Distance cycled ……. 50.8 miles
So boys how would you sum up today in 3 words ….. Dishevelled, La Rochelle, Bed!
After a great day in the saddle yesterday the boys arrived at a small municipal camp-site in Saint Vincent Sur Jard, hoping for a reasonable night’s sleep ahead of today’s ride to La Rochelle and a day’s rest!
Unfortunately the Pizzeria they had been directed to was shut so after about an hour of wandering around the area the boys finally managed to find somewhere to eat. Tom had his first taste of an Espresso coffee – I don’t think he liked it!!
Their hopes of a good night were then thwarted when the chap next door to them decided he fancied playing his guitar & bongos late into the night! He did put the bongos away after an irate parent went to speak to him, but not the guitar, leaving the boys to do what they could to get some sleep.
This morning they packed up in record time and headed out back onto the trail by 8.30 with the thought of reaching La Rochelle firmly on their minds.
Today’s cycle took them on a well-made trail along the coast, through La Faute Sur Mer……
……. before heading inland slightly to ride through the beautiful Marais Poitevin http://www.marais-poitevin.com/ alongside the Baie D’Aiguillon, at La Prée Mizottière one of the best sites for bird-watching in the area
It has to be said though that birdwatching is not one of the boys’ favourite pastimes, so apart from a few snack stops they pottered on towards their final goal for the day.
The trail here is excellent and it’s really easy to forget just how testing the canal-side route was in the first few days.
There really is something wonderful about being on a bike, on a well-made (flat) off-road trail in the middle of a vast Natural Park with great open views and incredibly diverse wildlife.
Here the track was also busy with other cyclists, mainly people touring & doing a similar thing to the boys with their bikes laden with panniers & equipment to help them along the way. There is a great camaraderie between cyclists, always a wave, a cheery ‘Bonjour’ or an offer to take a photo to help you document your adventure, so you’re never really in your own.
As they knew they didn’t have a really big distance to cover today they felt able to take a bit more time, which was nice & just before 4 they arrived at their hotel in La Rochelle.
At least now they can just chill out and enjoy their day off tomorrow, revisiting some old haunts in the beautiful old port.
Since leaving home last Friday afternoon they have cycled 351.4 miles (647.1km), so have really scythed into the trip.
During that time they’ve found themselves in the middle of the French ‘Glastonbury’, found a bike-fixing genie and had a dice with death! Their gloves & hands smell like cheesy feet, even though they’ve been washed & I’m told the tent smells rather ‘vegetably’… And that’s just after 1 week!
The main thing though is that they are having a great time, they’re loving the cycling & just really enjoying the adventure.
So I just hope they have a good day tomorrow & then we’ll see what week 2 brings!!
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 .