To Dinan - Three Seasons Around France: Autumn - CycleBlaze

September 20, 2022

To Dinan

We’re off to Dinan today, for a three day stay at an apartment before a short ride down to Saint-Malo where we’ll catch the train to Angoulême on Saturday.  The time has gone really quickly, and I can’t quite believe we’re leaving Brittany so soon after arriving.  Knowing what I know now I wish we had stayed here a bit longer - a day in Roscoff and a third day each in Morlaix and Tréguier perhaps.  It would be attractive to come back for a considerably longer stay, I think.

Today is one Rachael has been anticipating for about a week, because our ride begins with an excursion to a shopping mall!  Not the usual sort of excitement that blows her skirts, but she’s anxious to get a new battery for her GoPro, one that claims a longer battery life.  She’s gotten increasingly frustrated over the last few weeks as both of her batteries have been running down partway through our ride.  Maybe they’re just aging or have gotten damaged for some reason, but she’s tired of coming to some great stretch of road late in the ride only to discover her battery has died.

Saint-Brieuc continues as far to the east as it did to the west, and we’re just coming to its outskirts when we turn off for the short detour to the mall three miles later.  As it did when we entered the city yesterday, Saint-Brieuc impresses us by how easily navigable it is by bicycle.  Really we were on a well marked bike route for nearly the entire six miles across the city.

We arrive at Boulanger just past its opening at 9:30, and I watch the bikes outside while Rachael dashes in.  She’s been has been hoping the battery she’s after is really in stock as the store’s website claimed, and she’s beaming when she comes out just a few minutes later, two battery packets in hand.

Success!
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After following the coastline ever since we landed in France, today’s ride is a change as we angle southeast to Dinan.  Except for a brief distant look at Saint-Brieuc’s bay as we coast down to Yffiniac, we’re inland the whole way.  The cycling is fine, but significantly less dramatic than we’ve been seeing all along.  It’s pretty empty, low-contour country for most of the way without too much to slow us down.  And although we do our share of climbing there’s nothing that’s a real challenge.  The one real feature of note, and an interesting one, comes late in the ride when we pass by the ruins at Corseul, the remains of a former Roman settlement.  Corseul was an important regional city of about 5,000 after it was established in the first century AD, but collapsed with the fall of the Roman empire a few centuries later.  Left behind are segments of roads leading to Dinan and Dinard, and what’s left of a temple, the largest standing Roman masonry wall in Brittany.

Looking north across the Bay of Saint-Brieuc, we get our only view of the sea for the day.
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Biking east on the long descent to Yffiniac. The sky ahead is interesting, and typical of the day. For most of it we’ll see a band of blue sky in the distance that we seem to be approaching but never quite reach.
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Rich FrasierThat looks like a winter Parisian sky to me. It brings back (cold) memories!
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2 months ago
To Yffiniac and beyond!
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In Yffiniac.
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Climbing away from Yffiniac, chasing that elusive blue sky.
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Most of the day was on quiet paved roads but there were exceptions that slowed us down.
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So what is this? We passed a herd of about twenty of them. They look almost like a water buffalo.
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Actually we did see a bit of sun, for about a mile or so.
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Dropping to the Arguenon, the largest waterway we’ll cross today.
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The Arguenon is posted as a no swimming area here. Looks like pretty good advice.
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Climbing away from the Arguenon. This one was actually steepish come to think of it, but it didn’t last long.
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Toward the end of the ride the sky grew more interesting, if never quite alarming. It reminded me that the forecast for the day was an odd one: partly sunny, with a chance of showers.
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Too slow. Rachael just rounded the bend before I could get the camera focused. Oh well - she’s probably in too many photos today anyway.
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Kathleen JonesNevah, sir, nevah!
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2 months ago
Trouble ahead? We’ll see.
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The Temple of Mars, near Corseul.
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Looking toward Dinan from the Temple of Mars.
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It does look like we could get wet before we reach town, but we’re lucky this time.
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One more road shot, because I liked the clouds.
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Video sound track: Everday, by Classic Dream Orchestra

Arriving at our apartment is interesting.  We received detailed self check-in instructions from Booking but hadn’t really studied them until we arrived.  They’re in French, but Booking has a built-in translation function that produced this:

Clear as mud.
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So this is interesting. The key to the building is in a lockbox, but it’s apparently in a mailbox a few blocks away.  Note that the location of the mailbox is only given by the name of the street and the name on the mailbox.  Hopefully all will become clear once she gets there, so Rachael walks over to Even Street while I watch the bikes.  And wait.

Our apartment in Dinan, if we can access it.
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It’s a two minute walk but Rachael doesn’t return for about 15, and is at the point of tears when she finally comes.  She’s walked the entire length of Even Street (fortunately only two blocks long) looking for enlightenment but finding none.  In desperation she even corralled a local to look at the instructions with her, but they didn’t make sense to that person either.

So we call the host, who of course doesn’t answer.  So we send a text, and a few minutes later the phone rings.  It takes a few minutes as she tries to explain what’s needed - go to Even Steeet, and get the keys from the lockbox there.  Her English is poor though, and we can’t get across the fact that we can’t find the mailbox.  So she texts the instructions to us, warning that they’ll be in French.  When they come we see it’s the same as the French version on Booking, which we hadn’t bothered to read since a translation was available.  Looking at it now though we quickly see the problem.

Lost in translation: the street number of the mailbox. Nice to know!
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Ride stats today: 43 Miles, 2,500’; for the tour: 276 miles, 19,100’

Today's ride: 43 miles (69 km)
Total: 276 miles (444 km)

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