty wires covered the walls mimicking the natural forces of sea and wind (apparently). While I was sat there, a man came over and tried to strike up a conversation – his English being non existant and ditto my French it was a bit of a non starter – but give him his due, he offered to buy me a coffee to give it a good go. We established that his name was Michel and he was on holiday here and came from Orleans. There’s only so much one can do with sign language and pointing – he liked my ‘point it’ book. The coffee was good.
I’d emailed the owner of 28 Croix de Galliot as it sounded like a lovely campsite –only 6 pitches and no room for campervans. But it was still closed – so I ended up staying at Chateau de L’Aumône - evidently just opening up for the new season as the wifi didn’t work and they were unpacking boxes to stock the shop. There were only about three campspots taken – including me – but it must be crowded in the summer – 50+ camping spaces with electric hookup, a swimming pool and a bar (not to mention bbq). I am gradually working my way down to stealth camping – ie, hotel>campsite>wild camping.
There was no toilet paper in the loos. Potential disaster, so I saved all the serviettes I could.
Still going with the cakes – Phillipa’s just about done now, but starting on the brownies Donna gave me. Used the trangia stove for the first time and had a nice hot cuppa – but then left it out in the rains that night and of course it wouldn’t work. Whoops. (very important English word).
All my plans to a) do a bit of shopping or b) visit Mont Saint Michel came unstuck. Today I only cycled about 28 miles – and this was fairly flat. But I felt like I started on half empty. I set up camp and it was warm in the tent – bathed in gold (well, the lining IS yellow) and I lay down and went to sleep for 3 hours. It did feel restorative though. Then I got up and went to the bar, which was about an hour from closing (at 8pm) – had ANOTHER croque monsieur – I shall look like one soon, and some yummy hot chocolate – the kind where the chocolate is still evident in the bottom of the cup and you can spoon it up. Did I tell you I like chocolate?
Tomorrow I go to stay with a couch surfing host called Morgane (or Hebi Chan is her user name) in St Hilaire-du-Harcouet. Shall I go via Mont St Michel after all? We shall see.