Stage 8: Quimper to Brest, 56 miles

8th July 2016.

ACROSS THE AMORIQUE NATIONAL PARK ON DEAD LEGS.

https://www.strava.com/activities/634194054

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The first priority was sorting out my poor Enzo’s broken hanger. I was waiting at the door of the local bike shop at 9am as it opened and the bike mechanic there was great to me and bent back the hanger as best as possible. It was still fractured, but as they’re impossible to get hold of and no-one had one in stock, the guy promised me I could ride it as long as I rode ‘sweetly’ – my bike french was not ideal!

Very relieved, I headed into the centre of Quimper to enjoy a breakfast pain au chocolat and have a little look at the pretty town that I didn’t have a chance to see the night before.

 

 

 

I knew I had 50 or so miles to ride to Brest today, a much shorter ride thankfully after the mega day before. Back into the countryside for more rolling hills, I stopped 22 miles in at Chateaulin for some lunch. Just into the Amorique National Park, its a really spectacular town set on the river Auine. With incredibly tired legs, probably a product of eating so little the previous day, I was glad of a proper rest, so having saved a few Euros, I sat down for a three course menu de jour at one of the pretty cafes. And as the Kir Gourmandine (fizz and cherry liqueur) was the same price as a coke, it was rude not to…

 

 

The breton salad, lamb tagine and raspberry icecream all went down incredibly well and I felt like a queen using proper crockery, being served and watching the world go by. Reluctantly I knew it was time to head on. Some long steady uphills taken very slowly and freewheeling descents (not like me at all!) and I was heading on further North, glad to eventually see the estuary that Brest sits on. It had been a really challenging day apart from the lovely lunch, feeling exhausted, with legs that just didn’t work any more and feeling rather lonely too.

Soon into Daoulas and Lopheret, over the grand bridge into industrial Brest, I eventually reached Anais’ flat, my place for the night. She’d left me a key so I settled in and popped to the supermarket for galettes, icecream and strawberry milkshake to refuel and have a relaxing evening. When she was back from work we had a great chat as her English was fantastic, having an Irish boyfriend! On to Roscoff tomorrow, and despite the brilliant places to visit, with tired legs and missing home I was quite looking forward at this point to getting on that slow ferry home.

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