The hotels we have been staying in have been so comfortable. The beds are fantastic. Needless to say I have been sleeping very well.
Up early this morning and repacked all my stuff into my new panniers. They are fantastic and hopefully a lot more sturdier than the other ones.
There is now pannier envy within our group.
We headed out of town down winding cobblestone streets past such beautiful old buildings and churches.
We had to do a little bit of main road today but everyone in France is so bicycle friendly there was no problem at all.
What we are finding is there is no one around. We have ridden through towns and nothing is open and no one around. Quite a few places for sale and rent.
Today is overcast and misty but no rain again thank goodness. A bit chilly though. We all have rosy cheeks!
Stopped for morning tea in a tiny village with only one place open
We cycled on to villeau viex for lunch and when we got there it was like a ghost town. Nothing open and no one around. Luckily at breakfast this morning they have baguettes cheese, ham, boiled eggs. So we all made a sandwich and took a piece of fruit and put it in our panniers so we all pulled into the church and memorial and had lunch on the steps
We travelled on back roads and all signposted. It was all part of the EuroVelo route that goes all the way through Europe and the UK and Ireland.
Most of the roads we are travelling down are lined on either side by poppies. I think they must be a weed.
So it was then on to Pontoson which is the town before Mont St Michel and even though it was overcast and gray you could see the Mont for miles around.
This was a gorgeous windmill that we came across at the top of the hill and when we looked the other way. There she was
We arrived at our lovely b&b about 2kms from the Mont and settled in. Danielle is our hostess and so delightful. Apparently Bob booked this back in February and she was so excited to have us stay with her from Australia. She had cleared out the shed for us to put our bikes in and made us feel so welcome.
It was quite cold today so we took off our panniers and put some warmer clothes on and jumped on the bikes and rode down to Mont St Michel.
OMG! Unbelievable and so steeped in history. First part of it built in 708.
It was massive and after parking our bikes in the bike park we jumped on the shuffle bus that took us over the bridge to the island and just as we got there it started to sprinkle with rain.
This was an incredible piece of engineering and design and took over 60 years to build. They would take a boat to the Channel Islands just off the coast mine the stone, move it to where the ship was, carry it on board then sail back to Mont St Michel and in load it, get it up the mountain and put it in place. What an amazing engineering feat. And what an impressive monument.
We walked up the 1300 stairs to the top and got tickets to do a tour and just wandered around. So impressive and so full of history. After Aubrey, bishop of Avranches had a sanctuary built it became a major focus for pilgrimage. In the 10th century the Benedictines settled in the abbey while a village grew below. By 14th century it was extended and became an impregnable stronghold during the 100 years war.
Following the dissolution of the religious community during the revolution and until 1863 the abbey was used as a prison. During the 2nd world war it was occupied by the Germans until the Americans took back Pontorson so they fled. It is only since the 1960 s that they have taken back monks from a religious order that now live in the abbey and they are from an order in Jerusalem.
We took the tour which was taken by this extremely charismatic french girl who was very heavily accented but had the best sense of humour and had an hour and a half walking around the abbey.
The saddest thing about it is that it has been totally stripped bare of everything hat may have been hanging or decorating the walks so it was a blank canvas but very impressive.
By the time we finished it was well after 5.30 and we were cold and wet and needed sustenance.
Found a creperie as I had been dying to have a crepe since I got here.
As we were sitting eating Laura and Libby, sisters in our group whe had had bike troubles and came later, arrived and we caught up before heading back to our bikes and cycling back to our Bnb in the pouring rain.
Whilst I have been in France there have been rolling train strikes which are going on for months and tomorrow is a strike day and we had booked tickets to get from Pontorson to Bayeux. Well that wasn’t going to happen so we had a meeting when we all returned about how we were going to get 125kms to Bayeaux tomorrow.
Our lovely hostess Danielle got on the phone and to cut a long story short she has 2 friends with trailers and they are going to pick us up in the morning and drive us to Bayeaux. What a relief and how wonderful is that.
Having all that done it was off for a very hot shower to warm up dressed and Jane, Libby, Laura and myself headed into town for the most fabulous seafood dinner and then home to bed.
Tomorrow will be wonderful as we will have a day off from riding, travel in a car and go and see the Bayeaux tapestries.
Home and in bed now ready for an easy day tomorrow.