I have to admit to being a little the worse for wear awaking this morning. The six pints of 1664 and a late night had taken more toll than I’d realised. With the waiter looking askance at me, in my half wakened state I managed to use my coffee cup saucer as a plate and vice verse for my breakfast of croissants and jam (and five cups of coffee). But still, I managed to get out of the hotel and onto the road in reasonable time, heading off for 58 miles to Morlaix.
The day began with a big climb, which certainly woke me up! Today was an eventful day. I discovered why wearing a black and white riding jersey isn’t a good idea anywhere in open countryside. Having been google mapped reasonably early in the day, I was pootling along a track, through a few farms, in a little world of my own, when it became apparent that the cows in the field next to me were taking more than a healthy interest in me. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem, yet I began to get a little nervous when the moo-ing reached a crescendo and a herd of about 20 of them were galloping along in the field next to me, heading for a patch where the fence between us had entirely broken down.
There’s nothing like a herd of angry cows to make you pedal a bit harder and I passed the gap in the fence before they got there – luckily, cows aren’t blessed with the greatest cunning and they continued to chase me on their side of the boundary until they were firmly boxed into a corner and I was free to ride on… Not the scariest of animals in theory, but when they’re tearing up behind you it does make the heart beat faster! I guess for all the world in a cow’s eyes I looked like some lost Fresian in my black and white top…
That wasn’t the only time I was chased. A couple of miles later and my appearance in the lane at the end of their house set a coupe of dogs barking angrily at me. Nothing new. A lot of French houses have dogs penned or chained outside them and bark is entirely what they’re meant to do. This one was a little different. The collie was purely barking for effect and motionless. The unchained and unfenced German shepherd on the other hand was a little more serious and came racing out to fling himself at my bike. Luckily his teeth found the side of my pannier and he slide off as I shouted at him and his owner called him off simultaneously. Had he connected with the back wheel or my leg, things may have ended differently.
Agan, the wind was blustery, strong and a real pain in the ass. But I’ve become a little inured to it by us point. It’s just something to deal with rather than get upset about.
After those couple of animal adventures, the rest of the day’s cycling was pleasant enough, rolling country lanes, up and down river valleys and passing through more of those picturesque French villages with their over elaborate churches. The countryside reminded me very much of riding through Devon a few years back. This imprsssion was also reinforced by my arrival into Morlaix. If you ignore for a moment the huge viaduct crossing the tow, the architects and narrow winding streets could well have been on the south coast of England.
I checked into my hotel/hostel for the night and ventured out for a well earned beer at The Mug pub, followed by a confit duck and bottle of wine for dinner. A good day all in all.
photos from the day;