Sunday, 30 June 2013

Essential and non-essential things for a trip across France (you'd never guess ;-)

French hotel rooms don't have coffee makers as standard equipment, at least not in the lower price rooms I am staying in.  So if you're an early riser and don't want to wait for -7 am or 7:30 am or even 8 am on Sundays for breakfast to be served or if you want to have a cheaper and better breakfast in your own room, Go Get Yourself a Water Kettle and some Instant Coffee (which actually tastes darn good in this country ;-) !  Breakfast sometimes is included and sometimes costs between 6.50 and 15.00 Euros

This is France.  Ve only have good Vine. And to emphasize that ve don't use screw-tops on the bottles of our vine.  If you want to drink very good wine at very low prices, Go Get Yourself a Corkscrew!

A lot of hotels have telephones in the rooms but those can only be used for calls within France. Telephone cells, at least to the same level as in Canada or Germany, have gone the way of the Dodo (hint: extinct ;-). So if you want or have to call someone outside of France, Go Get Yourself a cell phone (portable as they are called here)! Skype will do as well, but your portable will allow you to do more than make a phone call:

A Smartphone will help a lot in preventing you from looking like a tourist. Google Maps is way more inconspicuous than folding and unfolding huge maps.  Since French cities and villages are not planned on a checker board pattern, but grew in time as diverging main roads, taking one wrong turn will lead you further and further from your intended direction without the possibility of just getting back on 'your road' after the next block.  For this, a detailed map, both of region and immediate city neighbourhood is VERY NICE TO HAVE. Go Get Yourself a Smartphone!

Tregastel ( a tourist destination for a reason ;-)

It's gorgeous.  But it is full of tourists and the stores and installations that follow tourists ;-(
But let's ignore them for the moment and try to just look at pretty pictures (if the tourists don't ruin them ).

WTF? Salmon?

I can't resist ;-)

accident!  only realized that one of the camera wheels was between two settings 2 shots later ;-(

You get the idea....
This area is known as the Cote du Granite Rose (it's only pink if illuminated by evening sun, and even then I'd call it salmon coloured and not pink)

A wee bike ride III (St-Pol-de-Leon to Tregastel [70/79 km])

Ouch. Quite a few of my body parts are refusing to talk to me.
79.41 km.
3 hours and 55 minutes saddle time, elapsed real time 7 hours.
Average speed 20.3 km/hour

Maximum speed 55.3 km/hour (I had to stop to let opposing traffic through; bloody French road rules; I could have hit 60 ! ;-)

Constant head wind (that's why all the geezers on their fancy racers were going the other way ;-); Hills like you wouldn't believe!

Add to that that I had to carry my bike in Morlaix up and down lots of stairs ( An e-bike weighs enough already; add to that an extra battery and luggage and you're sweating)

And all without EPO, an assist car, or spectators (all of that was in Corsica today ;-)

Bike route

Prop it up or loose it

so many nice houses without roofs


Google says this is a bike route

Through there

I wish the Google idiots would know what a fully packed e-bike weighs!
Well, actually, now they know.  You can report issues with the BETA bicycle directions.  Maybe I'll be one of the last ones to actually have taken this route?  ;-)  Or maybe all the young Google Operatives have no pity with smokers approaching 50.
Lunch & battery charging

sea welks

come on, little welk!

Gotcha !  (yes, you're supposed to eat that)

Did I mention that the bike's name is Rocinante?

Lannion: The road I almost did 60 on. See the bloody sign?


He spotted me ;-)

almost at my hotel !!!!

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Early Morning St-Pol-de-Leon (ou les mouettes sont folles!)

Being up at 5 am I go for a walk around town at 6 am. The street lights shine dimly through the early morning fog and I wouldn't be surprised to see Jack the Ripper or the Spanish or French Inquisition to come around the next corner, but there is absolutely NO-ONE on the streets at this hour.

Some more pictures of the 'chapel'.

The only one awake at this hour are les mouettes (the seagulls). And they make sounds unlike any I ever heard from any seagull.  After watching and listening to the first one for a while, I get it:  They are trying to scare and lure me away from their nests (what are they doing all day when there is lots of people?).  Then I see this one. It is exhibiting the same behaviour and I get it when it is making threatening noises.  I take the picture, turn around and start walking. Then I hear a swooshing sound close by and actually feel a strong wind from its wings in my hair.  The bloody thing did a fly-by-scaring to underline its earlier threats!

At 7:35 am I go out for another smoke and want to walk a bit before breakfast opens at 8 am. I turn into the street I walk earlier, get to the same house, hear the sound, and before I can properly look up, I have THE SAME friggin bird swooping down on me AGAIN, but this time from the front, where I can see it coming.
I duck, turn around, and go back to the hotel. This is TOO MUCH!

BTW: The original post title was "Les mouette sont foux", which apparently is Pidgin French (Pigeon?, NO, seagull!), as I was informed by an anonymous French-speaking poster with the initial C.  So the title was corrected. This tidbit just so the comments make sense ;-)