Not much to say about Day 3 to be honest, expect it rained a lot. Something I am getting rapidly used to. It may appear that Lower Normandy is getting a bad press and that would be unfair. On a clear day it has some magnificent countryside side and, if your into motorcycles, some amazing riding roads. For me, unfortunately there weren’t many clear days.
The time off the bike was in fact welcome, I had been struggling for a while now to shake off a cold I picked up just before I left. A day not getting cold and wet was a pleasant prospect indeed.
I finally managed to solve the camping gas issue that day as well, after some research on google, and found that a chain of shops called Decathlon stocked camping equipment.
My nearest one was in Fliers, about 40 mins away, so I set off to find some gas canisters and whilst there found a MacDonalds as well. As I was there, it seemed silly not to take advantage of some easy hot food and coffee, so I did.
The rest of the day was pretty lazy, though on the way back from Fliers I stopped at a Intermarche in Domfront for food and water. I choose tinned beef bourgingion and what looked like a lovely chocolate dessert for tea.
I am sure that if you mentioned, or were indeed, insane enough to offer tinned beef bourgingion to an actual French person, the likely outcome would be a slap across the face with a glove, an invitation to an early morning duel and an untimely death.
However, when you are tired, cold and a long way from home, any hot food will do, and to be honest, to a food peasant like me, it wasn’t too bad.
Unfortunately, the same could not be said for the dessert, which was another goats cheese sandwich of a disaster in a different guise. One bite of the glutinous mass concealed under the appetising upper chocolate layer, induced both gagging and disappointment and the offending article was hastily dispatched to the bin.
Still, I had the gas canisters and a warm coffee was made before retiring for the night and tomorrow’s journey to Saint Malo, come hell or high water!
The weather again didn’t look promising for the 2 hr ride to Saint Malo, black clouds, like vultures, circled overhead as I set off. But I am nothing if not determined, I will probably not pass this way again and too not take every opportunity to broaden my knowledge of the world and expand my understanding would be unthinkable.
It did indeed rain, poured it down for the first hour, before finally clearing to reveal a beautiful day. The ride itself was pretty uneventful and not much was to be seen until we approached Saint Malo and took in the view of the estuary leading to the city.
I was fortunate enough to turn up with a load of other bikers and followed them into the city. They were showing French plates so I figured they would know where to park. They did!
Saint Malo is the first major French city I have been into, and what a great one to start with.
The old town is surrounded by a wall and back in the day was home to pirates. You enter through the main gate and instantly get a sense of history. It is majestic, ornate, boosting a wealth of architecture and nostalgia and it is hectic!
Inside the city walls, the place is packed, there are street performers everywhere, tour groups being guided round by enthusiastic tour leaders, masses of people overwhelm the local cafes, bars and bistros and on every street there’s enough high end shops to clear out my bank account through the purchase of one top. I love it. Maybe the solitude of continuous riding has been lonelier than I thought.
I love the grandness of the place, the tall buildings, narrow streets, the mass of people moving through, the constant chatter you hear as you pass by the outside eateries. It is music to my ears and finally I feel that my adventure is more than just riding a motorcycle.
I am besotted by the buildings and spend most of my time wandering through the streets trying to take in as many views as I can. It feels like I am starving for history, that each building I discover plays its part in satisfying my hungry.
Once I have finished wandering the streets it’s time to ascend the city walls and what sights that brings. The sea, I love the sea, there is something about the sea that is both mystical and wonderful to me. I love looking far out to the horizon and wondering what lies ahead, what adventures are to be had.
The view from the top of the city walls are amazing, Sandy beaches lay below, a causeway links the main beach to an island just off shore, a fort sits on a rocky outcrop and the city ramparts are flooded with people of all nations. It is epic.
I realise that Saint Malo needs way more than the four hours I have to give to truly do it justice, but I am conscious of the time and the long ride back to the campsite, which I do not want to do in the dark.
I make my way back to the bike, spirits massively lifted, this was how I envisaged my trip, a sensory overload of new, exciting and wonderful events and places. I pick up a pizza sandwich on the way out for tea and it is delicious.
Back at the campsite I am still buzzing, the weather has changed and it is a beautiful sunny evening. I needed today, a day full of wonder, a day of discovery, a day hinting at the yet to come. I slept well that night knowing that in the morning the journey would continue and we would push south to Heric and the promise of warmer weather. But oh, you shouldn’t tempt the Gods, as I was to find out.
Love and hugs