Thursday, 30 May 2013

Brittany - Part 2 - Getting lost...

I decide a ride to, and along, the coast road would be a good idea. The weather wasn't as warm as when we arrived - but at least it was dry. I made a few trial adjustments to my bike - the new frame is great but I'm still not entirely happy with my position and I'm getting some unwelcome noises from the drive chain area. I set off heading to Lanmeur - its all very rural roads - lots of fields growing artichokes
and absolutely no traffic at all - it's almost a surreal landscape, like the opening shots from an episode of 'The Avengers' where there is never anyone around at all. Through Lanmeur there is at least a few signs of life, but it's all very quiet and sleepy - I wonder what people do around here? From Lanmeur I take the road towards Guimaec. The roads are very similar to the ones I ride at home - except they seem in better condition, in the main smoother and definitely fewer potholes. There is some sun now and I am warming up, the landscape is an ever changing gallery of light and form; the woodland displays layers of green and almost orange with distant layers of grey and mauve.

I zip along on the flat smooth surface, there is very little wind now (or maybe it's behind me?) heading now towards the coast road that loops around the headland towards Plougasnou. The road is lumpy now and I'm faced with a constant series of steep hills - generally the geography is more inconsistent than at home, the contours change more often and the hills are steeper. I pause at a small car park with picnic benches to take a look at the sea - the salty air is refreshing and invigorating. Soon I'm back on the road - another steep rise along the rue de la corniche and a good view from the top. Then on through a few winding lanes and Christ! - Yes, Christ - that was the name of the village - or at least the sign said so, perhaps it was indicating another steep hill?

From there it was KKK - Keroriou, Kerbaul and Kerdrein - not particularly French sounding? - and onto the Rue de la Plage. I decided to turn round at this point and head back. I made a detour just after Christ, heading to Pennlan and then Guimac - but something went wrong? - Basically I got lost, what should have been a leisurely ride back ended in a frantic search for a familiar signpost - of course there were none. No people to ask either - I simply had to make uninformed choices at every crossroad and hope for the best. It took about an hour before I found a familiar sign - by then I had passed the same
spot twice from opposite directions. Now as the dying sun swung low through banks of dark cloud it began to rain. But at least I knew which way to go - and within half an hour I was back at base. Tired but relieved.

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