Saturday

Trudeau to Nozay, 52.6 miles 12/06/04 and 13/06/04

Saturday ?
D65 to Lieuron, I'm sat in a public park writing this. No litter, immaculate picnic benches, eating smoked sausages (they keep well) and watching a heron fishing in a small lake, nobody else here. Another perfect riding day, the churches en route today are amazing! Rough cut dark stone with a very pale cement/mortar, very old again. Why don't English towns have this history?? At Mauve De Bretagne the church is huge, with a mixture of styles, round, square, towers, spire, the lot, all rolled into one.
The D65 as a superb road to ride, not too busy, good surface, small hills (endless low gradients)
Done the shopping today, for the weekend I think. I needed to stock up, its difficult to carry 2 days food but they don't open Sundays here.
Is 11.00 now, left at 08.00. 15'C with passing clouds, trailer overloaded with food.
People nodding and smiling, older people taking more notice, the French nod is upwards, they push out the chin rather than nod the head.
Guy in the campsite this morning, arrived late last night, was French but spoke good English. Wants to do the trip I am doing for himself, he had just bought a recumbant bike and this was his first try at riding it, round and round the field. As I was leaving he was coming along the road towards me with a huge smile! "AU REVOUIR MR" A good start to the day.
Ok, Am 11 km out of Guemene Penfau now and everything has changed in the last hour, the grass isn't green anymore, oak trees arn't doing so well, the type of pine tree has changed, smaller and not so regular. All gorse bushes and plants I don't recognise. This is the first time the landscape makes me feel like I'm not riding in England. I've still got the crickets singing though, constant companions. Am writing this on a roundabout picnic area 2 km before Besle, D59 and D55 crossroads. Big sign says LANGON, Not sure if thats commercial or geographical though.
Well, now its an hour later, and I could be back in England again, it's all changed back!
Route = Trudeau to Tredeal to Plelan Le Grand, D38 Maxent, D65 Campel, cross D776 to D65 Maure L Bretagne (supermarket and amazing church) D65 Lieuron, D65 Pipnac, D59 La Guennais, cross D177 to D59 Balac, Besle, to D15 Bas Meaudac, D15 to Guemene Penfao, town centre to D775 to D124 Juzet, Conquereuil, Le Briel, Marsac Sur Don, D124 Nozay.
Can hear the motorway from the campsite.
Miles today 52.62
Time riding 4H 12mins
Easy going at the start but the hills get larger as you get towards Nozay, long up long down.
Is a municiple site here, some kids are shouting "Ahh, un campeur - regard le voleur monsieur"
I think that means watch out for the thieves!!
Angriest guy yet has just turned up here in a campervan, started shouting at people as he was tying his Doberman to the wing mirror - arse!!
Have noticed a lot more wildlife in France, insects, birds, small animals, everywhere, this place is spoiling me.
The style of the houses is starting to change a little, though all the newer ones are the same. Slate roof, thick walls, small windows, shutters or roller shutters, all of the houses here have shutters. There must be tough planning department, even extensions to old buildings are the same as new houses. ALL the same style and colour, slate roof and sand yellow painted walls. That said, these are vastly better looking than new English houses of the same size.
Trying to keep 2-3 days in front with the route plannning, the AA MaxiScale - France is perfect, showing even the smallest roads clearly.
Will stay a while here, saw an internet place in town, should be open on Monday, finally may get to YM with Zarah.
Can't get over how bad my feet smell! showering twice a day and I'm starting to stink!

Sunday 13/06/2004
A day waiting for the town hall to open, hope to get onto the internet and update the diary, talk to Zarah!!
A late arrival last night at about 3/4am pitched right on top of my spot. With a whole field to choose from he is camping 5'away, and didn't emerge till 7pm.
The Sanitaire is communal here, all share 1 big room, I was surprised when ladies started walking through whilst I was taking a leak, haha, unexpected.
Everyone tries to speak french to each other on these sites, but hardly anyone is actually french, can be amusing to find that your neighbour is English after stumbling along in french.
It's easy to spot the English drivers though, their number plates stand out a mile, they're a good source of travel info...places to go see.
French public phone boxes take cards not cash, looks like a credit card, chip and all. A good idea if you can find somewhere to buy them! 120 units for around E20 made 3 calls and got 80 units left, not too bad.
Galouises blondes my new preferred brand of cigarette, will have to see if they sell outside France.
Lots of radio stations playing english and american music here, Rolling Stones now (stack me up, you make a grown man cry?) It's very nice to hear.
Hot sunshine all day. Everything done and ready to move on, route planned for 5 days, SE from here. Eaten all the food and got through Sunday without starving, half a small loaf, smoked pork sausage, and a pack of sultanas. Hardly a balanced diet but will put it right tomorrow.
Is now about 8.30pm and is still hot sunshine, people stay up later here and spend more time outdoors, is taking some getting used to but I like it!
Thought there had been a festival in town last night and I had slept and missed it! Went through this morning and there was confetti everywhere, looks like a Big Party but apparently this is a normal Saturday night. Compare early morning here to early morning UK, we have broken glass, vandalism, and blood on the pavements on Sunday mornings.
T mobile are being arses about topping up my phone, they won't let me spend more than £30 a month. Thanks to home for sorting out alternatives! Will see to T mobile later.
Internet tomorrow!!!

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Web www.hittheroadat.blogspot.com

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Good luck with your own journey.
Thanks for visiting,
Rob.