03/05/2019: Carnac
Km travelled today/sum: 168km / 2261km
Cloudy/Sun shine, nice twisty country roads

As we packed up in the morning, we realised that it is getting warmer. We saw our first two digit temperature reading in the morning since quite a while: 11 degrees! Today would be only a short ride and we would decide if we stay or not once we arrived in Carnac. When we arrived, the sun was shining, just in time for a nice lunch next to the tourist office.

The ‘Menhirs’ were not very far from here, so we hopped on the bikes and got there in no time. There are plenty of these megaliths (around 3000) spread over a vast area. These stones are around 5000 years old!


It seems that there are different areas with different pattern of the meaglith, but nobody really knows what the purpose of them was. For us they looked like “Hinkelsteine” from Asterix and Obelix. So we walked around, took a couple of pictures and then had a look for an abode for the night.

We booked something reasonable cheap, and as luck would have it when we arrived they gave us an upgrade to a different hotel! The hotel was just in front of the ‘Le Tumulus Saint-Michel’. We read about it in the museum and now stumbled over it in front of our hotel. The ‘Le Tumulus Saint-Michel’ is Europes largest megalithic grave mound. Unfortunately the door into the mound was closed.

From here we walked back to the town center to the coffee shop we noticed when we went to the tourist office. The had very nice cake and even a bear made out of marzipan – one of Bjoerns favourite sweets.

On our way home we used google maps to show us the way. Something went wrong and we ended up crawling through scrubs and walking through muddy ground. Unfortunately no pictures of this adventurous excursion. Eventually we turned around and opted for the longer way, which brought us back to the hotel much better. The sunset out of our window looked fantastic.

Tomorrow we will have a long day in front of us, we’ll try to make it to the Dune du Pilat, which is ~ 600km from here.

04-05/05/2019: Dune du Pilate
Km travelled today/sum: 519 km / 2780 km
Cloudy/drizzle, mostly highway

It was cold again; we used our heated gear and our rain gear. The ride itself was cold, rainy but otherwise uneventful, mostly highway. On our last petrol stop, we booked a cabin on a camp ground right at a dune. The cabin was a bit small, but the location was awesome. The ‘Dune du Pilat’ is Europe tallest sand dune, and it is moving, swallowing trees and roads on its way.

After we’d arrived we were exhausted, but we couldn’t resist, so we briefly climbed the dune in the evening and watched a spectacular sunset from there.

The next day we walked on top of the dune to the two highest points.


And after a fun way down, he needed something to gain our strength back, we had Oysters J


Later that day we had a look at our planed to ride through the Pyrenes. We discovered that the night temperature there would be around -2 degree, so we decided to give that a miss and now plan to ride through the Pyrenees after Morocco instead.

This meant that our next stop would be Bilbao, where the weather seems to be more enticing.

As for our noble steeds, they are travelling fine, apart from Sigrid’s chain. I had to tighten it again; it’s nearly a daily job now. It’s slowly reaching the stage where I can hardly tighten it more, so a loose link in the chain is flipping like mad. That means that, in the not too distant future, we’ll have to change the chain.

01-02/05/2019: La Gougeonnais
Km travelled today/sum: 340 km / 2261km
Cloudy, twisty and straight country roads, highway

I probably got your attention with that title, right? It may actually be a good idea to have Camembert and Oysters prepared together, but we opted to have them separately.


As you can imagine, Diddle, our road-companion-mouse was extremely excited. So we set off together and walked to a small museum which shows the history of the production of Camembert cheese, as well as the differences between different camemberts and an overview over the different labels from this region.




At the end of the museums tour there was a free tasting of three different types of Camembert. Having them side by side showed us the differents in taste quite clearly. Meanwhile, Diddle was just sitting there overwhelmed, unable to make a decision on which to taste first.

Diddle also felt quite at home in the gift shop, and was trying to convince us to leave him here.

After having fun, all be it a bit cheesy, in Camembert, we hopped onto our bikes and continued to Cancale. On the way our credit card was rejected at a couple of petrol stations, which was annoying as today was a public holiday, so all petrol stations with personell were closed. Only the ones which accept credit cards were open. After the 3rd petrol station rejected our credit card and we were down to 200km remaining, I started to get a bit concerned. In the end we picked a petrol station away from the main road and, to our relief, the card worked. 😅

Not much later we arrived in Cancale and were parking the bikes at the harbour where the oysters were sold. We couldn’t believe it, a dozen Oysters for 6 Euro.


So we opted for 2 dozen and, since we had to ride, we skipped the Champagne and had some Cider instead 😁

Well, we didn’t have any accommodation yet, so we organized some close by.

