Today I cycled much of the same route to Mont Saint-Michel as I had done back in February when I was here for a wee, prior to beginning my cycle touring adventure. I had a relaxed morning and didn't leave camp until midday.
As I had not had wifi for a few days, I decided to call in at the McDonalds in Avranches to check out for myself the free wifi that everyone often tells me about. I never eat in McDonalds so was unaware, until recently, that they had free wifi. After an hour or so trying to make an ice-cream sundae last as long as I could (I managed about 57 seconds) and catching up with emails etc, I set off once again.
Just outside Avranches I stopped to remove my fleece as it had warmed up quite a bit buy then, as I did so I heard someone call out "Bonjour". I turned to see a fellow cycle tourist who was also loaded up to the hilt. His English was only slightly better than my French but we ascertained that we were heading in the same direction for a while, so we rode together. Over the course of the next hour or so we had something resembling a conversation. As I had mastered cycling fully loaded up and with a trailer now, I was able to use one hand to steer and one hand to thumb through my French language book to look up words to construct some sentences.
We cycled together as far as Pontaubault and as we were saying our goodbyes we spotted a bar and had a couple of drinks together. Over our beers, I discovered that he was cycling the Eurovelo and specifically Route 6 and also that this was his very first day. He had left Cherbourg that morning but had obviously taken a much more direct route than I had to that same point. En route he would be meeting up with several other touring cyclists and would reach his destination in three or four months. I could not work out in the end if there would be 20 of them or that he would be visiting 20 countries! Either way, it is sure to be a fantastic trip.
As I reached camp, just after 9pm, I pitched my tent next to two other French cycle tourists. Once I had returned from grabbing something to eat in Dol de Bretagne, we then proceeded to have much the same conversation I had had just a few hours earlier. Being static this time around, mime (on my part) played a much bigger part in the conversation, but, once again, I think we al understood one another in the end. My school-level French has got me quite along way so it would seem. I was able to ask them both, with quite some confidence I might add, "Quel âge êtes-tu?". They are both 29. After that more mimes about travel, work and various bike parts ensued - I really must try to remember the word for "spokes"!
|Oh it looks like such a long way.|
|Apparently the silhouette of Mont Saint-Michel is the second most famous in France, after the Tour Eiffel of course.|
|Surely a faux Banksy?|
|I just love the way these grasses look when they are blowing in the wind. You might want to turn the volume off if watching the video clip below...it was very windy!|
|This farmer appears to be lovingly trying to recreate Le Mont St Michel in dung. Clever stuff!|