Friday, 26 June 2015

Hitting 1000 (oh, and Malo to Dinard to Dinan to Malo)

I wake up at 5:45 am, too late for dawn but still in time for sunrise.  Throw on clothes, shoes, camera, smokes, and run to the beach.    

Does this qualify as a holiday? It’s a bit on the hectic side. Until today, I have been changing hotels EVERY single day for 2 weeks.  But you can't experience a country any other way.
Today is the first time on this trip that I'm not checking out of my hotel room!

Also, I only have 3 days left before I have to return to Vancouver, so I might as well make the best of it.

Maybe one day I won’t have to go back to Vancouver and then I can take my time exploring.
After breakfast at 7:30 am I make the mistake of laying down on the bed. I wake up at 11 am. OMG ;-)  No wonder I felt exhausted but now I have to rush again.
Wake up, Sleepy Head and FEED ME!

How could I ever justify sleeping through a view like this?

I'm not 100% sure why I decided to go on the boat ride to Dinan but it fills the day without too much cycling.  I did enough of that in the last 2 weeks. Just before getting on the boat, the bike's odometer tells me that I have cycled 1000 kilometres since leaving my hotel in Vancouver on the 10th of this month..

The look of peace and contentment ...

... or was that A pain in the butt?

The boat leaves at 12:15 and I remember just in time to buy cigarettes before because it’s a long ride.  Turns out I should have brought some food too because after I have spent 2.5 starving hours on this boat and not getting to anywhere near Dinan I will remember that it’s not a 2.5 hour cruise but a 3 ¾ hours boat ride.
Boarding the boat just outside the walls of the old city

the bike is coiming along

Tourists staring at the walls off the city that they spend all their time in

I've walked that beach

Traffic on the crossing to Dinard

St Malo across seen across the river Rance

where the fancy people used to live (and still do)

The back-side of St Malo

approaching Le Barrage 

Maybe these people really never haven gone through a lock?

I first manoeuvred devices of this type in a wooden row boat at the age of 15

Even though they didn't interrupt a highway

the principle was the same

happy car drivers; the boats are through

There is water coming in! 

heading up the Rance

long gone days

I'm not sure what the teenagers on the boat call to them, but I think it was more STRIP than JUMP

All of a sudden the shippable water way gets VERY narrow

the boat barely fits in between the mud flats

barely manoeuvrable 

unless you're a duck

The reason for the very small amount of water here is the next set of locks up-river
Water again!
The locks also manage the water levels above and below them.  There has to be enough water above them for ships to travel

Green living

heading into the unknown. Hints of African Queen

the surroundings are getting lusher and lusher

And then I can't  believe my eyes.  I had no idea what to expect from Dinan. Some small farmer's village at the end of a river?

Far from the truth: most of the city with buildings as old as 12hundred something are on top of that hill
This town is even mentioned in the Bayeux tapestry!
The 1st restaurant right at the pier doesn't serve food at 4 pm, but the 2nd one does !!!!!  By now I am so hungry, I no longer care what they serve.  But the galette wrapped around a sausage with fries and salad (admittedly the worst food I've eaten in France) hits the spot dead on.
Here is what I'm missing of Dinan (2 pictures from the internet)
I'm down there (not my pic)
Dinan, the upper city (not my pic)

Now I can think of the ~27 km way back. And yes, that's what I the bike is accompanying me;-)
leaving Dinan

While the natural scenery along the river is kind of nice, there are more amazing things to be discovered along this bike route:

Only the French would give this name to a bike route on an old railway track

While stopping here for a smoke break I notice an abandoned house right next to me.

I end up wandering around the rooms because the graffiti is just SO good.

After a bit of criss-crossing the country because a certain Google Maps bike trail doesn't exist, I approach the Barrage again.
There must be a boat going through the lock, because the road is closed ;-)

I decide to follow the Google 'bike route' on the East side of the Barrage. Reminder to self: NEVER again !

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