Having done an overnight Ferry before with mixed results ( see day 3 of last year) the experience this time was far more enjoyable. The team had a nice meal at the onboard restaurant before settling into their cabins which had varying degrees of space.
I for one slept like a log as the gently hum of the engines helps me sleep and the smooth crossing was certainly also helpful so was surprised at breakfast to see the rest of the team had been there for well over an hour after varying success of sleeping.
Just before returning to the car we did overhear something that would have a significant influence on the rest of our day “it is a public holiday in France today. Everything will be shut.” Those of you who keep track of our progress updates may be putting two and two together at this point.
Anyhow after heading on the dual carriageway ahead from the port we u loaded the van and began on our trip down the western coast towards our hotel in Nantes. Very quickly three things became apparent
1 just how quiet the roads were and the views across the countryside;
2. How relatively nice the roads were without fear of hitting a pothole similar to that Titanic meme you may have seen ; and
3. We had a tailwind!!!
We did have a brief journey down the side of a canal following a 75 year old French cyclist on his mountain bike. But eventually pulled back onto the main road for fear of our tyres and someone’s very nice carbon wheels.
The scenery, the chatter of countryside animals and the weather combined for a great morning and as we headed towards Rennes we started looking for somewhere for Lunch. Sadly the foreboding comment on the Ferry started to come true and we really couldn’t find anywhere.
After declining Pizza, a kebab shop and a bar for perfectly good reasons we headed off down the route and after a wrong turn down a dead end which resulted in riding back into wind uphill (double cycling god Whammy) we eventually saw the familiar Golden Arches where we headed to for lunch! Not a typical French cafe we were hoping for but it filled a spot.
Throughout The afternoon we continued to benefit from the lovely weather and tailwind and after a stop in Rouge we found an amazing cycling path where we could ride side by side away from the traffic in pretty much a straight line for a good few miles.
By dinner the day three tiredness was beginning to kick in but it is always funny to see how everyone’s mood starts to pick up once they have taken on some of the calories they have burned in the day and soon the laughter returned.