Day 4: The Corner of France

Last modified 2023/08/18 21:02

map Map (started recording late) strava

Today was a better day in regards to my knee, it hasn’t fully recovered but is clearly stronger than it was yesterday. I was cautious to walk up the few steep hills that I encountered, it should be almost as good as new tomorrow.

I slept well at the campsite last night, instead of squeezing myself into the slightly-too-small-to-be-comfortable sleeping bag I used instead a musty sleeping bag liner and the sleeping bag as a “duvet”.

I tried to sleep in a little bit, but the sun was already starting to warm up the tent at 8:30am so I raised myself and made an instant coffee and ate a cheese sandwich, I then proceeded to roll my sleeping bag and air mattress and chuck them outside, eventually throwing everything in the tent outside of the tent before emerging to pick out the pegs and deconstruct the tent. The Frenchman next to me came over and complained about the condensation “bah, pour moi ca va” I said.

church Another church

The plan today was simple, or was it? In the morning I didn’t know what I was going to do, either to follow the coast all the way around, or to cut straight down south to Brest and try and make up some time. The thinking being that if I carried on along the coast I wouldn’t make it to Santander in time, and the counter to that was, well, what if I don’t got to Santander? I could just take my time wheel around to a port that could take me to Portsmouth, form where I could cycle back home without stressing. As the coast had been so nice up until that point, I decided to carry on west. If I continue to Santander or not is a question for tomorrow.

I realised on the first day that I had no internet, but I only realised yesterday that I also had no ability to make phone calls. This is a double pain as I can’t call ahead to places to be sure I’m not cycling to an abandoned camp site or a full hotel. I decided I’d try and get a French pay-as-you-go SIM card and before leaving the campsite this morning I used their terrible WiFi to find some mobile phone shops, there were not many. In fact there are not many shops at all along the coast, I noted the position of the shop and left the site.

bath What ARE these? loads of them about

I also considered that I could find a SIM card in a supermarket, or at least perhaps I could buy an Italian Coffee Maker (Mocha) to improve my morning ritual. I found a supermarket, but they only had mobile top-ups, and no SIM cards. The mobile phone shop I researched this morning didn’t exist, or, more likely, I had marked the wrong position on my offline map. I got the coffee machine though.

The sun came out out today in the late morning, as it was out yesterday for most of the day, and as it is out now. I haven’t burned (as I guess I’m already reasonably conditioned to it) and I haven’t used any sun lotion. But I do feel baked and crusty. It’s just relentless enough to make me seek the shade when taking breaks, but not so relentless that it’s uncomfortable to be in its unobstructed shine.

leaves Giant Leaves

I fixed my cycle computer alignment today, it stopped working completely, and I decided to remove the magnet switch and reposition it, only then realising it still wasn’t working at all and the wiring was to blame (which got mashed and hastily repaired on my last trip). I made another hasty repair on the wiring and, not finding any cable ties, reattached the switch with my spare hair band.

corner Corner of France

The route west was about to turn around to be the route south (for a while at least). As I approached the “corner” the scenery reminded me of England’s Lands End, and in a way I guess this is France’s own “Land’s End” being the only “corner” exposed to the sea and I suppose for that a significant landmark which is attended by many tourists (edit: the region is called Finistère - which is literally Fin de Terre, End of Land, Land’s End 😁)

At around 17:00 I started thinking about finding a campsite, I had “only” done 80k, there was the option of the campsite I’m at now, and campsites at 15k and 25k. If I had a phone I would’ve phoned ahead to the other campsites, but not having a phone I decided to “play it safe”, I probably should have continued a bit further, my knee is no longer a problem.

beach So many beaches

Tomorrow I’ll try and make it to Brest and see if I can find some accomodation.