Cycling the Atlantic coast of Europe from north to south during the summer of 2017. View the archive, the route so far, or donate to MSF.

Hills

By Stuart Lowe on

Whilst looking for a supermarket this morning a security guard said Santiago? to me. Everyone assumes I'm doing the Camino.

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San Sebastián this morning

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San Sebastián

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Up in the hills again

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Spanish hills

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Donkeys!

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Michel, from France, who is cycling the Camino Santiago.

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In Spain

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Spanish coast

My GPS took me on the Camino walking route. It is unsuitable for loaded bicycles so I had to get off and push up rough tracks.

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Nice views though

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Ondarroa

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Lekeitio

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Lekeitio

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Mundaka this evening.

Viva Espagne

By Stuart Lowe on

It is frustrating when a campsite charges me the same amount as two people in a motorhome or caravan. I use fewer resources and less space. I also had to wait until 10am for the reception to open and then the 15 minutes of French paperwork.

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Cap Breton

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A bike lane or an assault course?

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The French war to put the most vegetables in soup.

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I think this was Bayonne

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Near Biarritz

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Biarritz

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Biarritz

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Biarritz, bike, and me

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First glimpse of distant mountains

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View from Bidart

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Loose gravel and a 30 pc gradient. I'm back in the land of bike route planners who hate people on bikes.

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Saint Jean-de-Luz

I crossed my second land border of the trip. This one had a sign marking the occasion. I crossed the bridge into Spain.

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Entering Spain

After a few days of flatness, I suddenly had to climb a 455m hill. Spain is giving me a taster of the next few days.

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View from the top back across to France.

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Looking north up across the Bay of Biscay

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Looking west towards what is to come.

Having trouble finding campsites so I had to go for a hostel. That used up all of today's budget and some of tomorrow's.

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My bike is locked up down there. I hope it is OK overnight.

Forest trails

By Stuart Lowe on

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Dawn on day 95 🚲

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Church

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Forest by the dunes

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Fruit?

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Lesley from the south of England.

Lesley is cycling this bit of coast despite having had her leg broken by a horse back home.

She spotted my Yorkshire top and we had a chat outside the Intermarche. We then cycled together for a few miles.

She had read Anne Mustoe's books so we had a nice conversation about her as well as Lesley's cycle to Greece for the 2004 Olympics.

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Mimizan Plage

The 'river' is flowing backwards as the tide was coming in.

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Forest trails

This part of France has quite an extent of forest bike lanes near the ocean. Over the past 250km I've rarely been on roads.

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In fact, a video shows that.

I have ridden on roads occasionally since Royan to either reduce the kilometres or because the bike path went more inland than I liked.

I've had to constantly ignore my GPS today as it likes to opt for longer routes. I'm doing a lot of manual route adjustment.

Despite the fact I'm cycling so close to the ocean, I've hardly seen it as the forest and dunes keep it hidden from sight.

I visited the SuperU to get some supplies. I got some Orangina and chocolate gauffres as this is probably my last night in France.

The municipal campsite office was closed despite this being one of my earliest finishes. They don't open again until 10am.

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Hopefully I can reach Spain tomorrow. I passed the 9000 km mark today.

After a few days of flat riding in southern France, I'm expecting to be back to hilly ground in northern Spain. Progress will be slower.

Dunes

By Stuart Lowe on

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Last night

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Sandy path off into the forest. Thankfully I was on a really nice bike path.

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Road through the forest

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Tunnel or Hobbit hole.

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Lacanau Océan

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This way to Spain.

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Plage sud.

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Fresh baguette, brie, and tomatoes by the beach for lunch.

It has been a great day.

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90 degree tree

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Looking south

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I met the friendly Rupert and Kate from the UK.

I cycled around 130 km on cycle lanes today. This bit of France has probably got the best cycle infrastructure of the trip so far.

I've kept the detail of what is ahead of me as a surprise so I wasn't expecting ginormous sand dunes popping up from the forest.

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Steps up to the top of the dunes

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Sand dunes.

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Sand dunes

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Faded footprints

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Sunset dunes

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Sand dunes panorama

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Long legs