Tuesday 26 May 2015
Landeillau - St. Aignan 65 kms 156 m ascent
St. Aignan – Josselin 67kms 74m ascent
As these last two days have been a ride along the canal and thus are similar, I thought to write them together and inform you, dear reader, of the intricacies of riding a canal path. But first let me describe our departure from Landeillau. It was not the most efficient and not a little emotional as we must bid farewell to our kind and generous hosts and to and to D and B and all their friendship and support. That’s enough of the sloppy stuff! We did finally get everything packed and set off, after innumerable camera shots, for the canal path we had left yesterday. Herman and Sherman were delighted to be included and we remembered them with affection – not.
So to the canal path. In its great favour is the fact that it is flat- or nearly- just a few locks to climb. It is a route which has water to the left and fields to the right or water to the right and fields to the left! The surface of the path varies from very bad (f………..ing awful) to really quite good. So never a dull moment if you want to stay upright. The very bad rattles the fillings in your teeth and I dread to think what it is doing to the bikes.( Herman has put in an official complaint. Sherman, always a martyr, will suffer in silence.) Talking of suffering, it has to be said that those parts of ones’s anatomy which are in touch with the bike are taking quite a pounding. The Sudocrem is much in demand as is extra padding. Al has discovered an alternative approach – that of his saddle giving the impression of disappearing up his bottom , though, in reality, the saddle has succumbed to all the bumping and descended into the frame! Looks very funny though. So yet another downside to ‘flat’is that it requires constant pedalling while seated, with little or no opportunity to raise the bum above the saddle in order to restore circulation. We have also noted a drop in average speed as a direct result of all this juddering (not complaining) just acknowledging that this is another small price we must pay for flat!
On Monday, after some 65 kms and the last day of the bank holiday, we hoped to find some accommodation. What we did find was an information office that was actually open. The staff were enthusiastic and very well meaning but it seems likely that they had been imported from a different information office because it was a holiday. Thus, their knowledge of the local area was sparse. Nonetheless, after several false starts, a B and B was located, with a room to spare, a mere three kilometres further on. Our hosts were unable to provide a meal, but arranged for us to dine at a local restaurant for the princely sum of 22 euros (both of us!) for a four course meal, wine and coffee, followed by a two kilometre ride home which possibly worked off the coffee!
We have been disappointed with the lack of activity on our really quite a large canal but today all became clear – lock gates have been left open and areas of the canal are empty so any boat trip would surely end in disaster. Pity because we had no one to wave to. Even the ducks seem to have given up the ghost, and, although we have passed many a fisherman, we have yet to see any evidence of actual fish.
We look forward to another day along the canal bank tomorrow, after a fairly luxurious evening with a fancy bedroom and probably a fancy dinner, which will probably only differ from last night in its cost! We do, however have a fine view of the canal and our various items of recently washed clothing adorning the balcony. A demain!