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.

Lorient Express

By Stuart Lowe on

The sun was only just rising and I was ready to be off. But first I needed to sort out my bike. I gave it as much of a clean as I could with some baby wipes before changing the rear tyre for the one I bought in the rain last night. I then had to readjust the brakes. All in all this took more time than I realised and so it was a late start.

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Cause of the punctures

The tourist information office wasn't a great help in providing route suggestions so I headed off on La Littoral around the harbour. On the outskirts of Concarneau I stopped at the supermarket and ate lots of calories. That delayed me further.

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Concarneau this morning

The coast is annoyingly lumpy here with no nice routes around the lumps. I don't like doing out and back routes unless there is a special reason. So I had to stay inland a bit following the general shape of the coast. At least the weather was an improvement on yesterday. I made good time to Lorient.

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Pont Aven

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Countryside

As I was cycling by Lorient's station I spotted a place named Sykell. It turned out to be a community bike workshop like the Pedaller's Arms in Leeds. Martin, who ran things, gave me some orange juice and let me look at Google maps on the computer. I also discovered that the Warm Showers website does work; just not from any browser on my phone or via the app. If it had worked since Alta I might have had a less stressful time camping in the rain.

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Martin, and the nice people at Lorient's Sykell community bike workshop

There was also a 74 year old cyclist who kept giving me very detailed routing instructions in French. I think I got the main points. With an "au revoir" I was off on my way out of Lorient. Later than planned.

I'd been told to turn right by a place that sold tyres (pnu) and there would be a bike shop too. There was. Outside of it were two people with full panniers. They were Manu and Fleur from Lyon (let me know if I misremembered your names). They were cycling around Brittany in practice for a future trip to cycle Europe, Africa, and the Americas. They suggested we could all cycle together for a while. I felt bad for throwing away the 74 year old's route so soon after he'd told me it but taking opportunities is part of this trip.

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Fleur and Manu

As it turned out, Manu ended up on the 74 year old's route anyway. Great minds clearly think alike. It was nice to ride with people and Manu and Fleur were both about the same speed as me so we made good progress.

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Village church

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Heading towards Saint Anne d'Aurey

At Saint Anne d'Aurey we bought supplies in a little shop. French supermarket aisles seem to have a war over putting the most vegetables in soup. There was "8 vegetable soup", "10 vegetable soup", "15 vegetable soup" etc. Where does it end?

We continued on and stopped at a campsite in Bono. The reception had closed but we were told we could pay in the morning. We shared baguettes, melon, cheese, pate, many vegetable soup, and beer.

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Old bridge to Bono

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Chickens on the campsite

It was a clear night. Despite my lack of glasses I was able to point out a few constellations and the Milky Way.

No rain and new friends on the road. A great day.