The next day we mostly blogged and planned, but at night we went back to the super cheap Oyster place and bought 3 dozen this time, still closed. Our host showed us how to open them without injuring ourselves. At the end of the 3 dozen, Sigrid and I got it going. We gave one dozen to Pascal, our host, since he was so nice to show us how to chuck oysters, gave us the chucking knife, had organized fresh croissants for us in the morning and even let us have his home-made marmalade.

It was a really nice two days. By writing this blog, I realise that next time we will try have to try Oysters with Camembert after all 😋. Tomorrow we will continue to Carnac, to have a look at Obelix’s Menhirs.

29-30/04/2019: Caen
Km travelled today/sum: 55429- 1921km / 400 km
Sunny, twisty country roads, highway

It was a bit chilly and foggy this morning. The temperature was around +5 degrees (Celsius) and the fog was hanging over the highway. We were really happy that we had our heated vests! Around lunchtime the fog disappeared. Not long after, we arrived at the ‘Pont de Normandy’, a huge bridge at Le Havre. It took seven years to compete the bridge. As usual, it is not possible to capture the sheer size of the bridge.


From here we took some nice backroads along the ocean. In some villages we passed over tiny cobble stone roads which was much more enjoyable than following the highway.

The next day we visited the ‘the Caen Memorial Museum’, an exhibition about peace and war in this region. It was built on top of ‘General Richter’s headquarter’. On our way we found something which we first saw in Cape town, a hand gun with a knot in the barrel as a symbol for peace.

After entering the museum we had a look at the bunker, which was used as a headquarter during the Allied Invasion.


From here we went through the museum, which showed everything prior to WWI all the way to the Cold war. It was a lot to take in, so we decided to call it quits after a couple of hours. On the way out we were looking through the cold war section and found plenty of material about Berlin, showing places the we knew quite well. The museum ticket also ent, itled us to entry into the 360 degree cinema, which was nice but nothing to write home about. We did hear that ‘Pont Du Hoc’ would be nice to visit, so we hopped onto our bike and rode there. Pont Du Hoc is the highest point on the cost and the German army stationed some cannons there to control the coast. Parts of the bunker and casemate (armoured buildings surrounding the artillery) were still standing.

Ignoring the wartime paraphernalia, it was actually a nice seaside where you could hear and see the calming waves of the Atlantic ocean. It has been a long day, and tomorrow we’ll have a look at Camembert and will see if we can score some nice oysters in Cancale.  😋

26-27/04/2019: Rheims
Km travelled today/sum: 331km / 999km
Weather: Cloudy, 18 degrees, country road, highway

We arrived in Reims without any problems. On arrival there was supposed to be a key safe on the door… at least, that what google translate made out of our hosts comment… Well… there was definitely no key box on the door of this address. Based on previous experience, we ensured that we were at the right address (suburb, street and house number) and from the AirBnB message, we were. Strange!
After walking around I noticed there was a key safe next door… I entered the provided number and it opened. Yay! 😁

Later on we noticed that this was a side entrance used by the garbologists removing the waste bins. After we settled into the tiny apartment, we had a look at the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rheims. I thought that the only Cathédrale Notre-Dame existed in Paris, but I was wrong. A clear indication was the fully intact roof on this one 😭.

It is impossible to show the real size on a picture, but here’s some pictures of the cathedral anyway.

The most impressive was the norther side with all of its intricate details:

Insided the cathedral there were beautiful led glass windows.

Anyway, this was enough culture for the moment.

The next day we went to Mumm, for a guided tour.

It was interesting to see where and how Champagne is produced and how it is stored. The cellar below the visitor centeres is huge, they had even a bicycle race down here. Apparently the track is 400m long (not sure how they stop at the end…?). Left and right from this passage, there are chambers full of Champaign bottles. On the picture on the right, there are bottles from 1895 (second shelf on the right).

During the tour we got some explanation how the riddling (changing the tilt angle) of the bottles works. The hole in the wooden rack has an odd shape, and so the angle of the bottle changes depending on how far the bottle neck is in the hole.

Okay, and at the end, there was finally a tasting!

I must admit, I liked the taste 😁

I also found a unique location for having another glass of champagne, a tree bar (Perching Bar) 😊. The bar is only accessible by appointment. After talking to the owner, it was clear why. The bar is located at a tree climbing facility and these guys do the maintenance of the climbing facility as well as the bar. So depending how busy they are, the bar might be closed. Anyway, we got an appointment and went there. The view was just stunning and the bar itself as well. This time we took Diddle, he had some champagne as well… Lucky Mouse! 😉

The next day, after some delicious cake

we had a look at the ‘Porte de Mars’, a roman triumphal arch. Unfortunately the area around is currently being remodelled so we couldn’t get close to the gate. Imagine it though, this gate is around 2000 years old… isn’t that amazing?!? Some of the carvings are still visible.

On our way back we found a variety of interesting buildings.

That concluded our stay in Rheims; the next stop would be Caen, where we’d take a look at the D-Day beaches.