Day 1 – Roscoff to Maël-Carhaix

Distance cycled- 65 miles

So boys how would you sum up today in 3 words? ….. Thirsty, Concert, Laughing

So after a successful ride across Dartmoor & apparently a rather good Fish & Chip supper in the Barbican, the boys arrived at the Ferry Terminal in plenty of time & were at the front of the queue to roll their bikes onto the ferry.

Last moments of tyres on English soil – next stop France!

Having put the huge array of electrical equipment on to charge they set to the serious business of recharging their legs with a  healthy mix of tea & chocolate – I’m not sure if this is a well-researched approach used by the likes of Team Sky – but it seemed to work for them & after a good night’s sleep they were ready to get in the bikes & fulfil their dream of cycling off the ferry this morning.

After the weeks of training in the rain the boys seem to have been blessed by the weather-gods this morning & pulled out of the car-deck into the sunshine & warmth of a perfect Summer’s day in Brittany – all I can say is long may it last!

Beautiful first sunrise in France at the start of the VeloRoute

Picking up the Velodyssey signs they made their way through to Morlaix, taking a route along the estuary road via Carantec, which was wonderfully quiet, with great views. 
The stunning estuary views near Carantec

We always knew that this would be a trip down memory lane & shortly after setting off they passed the camp-site that we had first visited with George when he was 6 weeks old  http://www.leshortensias.fr/?-Camping-&lang=fr – a lovely site, but to be honest looking back now it was really a bit of a blur! 


Anyway enough reminiscing and on to the first important activity of the day – Breakfast in a café under the viaduct in the pretty town of Morlaix. The best thing about arriving on a Saturday is that Morlaix has a great market & so the boys were able to load up with provisions for lunch, meaning they wouldn’t need to worry about finding a café etc en route.  

Enjoying breakfast in Morlaix & Tom clearly happy to have found some tea!
So by mid-morning they really were well underway & soon found themselves cycling along lovely quiet trails & finally being able to enjoy the ride.

All went well as far as the small town of Carhaix Plouguer, where they were aiming to stop to get some water. Now Carhaix is a small town with a population of about 7,500, but as the boys cycled towards it, they realised that something was going on 

‘Oh look boys it’s something like the Okehampton Show’ said Andy 

Oh that it had been! …. In fact he couldn’t have been further from the truth – this was not a small Agricultural Show, but France’s biggest music festival Les Vielles Charrues with over 200,000 visitors crammed into the town for France’s equivalent of Glastonbury ……..

https://m.facebook.com/lesvieillescharruesofficiel

…….and the boys had just cycled straight into the middle of it – in fact so far into the middle of it that they had passed through the ticket barriers unchecked & to be honest could have easily settled down to watch the sets! 

Their ideas of stopping to top up with water went out of the window though when they cycled into the Main Street of the town, which was filled with very drunk revellers – George had beer thrown over him, Tom was ‘touched’ and Andy had an empty crate of beer added to his already laden bike. 

How they managed to balance anything else on this amazes me …

This was clearly not the place to be & the intrepid 3 immediately beat a hasty retreat ……. well as hasty as they could manage as the Sat Nav decided (at that moment) to stop working …..

Time to resort to a good old-fashioned map & Tom’s Ten Tors training!

Slightly dehydrated (but thankfully still in one piece) they managed to make their way onto the cycle trail running alongside the Nantes-Brest Canal & peace & tranquility returned – although Andy did the true ‘Daddy’ thing & left the boys whilst he cycled off the trail to find water to stop them all becoming totally dehydrated – that’s love for you! 

After a few more miles they arrived at a camp site in the pretty Maël-Carhaix  http://www.mael-carhaix.fr/tourisme-hebergement-camping.php#.V4pWJ_RHnCQ 

….. and pitched their tent for the night under the shade of a tree near the lake. The fee for the 3 of them, tent & bikes a grand 6€ – incredible! 

Getting to grips with pitching the tent

So day 1 is done & tonight sees them sat by the lake, having a ‘snacky-tea’ & chatting about the day……. 

But on second thoughts they could just be saying that & are in fact sneaking back to the festival as I type – to try to catch a glimpse of Pharrell Williams’ set!  

If you are enjoying the blog & would like to support the boys in their efforts to fundraise for The Wooden Spoon Charity en route then you can add a donation through https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/moortomedbybike 

Until tomorrow ….. 

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