Today was another good day of riding, 90 miles with only 200 feet of climbing in 6 and a half hours. It ended with a 20 minute ferry ride from Ponte de Grave to Royan that I had to wait an hour and a half for. In between it had my first French lunch - at Carcans - and a lot of flat, tail/side wind assisted riding, including some 20 mph+ riding on a new expressway. I enjoyed almost all of it, even the wait for the ferry.
Breakfast today was excellent and, although my room was a bit hot last night, I started the day feeling good. I had a bike path problem in Biganos - they have too many bike paths in this area and some car drivers here now act almost like Germans when I'm not on the bike path. Today, I got beeped at twice in Biganos for this, stupid, reason. Germany is much worse than here, German culture is much more self righteous than French culture,. The jerks know that I, cranking along at 15+ mph on a 75 pound bike, should not be on their road because there is a parallel bike path. I knew that it was faster and safer, and legal, for me to be on the road. They beep and I shrug. Shrugs are good in France
Leaving Biganos, I almost got hit because of this
he was so loud, I didn't hear the Audi which brushed past me at high speed right after he passed me
The Audi's windstream 'snatched' at my clothing
I did have two close calls today due to unusually rude French drivers. The first was just after a screaming 50 cc bike passed me. He was so noisy that I couldn't hear the Audi that bushed past me shortly afterwards. A little later, in heavy traffic, a semi sized dump truck passed within inches on my bags. Since he took the entire lane and there was a steady stream of oncoming traffic, he caught me by surprise. He didn't hit me because, just as he passed, I moved over into a briefly wider section of the road. He timed that very tightly and, if I hadn't gotten over ASAP, he would have hit my bags. I guess he thought I knew he was coming...
I averaged 13.6 mph today, but the first 20 km, when I was going basically with the wind, I averaged 14.5. There was one section, just before Lege Cap Ferret when I was riding due east on a new freeway and averaging 21 to 22 mph.
While on the road - no longer an expressway - to Lege Cap Ferret, I waved to a touring couple on a tandem on the bike path paralleling the highway. I got on that path later and rode it until I realized it was headed in the wrong direction ;-}. My fault, not the paths ,as it was clearly marked. As usual, my compass clued me in to my mistake. I rode the path back to where I needed to turn north and, although I saw lots of paths later in the day, I stayed on the road. For those who like that sort of thing, there appears to be long distance bike paths all the way from Bordeaux to Soulac. That is about 100 miles.
I rode north on D 3 through Le Porge and Lecanau to Carcans. It was about 11:45 when I reached Lecanau, so I checked out the restaurants. Too pricey. At 12:30, in Carcans, I had a hard time finding any restaurant, but the one I did find, was just what I was looking for. Its 11.5 E menu, with wine, offered a good meal - three courses - with the right amount -- 200 ml - of wine. I had melon for first course, a fish fillet with a lovely sauce and well matched vegetable and pasta sides, and yogurt with sugar - for desert. I've been looking for that meal ever since I got to France!
I stopped in Vendays Montalvet, a bit over 20 miles north of Carcans for cafe au lait and a piece of tart. Yummy and less expensive than in the fancier towns.
Vendays Montalvet - a great little French
Check out the Deux Chevau (the old car) in the lefthand bottom of this image
and that great church - typical of this region - in the center of town
The place where I stopped to snack ia on the right had side of the street
The Marie - city hall - in Vendays Montalvet
Under the flags - Franch and EU - it says Liberte - Egalite - Fraternite
I got to the ferry at Pointe de Grave at 5:15. The next sailing was a 6:45, so I snacked on what was left of my supplies and waited patiently. At a little after seven, when I rode off the ferry in Royan, I stopped at the first two star hotel I saw. I took the 38 E (+ 6 E for breakfast) room without a shower, but with a toilet and sink, thinking there would be a shared shower I could use. Wrong! Since it would have cost my 7 E more for a room with a shower, I made do with cleaning up at the small sink. Then I went out into the tourist area of Royan, looking for a light supper. I ended up paying 10 E for a single indian dish and naan with 250 ml of wine. Beer cost, per ml, twice as much as wine, so I had wine again. It was good and will get me through to breakfast tomorrow.