Nous sommes ici

We're in Guenrouet at the moment, about a day's cycle from Nantes, from where we start our Loire route.


Canal bank cycling

We've been following the Canal de Nantes a Brest for the last few days and it has been a wonderful cycling experience. It's relatively flat, it has dappled shade along its leafy green banks and it offers incredibly peaceful and tranquil scenery. We've seen kingfishers, otters (both dead and alive), dragonflies, fish and, Luca's favourite, les oiseaux! We've passed over locks, through les belles villages and the most remarkable, ever changing landscape. We've been staying in fantastic campsites and, after al fresco dejeuners avec du vin, have all been sleeping very soundly. All in all, we're settling very well into the pace of French cycling life!


Composed Thursday 22nd July

Today we arrived, after an easy cycle from our last destination, at a campsite au bord du riviere, adjoining some sort of eco-activity park. We decided to have an easy day after a couple of days more or less exclusively in the saddle. The facilities are less impressive than at our last campsite but that's relatively speaking i.e no swimming pool or toddler pool. But this cost us the grand total of 6 Euro ( e.g in comparison to 20 Euro at our last (3 star) campsite in St Pol de Leon) . It's a truly beautiful setting. The lily pads which float atop the river are picture perfect. And, what's more, this place has soul. We received a very warm reception upon arrival and, as I type, the bar man is playing a Breton accordion in the background. We are enjoying un biere while watching Luca play in the adjoining playground. He's been happily playing all afternoon with French children of all ages. He's eating an apple and the other children, having realised he is not native, are asking him " Do you like apples?" and seem quite happy with their command of English. Singing and music seem to play a large part in Breton life. The barman is now playing for the appreciative ears of the children in the playground. He is trying to tune in to the song of a young boy, around whom the children, including Luca, are gathered. The Pied Piper lives on in Brittany!

I'd worried about bringing Luca away from family and friends for so long. I'd worried that maybe he'd feel lonely. Today, though, I feel reassured that he won't be lonely. After all children have an amazing ability to be, to accept and to play together in their own universal language. Like music it's a language which can communicate to all regardless of race or creed. Vive la difference!


From packing to piscine

Well, we've finally hit the road! As anyone who saw us frenetically packing up over the last few weeks will know, it was touch and go for a while. But, thanks to a lot of help from friends and family, we got it together last minute and made it with a few minutes to spare for the ferry from Cork to Roscoff.

Since disembarking at Roscoff, we've ventured only 20km or so - we've been lured in by the joys of a French campsite.... pain au chocolat, cafe au lait, la plage, du soleil, le piscine et du vin! It's also given us a well needed chance to reorganise our gear on our rather fully loaded bikes.

Tomorrow though we venture forth and plan to head to Huelgoat.

On y va!