After overcast conditions the last few days, we set off reluctantly this morning in a light drizzle – with the forecast for more rain in the afternoon. The worst part of riding in the rain is starting and stopping. Once you have warmed up, it is not so bad if the rain is not too hard. And so it was today. Most of the morning it was on and off, light drizzle, allowing us to dry off in between. The bad thing about stopping is the clean up required – the bikes and everything else get really dirty.
Our original plan was to follow the velo verte (green off-road bicycle route) north. We tried it out for around 5km to start with, but it soon became so muddy that we gave up on the idea (it is unsealed). Kris had mapped out an alternative route on small roads, however we found the main road was quiet enough to use. And so we progressed through the countryside.
Our first stop was at the town of Guerlesquin, which has a cobble stones, a pretty church and most noticeably a small 16 century prison at the center – it is a square stone building that you can go into. They really knew how to do prisons in those days – the bottom floor where the prisoners were kept is pretty miserable, cold and dark – then there are two upper floors where the guards lived. There is also a small chapel between two houses that is all that is left of a convent after the French revolution. We had a warming coffee at the pub.
The main road after Guerlesquin became more busy so Kris took us on some side routes. We reached Plestin-les-Gréves around lunchtime and still both felt really good – the rain was very light and we were not too wet. So we decided to proceed a further 28km or so to Perros Guirec, where we wanted to see the pink granite boulders. We booked a night in a hotel there through the tourist office. When we came out of the tourist office we both felt cold again (we had stopped for too long), we found the supermarket to buy some high carb snacks (read pastries) before proceeding to Lannion.
We first hit the coast at St-Michel-en-Gréve – we have never seen a beach with greenery growing on it before. There is also a little stone church which is very pretty, being right on the beach.
Lannion is a large town around 8km from our final destination. The traffic was busy driving through and we didn’t stop. There was an exhibition of ‘menhirs’ on the river front painted by individual artists and also a market. On the way out of town we found a large supermarket and bought our supper. Once we came out the rain was heavier. We waited 5 min but it didn’t look like clearing, so we gritted our teeth and rode on. Around 8km to Perros-Guirec. This was not a pleasant ride as we got soaked and there was quite a bit of traffic. In places there were welcome cycle paths on the side of the roads, but not consistently.
We arrived at our seaside hotel wet and in the rain (after 87km). They were very accommodating, giving us a bucket of water to wash down the bikes and panniers in the courtyard. The unique thing about the courtyard is that a tame black rabbit lives in it – it was curious but not alarmed by the activity.
The room was nice and large and warm. There was enough space to take everything out of the panniers to dry. We have all our stuff in plastic bags in the panniers, so it stays dry. However when they get this wet you need to take everything out so that the panniers can dry properly. I think this is the wettest they have been.
Kris and I both fell asleep for a couple of hours after our supper, exhausted, and then woke up again at about 9pm to do our emails etc. Then we had difficulty falling asleep again later!