To Perros-Guirec - Three Seasons Around France: Autumn - CycleBlaze

September 15, 2022

To Perros-Guirec

The air cleared overnight.  It’s overcast but not foggy this morning, and the prognosis is for progressive clearing as the day goes on.  Looking seaward from the balcony of our room we can see a band of light offshore in the direction we’ll bike when we leave town.

The view from our balcony looks more promising this morning. Maybe I’ll be able to keep Rocky in my sight today.
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The tide is in, and there’s what looks like a sailing class in session on the bay.
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The weather outlook was one concern for the day, but the most important thing was Rachael’s health - how is she doing this morning, the day after her fall?  It’s the first thing I ask when we’re both awake -well, the second thing.  First, I’m curious if the coffee pot is on yet.  The report is guardedly positive - her knee seems fine, although it’s still under wraps so she hasn’t looked at the damage to see how it’s healing over; and her left hand is a little achy, but when she thinks back on it that soreness might predate her accident.  If there’s an issue it’s with her lower back, which is stiff this morning but not so much so that she won’t be riding today.  We’re hopeful it’s just morning stiffness that will improve once she gets moving.

We have two routes to Perros-Guirec loaded onto our Garmins - a longer one of about 40 miles that stays closer to the convoluted coastline, and one that’s about ten miles shorter by taking a more direct ride east from Lannion at midpoint of the ride.  We’ll leave open which choice to make and decide when we get to Lannion depending on how we’re feeling when we get there.

We get a slow start, not leaving until nearly the 10:30 checkout time.  When we go down to check out we’re relieved to see our bikes leaning against the wall in the office.  So, relocated rather than stolen.  The first two miles are an easy roller along the coast road that circles Locquirec’s small inlet, passing by last night’s restaurant on the way.  Two miles into the ride we come to the long bridge crossing the mouth of the Dourdon, and I pull my bike up on the sidewalk to admire the view.

Someone’s nice summer cottage on the mouth of the Dourdon.
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While I’m staring across the water looking for bird life Rachael’s stopped by the side of the road behind me, presumably waiting me to quit holding up the parade with my camera.  I look back though and see she’s beckoning me to come back, so I bike her way wondering if she’s got a mechanical problem of some kind.  But no, she’s on the phone, fielding an incoming call that came up on her Garmin - a French number, one she probably should answer rather than just ignore.

So at this point we put today’s ride on a brief hold while I pay my four mile stupidity tax and bike back to our hotel to return the key.

Back on track, we follow the coastline for the next six miles enjoying the views.  It’s a beautiful coastline, and much more intesting than when it’s veiled by a dense fog blanket.

On Locquirec Bay.
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On Locquirec Bay.
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On the next bay to the east now, which I can’t see a name for. Perhaps this whole convoluted inlet is all Locquirec Bay. On the right is Saint-Michel-en-Greve.
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Looking north across the English Channel. Plymouth is probably straight ahead of us here. We see Locquirec on the left, that whitish strip peeking from behind the headland between here and there.
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On the nameless bay.
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Another view of this beautiful bay. So great to see some sun!
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We leave the coast on an unpaved but smooth road, slowly climbing alongside a small stream at maybe 2% most of the way.  It’s about two miles until we see the end of it, but it’s smooth enough that it doesn’t elicit any complaints yet (though another three miles like this later in the day will start to wear on one’s patience and achy back).

At the top we come out at Ploumilliau, a lovely small village where we stop in at a well stocked store to pick up fixings for lunch - bread, ham, Comte cheese, trail mix - and then sit in the square on the steps,of the war memorial for a few minutes and admire French village life before starting off again.  Today we’re especially charmed by a classroom of schoolchildren coming down the sidewalk, animated and cheerfully boisterous. 

Up from the coast. We’d be fine with more unpaved riding if the surfaces were like this.
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In Ploumilliau. I love these elegant twin-belfried towers, something I don’t think I’ve seen anywhere but here in Brittany.
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Bikes and a bug hotel, Ploumilliau.
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In Ploumilliau. The flag of Brittany was to be expected here but I had to look up the two red cows. It’s the flag of Bearn, from the Pyrenees.
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A half hour later we come to Lannion, the small city at the midpoint of the ride.  This is where we’ll decide whether to take the short or long route the rest of the way, so here on the bank of the Léguer River that splits the town is the natural place to break for lunch.  We sit there watching the gulls in the river and the market scene behind us, and then a man comes up and complements me on my Dead Horse Brewery shirt - he’s been to Moab, a place he loved.  His friends walk up to join him and we enjoy a free-ranging conversation for the next ten minutes.  They’re all from southwest Britain - one lives near Exeter - and they’re here on holiday for a few weeks.  A pair of them is heading down to see friends in Angouleme and then tour the gorges, so they said they’ll be on the lookout for us when we make it down that way later in the month.

The Léguer splits the small city of Lannion in two.
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There are hundreds of black-headed gulls on the sandbar in the middle of the river. They have a different look now that they’re outside of breeding season.
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Scott AndersonTo Keith AdamsReally. He’s up to his ankles here. I wonder if they ever get stuck and drown when the tide comes in.
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2 months ago
So wonderful to feel the sun!
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A cheerful crowd. We’re going to miss ad hoc conversations like this once we get further away from Britain.
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Rachael’s doing fine, so we decide to stick with the longer option.  It’s got it’s share of 10-12% hills along the way as well as a few more miles of dirt, and by the time we finally approach Perros-Guirec it’s nearing five and we’re ready to be off the bikes.  We pass the edge of the pink granite coastline the region’s famous for, but we just stop for a quick snap and continue on.  Hopefully we’ll get a good look at it tomorrow.

The Kerguntuil Dolmen, from the late Neolithic period - about 2,000 BC.
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The closest look we’ll get today of the famous pink granite coast. We’re tempted to slow down and look around, but we’re more tempted to get to our room, shower, and look for a meal.
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Video sound track: Bodas de Oro, by Ry Cooder & Manuel Galban

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Ride stats today: 43 miles, 2,800’; for the tour: 128 miles, 9,100’

Today's ride: 43 miles (69 km)
Total: 128 miles (206 km)

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Kathleen ClassenThe dreaded forget to leave the key at the hotel mistake. We like to do that too, just to spice things up. Once we called a cab and gave it to the driver to deliver, along with some Euros of course, rather than biking back. We hadn’t actually left the town yet, but we were at the bottom of a long hill. Keith thought of it and it was an inspired solution.
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2 months ago