Just two wheels

Breton weather

Sept. 10, 2022

Saturday (September 3rd) started with an early breakfast, because we wanted to look for new tires in Dinan with borrowed bicycles. We planned to go right at the opening time since we wanted to have the best chances by keeping open the possibility of being able to drive to all the shops. However, Emily also had to go into town and so we had the luxury of being taken by Barbara in the car and were able to save ourselves the somewhat steep climb into town. Our first stop was a shop whose owner we had contacted the day before through Dominque's daughter and who was pretty sure they had what we needed. He was right and we got two tire coats that were taken from a child's bike. Unfortunately, 507-51 instead of our 507-47, so our replacement tubes no longer fit. Hoewever, we were able to find another tube, so that we now have at least 3 tubes including the patched ones. After a short nap, we changed the tire coats, adjusted the mudguards and did some other maintenance work. In the evening, we had the pleasure of eating Hauke's famous entomatadas before it was time for bed.

Bild von Hauke macht entomatadas

Sunday (September 4th) we got back on track but the mood was… not the best. A mixture of missing the comfort that you get used to so quickly and boredom from driving the same route accompanied us for the first few kilometres. However, from Cap Frehel onwards we were back in touring mode.

Bild von Cap Frehel 1
Bild von Cap Frehel 2

As a small illustration of what it looks like when we stop somewhere for more than 3 minutes, look at this picture:

Bild von Cap Frehel Ida +

With still way more ahead of us, we went on to Moncontour where we completed 20% of the "Les plus beaux villages" challenge. The town was just like the name describes “Beau” but unfortunately a little more uninhabited at this hour of the day and so we set off again to arrive at Estelle's place at an acceptable time, where we were allowed to stay the night.

Bild von Moncontour 1
Bild von Moncontour 2

We chatted into the night and continued on Monday (September 5th) at breakfast. Then, we pumped the wheels up again with a mix of manual labor and a compressor to check the value as it couldn't pump more than a bar.
Sometime around noon we finally drove off after we had been waiting for one last rain shower. And then we went up and down about 100 km through the Breton pampa. At some point in the evening, we arrived at Christian and Josiane's, exhausted but happy.
After a shower we ate a delicious couscous-melon-ham salad… and then cheese… and then dessert!

Bild von Regenbogen

On Tuesday (September 6th), we continued early - of course not before Christian had also cycled a minute on the backseat of the tandem. And so, we arrived at the Phare de Plumanac'h very early, before all tourists, and were able to have a cozy breakfast on the Côte de Granit Rose.

Bild von Phare de Plumanac'h
Bild von Granit rose
Bild von Granite rose mit Rad

A few miles after we set off again, we met another recumbent bike so we honked and rang the bell. Pauline and her dad are cycling from Toulouse to le Havre as a university project. If anyone needs more pictures from Bretagne or would like to improve their French, visit: https://paulichouu.com/

Bild von Pauline

But the day wasn't over yet, as we went straight afterwards to the Planetarium de la Bretagne. Of course, not without getting a taste of the Breton weather first as the sun spontaneously changed to rain and we got a bit wet. Thankfully, it was not too bad because we could enter right away. We thought ... but when we arrived the doors were closed, or at least it seemed so. A bearded man quickly came out and asked if he could help us. Two sentences later, he was fully invested and took us to the planetarium to show us everything. I am always fascinated by the social nature of planetarium employees.This was the largest planetarium we have visited and one of the largest in France. And of course, if there are only 3 people instead of 280, it obviously seems even bigger. Ida and David talked about technology that I don't know anything about and which I would therefore only reproduce incorrectly here. Nevertheless, one thing sticks in my memory: When zooming out into the Milky Way, you could see how the constellations shift since the stars are not in one level of course!

Bild von Planetarium
Bild von Plani aber von innen

But at some point, a show started and we moved on, because we still had to go to Morlaix, where we had already been promised a space for camping. Since we wanted to get there quickly, Ida also ignored the fact that my navigation might had taken us right across the lawn of a golf course.

Bild von Ida auf dem Golfplatz
Bild von Morlaix
Bild von Morlaix 2

On Wednesday (September 7th), we decided to change our plan. The railway line from Morlaix to Carhaix lured us in with its smoothness and our tired legs welcomed this plan. In the middle of a forest, we cycled slowly uphill and took a break at the top of an abandoned station building. Just in time, because it started to rain quickly, and while we were enjoying the rain from a dry spot, one after the other tourers arrived near us. First, two Canadians were having lunch there and then a couple from England as well.

