Cycle and camp in Brittany and Normandy.

itchybeard

Senior Member
Location
North Lancashire
Location: Brittany/Normandy
Date:
30th April - 14th May 2015
Distance: 406miles
solo cycling/camping

It started with an overnight ferry crossing from Portsmouth to St Malo.
The weather greeting me at 0830 am was rain and that lasted during the day.Typical bank holiday weather even in France. Though I wanted to cycle around parts of France so I booked by ferry and did just that.

St Malo being the first day was a far nicer with the enclaved town. The beach was great also.
I spent a night on the edge of town at a camp-site, the most expensive for the two weeks!

bike 1.jpg
yes, no panniers but make shifts rucksacks and bungees.

My plan before setting of was to cycle towards Renne and bear right to the coast and cycle around this and arriving at Caen for departure sail. Though two days in, I knew I was not going to make this, but that was fine.

The locations I cycled and stayed at was:
- St Malo,Combourg, Renne, Dinan, Cherrueix (coast above dol-de-Bretagne) St-Hilaire-du-Harcouet, Pont-d'Ouilly and Ouistreham.

It was nice to stay at some of the location for more than one night and take in the local history and locality it had to offer.

The English women running Combourg camp-site was helpful towards me especially with me wet clothes. They were cotton not synthetic...
A nice guy offered me a coffee and meal at his house in Combourg which I accepted. A few days later I bumped into them in Renne in the centre square. They had stalls with makeshift trees in the square for people to write simple, happy comment to leave on them. They had talks and bread making and art going on. It was to show an act of kindness and humanity. The women organiser was an older adult, she being in the concentration camps when young. So this was a nice touch for me to enjoy once in Renne.

I liked the town of Dinan, small but cute.
After this, to the coast and it was nice to cycle along it as the weather became better. So along Cherrueix it was so nice, quiet and in the distance, Le Mond st Michel that I cycled to the next day. This was a beautiful building and land, really liked the narrow streets within.

bike 2.jpg


The Normande/Swisse area was particular nice as it was hilly and green with rivers. I followed a cycle track up to Vire then turned right towards Conde-sur-Noireau and stayed just outside this.
I met two guys laying on a church field, I knew they were Brits and asked so, one of them from Kendal, were I work!!
Though this area of Normand/Swisse is hilly a bit of pushing was required but not too much.

17734010232_c5a21134e5_o.jpg


Overall the trip went well. There were a few Brits to talk to. It was nice to talk to cyclist travelling for months at a time and I met quite a few, listening to their itinerary.

Next time, I would like to upgrade to panniers, bags worked, people commented on this positively, just be easier I feel.
Wear more synthetic rather than cotton.
A lighter bike would go nicely but mine was fine.
Stick to the back roads is best.
Plenty of bakers shop.
France is still quiet in the afternoon and all shops closed on Sundays. As I found out, I was thirsty, no water or food as I would go tot the store, not open, A nice guy at the bar gave me half of his pizza takeaway as I was starved.
Food and drink. I don't eat that much, maybe one meal a day and that's usually a tin of ravioli with a crusty baguette and water fir the day. Also, pate on baguette is quick and cheap.
 
Last edited:

neil earley

Veteran
Location
Neath
Location: Brittany/Normandy
Date:
30th April - 14th May 2015
Distance: 406miles
solo cycling/camping

It started with an overnight ferry crossing from Portsmouth to St Malo.
The weather greeting me at 0830 am was rain and that lasted during the day.Typical bank holiday weather even in France. Though I wanted to cycle around parts of France so I booked by ferry and did just that.

St Malo being the first day was a far nicer with the enclaved town. The beach was great also.
I spent a night on the edge of town at a camp-site, the most expensive for the two weeks!

View attachment 91157 yes, no panniers but make shifts rucksacks and bungees.

My plan before setting of was to cycle towards Renne and bear right to the coast and cycle around this and arriving at Caen for departure sail. Though two days in, I knew I was not going to make this, but that was fine.

The locations I cycled and stayed at was:
- St Malo,Combourg, Renne, Dinan, Cherrueix (coast above dol-de-Bretagne) St-Hilaire-du-Harcouet, Pont-d'Ouilly and Ouistreham.

It was nice to stay at some of the location for more than one night and take in the local history and locality it had to offer.

The English women running Combourg camp-site was helpful towards me especially with me wet clothes. They were cotton not synthetic...
A nice guy offered me a coffee and meal at his house in Combourg which I accepted. A few days later I bumped into them in Renne in the centre square. They had stalls with makeshift trees in the square for people to write simple, happy comment to leave on them. They had talks and bread making and art going on. It was to show an act of kindness and humanity. The women organiser was an older adult, she being in the concentration camps when young. So this was a nice touch for me to enjoy once in Renne.

I liked the town of Dinan, small but cute.
After this, to the coast and it was nice to cycle along it as the weather became better. So along Cherrueix it was so nice, quiet and in the distance, Le Mond st Michel that I cycled to the next day. This was a beautiful building and land, really liked the narrow streets within.

View attachment 91158

The Normande/Swisse area was particular nice as it was hilly and green with rivers. I followed a cycle track up to Vire then turned right towards Conde-sur-Noireau and stayed just outside this.
I met two guys laying on a church field, I knew they were Brits and asked so, one of them from Kendal, were I work!!
Though this area of Normand/Swisse is hilly a bit of pushing was required but not too much.

View attachment 91160

Overall the trip went well. There were a few Brits to talk to. It was nice to talk to cyclist travelling for months at a time and I met quite a few, listening to their itinerary.

Next time, I would like to upgrade to panniers, bags worked, people commented on this positively, just be easier I feel.
Wear more synthetic rather than cotton.
A lighter bike would go nicely but mine was fine.
Stick to the back roads is best.
Plenty of bakers shop.
France is still quiet in the afternoon and all shops closed on Sundays. As I found out, I was thirsty, no water or food as I would go tot the store, not open, A nice guy at the bar gave me half of his pizza takeaway as I was starved.
Food and drink. I don't eat that much, maybe one meal a day and that's usually a tin of ravioli with a crusty baguette and water fir the day. Also, pate on baguette is quick and cheap.
Nice tour you had,thanks for sharing ps what tent are you using
 
OP
itchybeard

itchybeard

Senior Member
Location
North Lancashire
The tent shown is a terra Nova laser comp. Ours a one man tent. Used mainly on low level but I have used it ok the fells. I would recommend a stronger tent.
 
OP
itchybeard

itchybeard

Senior Member
Location
North Lancashire
I like your approach to this, the fact that you haven't got the perfect set up didn't stop you so for that, I take my hat off to you sir.

marvellous.
Too kind. But Appreciated.
I had no fancy luggage, items back then so i just went for it. My wellbeing was lower then, needed time away and this was a nice journey on my own.
Did you do journey yourself?
 
Too kind. But Appreciated.
I had no fancy luggage, items back then so i just went for it. My wellbeing was lower then, needed time away and this was a nice journey on my own.
Did you do journey yourself?
Hello @itchybeard

I've done my own tours, although mine are for wind down purposes before holidays. I find a couple of days on my bike before I get on holiday gets me there more relaxed and ready to enjoy time with the family. for their part, they are glad to be rid of me for a couple of days :laugh:

I take it you have upgraded some of your kit?

all the best
 
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