St Malo to Nantes

Should one be in the position of locating positives from the day (and I am), at least last to board means first to disembark and an early start.

The first and second zip ties of the tour were used today in an attempt to secure the rack, where one of the fixings that secure it to the frame snapped, after hitting a pothole within the first 20K.

Shortly afterwards I reached the magnificent old town of Dinan which features extended stretches of uneven pave; I was quite concerned that the rack might not make even it through the first day in France.

Most of the day was spent on quiet roads with little traffic however it all went to pot about 10K out of Rennes where the D263 turned into dual carriageway and an unusually high proportion of the traffic (most of it) bibbed at me as it past. I came off at the next junction and found that I was not allowed back on again.

I rode around for a fair while looking for an alternative route but it became clear that there was nothing in the vicinity so, as I was still about 90K short of Nantes and needed to get there that evening, I rode back to Rennes to find a train.

Despite feeling good for the first 100K, after admitting defeat for the day, I found the 10K back to Rennes exhausting. At least the train fair was reasonable and the bike travelled free of charge.

I had a bed reserved at the youth hostel in Nantes, but actually finding it proved to be something of a challenge. The hostel is located in a redeveloped area that used to be a tobacco factory and somehow manages to conceal its identity even when you are right next to it. The staff said that this had often been commented on by other guests in the past.

From the main road, look for a cloistered area with a statue in the middle, the hostel entrance is hidden behind the arches (that are hidden behind the trees) on the right.

It was good to get to Nantes on time, but I was bothered by the fact that the tour now featured a 100K gap.

The gap in itself was not a major problem, but it did have an effect on my mindset for the rest of the trip. From here on, whenever I encountered some form of set-back with the route, I began to look for a ‘by rail’ alternative. An urge that, I am pleased to say, I managed to resist.

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Day:2 of 15
Date:19 July 2007
From:St Malo
Distance:108 KM
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