Bild von Verlassener Bahnhof

But since it anyway drizzled all day, waiting in a dry spot for the rain to pass wouldn´t have helped and so we continued. Unfortunately, that was a wrong decision because the Bretagne showed us that they can do things differently and offered us a shower instead of a drizzle. At least 10 km passed before the next shelter, in which we had to take advantage of the unwanted offer.
Now back in a dry spot, we were visited again by 6 cyclists: 3 older couples vacationing together. While they only had to wait for a bit, because their B&B was right across the street, we had to continue the journey. I promised Ida 30°C, sun and someone who would give out free caipirinhas along the way and at least one of these things came true, even if only temporarily. As soon as we were on the Canal du Nantes à Brest, the dear Petrus pressed the "random weather" button again but a little too hard and it even got stuck, so it went from sun to shower and back again in a every 5 minutes. We didn´t even know if we should actually take the rain pants on or off.
Around 9 o' clock, we agreed on a place to sleep directly next to the canal and away from any road with Ida complaining about the noise of from the lock. But Petrus solved that too, and so at night you couldn't hear the lock from 2 m a far because of the rain.

Bild von Zelt an der Schleuse

Thursday (September 8th) started with an early dismantling of the tent and a 20 km bike ride. While I climbed a mile up the hill to the nearest boulangerie, Ida hung the tent over a picnic table to dry. With a pain au chocolat in our stomachs and a dry tent, we continued the route along the canal.

Bild von Ida am Kanal
Bild von Kanal ohne Ida
Bild von Meilenstein

During a break in the rain (apparently Petrus' button hadn´t been fully repaired yet) we met Piere, who had already sailed the canal towards Brest with his wife. When he heard, we were going to Locronan, he told us about his cousin who had a studio there. Of course, we offered Piere to deliver his cousin a message from him since we are known to be faster than the post office.
But before we could do that, we first had to climb a mountain, which is not that easy with a fully loaded bike. But our will was strong, stronger than our legs, and that was rewarded with an amazing view!

Bild von Aussicht von oben

After visiting the city and eating a delicious cake (recommended by our welcome to my garden host Kate), we went to the studio. Alain was understandably very confused when smelly cyclists appeared in his gallery and offered greetings, but after a short explanation he found it at least as funny as we did.

Bild von Locronan
Bild von Locronan 2
Bild von Viele Grüße

From there, it was all downhill to Douarnenez. Since that would have been a bit boring, of course, we drove up another mountain where Kate and Jean Marie were already waiting for us with vegetarian burgers. After a nice chat, we fell into our tent.
On Friday (September 9th) it rained again and with Ida's exhausted legs, we decided not to go to the Point du Raz but directly to Bénodet. Luckily, we were able to jump on a railway line from the city, which led us uphill. From there, we could easily cycle back down on a federal road and then, the last few meters along a railway line again.
Within no time, we were with Anke and Nicolas, with whom we spent the weekend.
After our tent, which we packed extremely wet in the morning, had dried on the lawn and we have had a shower, we ate homemade galletes and crepes, just as it should be in Brittany.

Before Ida says goodbye to you with another astronomy lesson, we present you another project idea:
Right next to the Planetarium de la Bretagne, you can find a former antenna hidden in a 64m diameter dome that can be seen from afar over the trees. Perfect! I thought - that could be used as a sun for a planet path. And indeed, at 6.9 km away on this scale, Earth would be 58.6 cm, not too small to be missed. Neptune with its 2.2 m would then "only" be 206.7 km away! As Ida points out, almost far enough to still fit inside Brittany. The only problem might be to build the 6.6 m tall Jupiter. But if anyone has contact with the French government, please let us know!

Bild von Die Sonne

At the end of this week, we have another star hour: this time with the arrow - similar to the dolphin an inconspicuous constellation, but still easy to recognize. It is slightly above the dolphin and pretty much in the middle of the summer triangle. Funnily enough, many cultures agree that they see an arrow in this constellation. Greek mythology says that it is the arrow that Hercules shot at the eagle (which is very close by). The eagle is the animal in the story that eats from the liver of Prometheus every day. Due to his previous story (he brought fire to the people, which angered the gods), he is chained to a rock and succumbs to his fate every day. By the way, Hercules is also in the starry sky! More about that at another time :-)
Next week it's time for us to say goodbye to Brittany - we will keep it in our hearts! and we will continue towards Bordeaux.

Until then! Keep your ears stiff! (Translator´s comment: This is a German saying for “Stay tuned”)

Tilman and Ida