Returning to Base

Day 5

I woke up a not-so-early 9 am (13 hours in bed), with a plan to go and see Mont Saint Michel.

The rain from the night before was slowing down as I got up, maybe it was just the wind shaking the trees? However, I was being constantly reminded of the rain from the night before as I packed up under the trees which were shaking off the water on to me.

Mont Saint Michel

The ride up to Mont Saint Michel was fairly non-event until I was in the proximity and soon I was battling with other road users to negotiate fairly ordinary road intersections, and getting to park. Parking was a nightmare and even motorcycles had a specific parking area to go to with a mini-barrier to pass. I parked up and stripped off my hot gear and started my walk into the tidal island.

As I walked closer and closer to the landmark I started feeling overwhelmed in claustrophobia with the mindless hoards of zombies I had left behind in Provence with their loud-mouthed non-opinions and selfie-sticks. I chose to walk along a field a distance away from the main path, just to get away from the stop-start walking and constant bickering of couples, children and families, the atmosphere made my skin crawl!

I had the intention of going into the fortified island and taking a look around at the old architecture, but to my total ignorance, this was not unlike the intention that the other 100,000 people also had, except their intention was to occupy space and make noise.

By the time I reached the gates of Mont Saint Michel, and took a look down the 8th century cobbled main access street in I was almost having a panic attack; the hoard of zombies had flooded the small fortified island, the quaint streets were blatted posters, banners and “offers” of things for sale, the shops looked like supermarkets selling overpriced nonsense, which was selling faster than they could restock, the insanity of the pushing and ever-consuming hoards, made me rush out of there as if my life/sanity depended on it.

I walked out onto the sand and decided to take a slightly more peaceful stance on the beautiful granite structure jutting out of the sandy landscape. I took the best photos I could muster up given the circumstances and then decided to leave. The heat and the crowds put me into an anxious state which I didn’t like being in.

I had booked a night in a hostel in Cancale, this was mostly because the GPS library I had been going through had nothing along the north coast of France, the campsites were heaving with pastel-coloured boxes (caravan/trailers) and screaming children. I figured for the money, I’d far rather paying to sleep in a bed in a shared dorm.

I arrived at Cancale by about 4 pm, and I was given a dorm room to myself, the area was quiet and peaceful and was exactly what I needed after the stressful time I had had earlier in the day. Since for the past couple of days I had only spent money on fuel, only eating provisions I had on my bike, I figured I would go and explore the nearby bay which had a beach and a selection of beach-fronted restaurants.

It was Thursday, and Saturday first thing in the morning a vehicle inspection appointment at 9 am in Dover, I had booked a Ferry at dawn for that Saturday morning.

I spent a while deciding on how to go about my last long day ride in France. My economy had been guiding my trip, but given the 3 night sleeping outdoors and not eating much, I figured I was doing ok. I factored in some of the variables for making it to my ferry the day after next and decided I would hammer the 500km I had the following day on the toll roads.

I knew that the national roads while scenic they were also very time-consuming, and in the heat quite stressful if you have a time budget. I wanted to arrive in Boulogne-sur-Mer Friday afternoon early so I could get an early night. It takes me a while to unwind after riding all day, so I wanted to be clear-headed before going to bed.

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