Well our cycle Roscoff to Budapest has begun!
The map shows Véloroute 6 from Nantes to Budapest, however, we have to first cycle from Roscoff to meet it at Nantes.
Here is our rough plan:
We travelled by ferry from Cork to Roscoff leaving at 4pm Saturday, arriving at 6am Sunday morning. Disembarking at 6am meant a 5am rise to be showered, breakfasted and ready by the bikes when the ship docked. The crossing was perfect, just a tiny bit of consistent gentle movement in the water but no bother, thankfully we had berths, I felt sorry for people for whom reading the sign ‘No berths are available on this crossing’ was relevant. Happily we had booked early enough when berths were still available. More to come on not booking accommodation!
We cycled forth from the bowels of the ship and were blessed with a lovely sunny morning. We were very quickly into rolling hills, plenty of up and down. Having reached Morlaix we stopped for a coffee break (and boulangerie for necessary fuel).
Day 1 as the crow would fly on a bike. We are no crows. Ours was longer as we took a less direct route from Callac to Carhaix.
On our way into Morlaix, a ‘Petit Tour De France’, a large collection of of antique vehicles of all sorts – old fire engines, buses, old sports cars, antique cars with many equally antique drivers, passed us. Everyone waved as they passed. After the first hundred, I gave up waving back.
After our Morlaix coffee stop we cycled on and have just arrived in Callac. We are living in hope of our dejeneur here. We arrived just after 1.30pm and the only restaurant open in the small village (or maybe very small town) was busy. Mr ‘Callac restaurant owner’ has sent us to the terrace and told us to wait vingt minutes. We are waiting and hungry but hopeful! You might wonder why we left it so late to stop. We are in very rural France and this has been the first any sort of restaurant we have seen since Morlaix. That’s one disadvantage of staying off the car routes, we might have to go a little less rural!
Well we are now beautifully fed. Unusually it was a Basque restaurant. We had the lunch menu – €12.50 for lovely starter and main course. We shared a Basque cake which was great. Well we can’t be eating pastries at every stop or we’ll be soon carrying more weight than we started out with – We’re all for making this cycling easier i.e. carrying minimum weight on the bikes. That rule doesn’t just apply to the panniers 🙂
From our previous cycle through France, knowing how rural some of the places we cycled through were, we had gotten into the habit of always booking accommodation ahead for the next night. We somehow had unlearned this habit. Though we meant to, we hadn’t pre-booked accommodation for tonight. Thankfully with good data available, we searched for accommodation nearby for tonight and though very little was available we called the nearest at Carhaix. With my best ‘Parlez vous Anglais’, an Irish voice answered. Daria Roche from Dalkey and her Irish husband were running a B&B in Carhaix. She was delighted to hear an Irish voice and though technically closed, she immediately booked us a room. Given that the web said they also had a restaurant, I enquired re dinner and she said they were closed that night and nowhere in the village was open given it was a holiday weekend. She and her husband were going out for dinner and suggested that she could make a sandwich and have some cake for us. Given how exhausted we were plus the fact we had just had a decent lunch I said that would be perfect.
Well fed from lunch plus now with a bed plus hoping the forecast had got it wrong re rain in the afternoon, we set out for the cycle to the Irish B&B. Unfortunately the forecast won, it started to rain, sometimes hail. We took a more circuitous route than shown above, it ended up being a very, very hilly cycle to Carhaix. (It would have been hilly by any route though.) Nevertheless we stuck with it up hill and down dale in the rain and eventually two wet cyclists arrived at 5.10pm just in time since the owners were leaving at 5.15pm.
The prospect of a wash, a bed, a sandwich and sleep was sheer bliss. Well that was the prospect for me – Denis who runs a minimum of 5k every single day had to include the prospect of a run. Sometimes I think he needs canonisation or certification… at least, some kind of ation!
Having relearned the rural France lesson we booked Monday night’s accommodation before we were both snoring by 10pm.
Strava’s profile of Day 1’s route, total elevation gain approx equivalent to climbing Carrauntouhill.