From Morlaix I headed South via the Eurovelo 1 route, La Vélodyssée, which runs all the way down to Portugal. That sounds fun, but I decided to follow it only as far as the Gironde Estuary. The first step was a cruise along the Canal de Nantes Brest…
It seemed like every road from Morlaix was uphill! A greenway left the town along an old railway line. It was a steady ride out to Carhaix through a tunnel of trees. After Carhaix I joined the canal which I was expecting to be flat – normally canals are flat. This one has 238 locks and on the first day was actually kind of steep.
It was quiet and peaceful all along the canal, and the with the repetition of locks, trees, and water I fell into some kind of trance. I stayed at Guarec, where everyone seems to be English. A rainy day took me to Josselin, where I failed to realise there was an interesting old town to visit. When stopping at Guenrouet a waiter asked me if I knew what a galette was – after 9 days in Brittany I could easily say yes!
I had my first mechanical on the morning I left Josselin – a clicking turned into a clunking which turned into a broken chain. At least 10 people rode past an no-one stopped to help. It was easy to fix but I feel like in the UK people would have at least asked if I was ok.
I struggled to find lunch on a Sunday and had to settle for an awful sandwich from Carrefour.
Towards Nantes the landscape was wilder, I saw kingfishers and otters, but gradually I moved into the suburbs. After the quiet and solitude of three days on the canal entering Nantes was a big culture shock! Cars, buses, bikes and pedestrians were flying in all directions, it was all too much, and I knew it was time for a rest.
Nantes was a great place for a rest day, good food, nice places to drink, and some interesting attractions were just what I needed. I was staying in an AirBnb close to the airport, and there was a ferry which took me and my bike back into the town centre. In the evening I rode back along the old docks, stopping to see the robots of Les Machines d’Ile. Interesting but the French commentary was too fast for me. I finished the rest day with a meal in the cool little village Trentmoulte, sat a couple of metres from the estuary as the sun went down.
Stats & Data
Days Ridden – 9
Kilometres Ridden – 664
Metres Climbed – 4727
Punctures – 0
Wet Days – 2
Rest Days – 2