Malestroit to Becherel, France

The road on the way to Montford: damp, hilly, and pretty

The church in Beede, very nice!

My rest was good in Malestroit, and I had nice breakfast and good conversation with the lady who owns the house I stayed in. Of course that meant that that I left later than usual this morning. Good visits at B+Bs always have that problem!

Riding today, like last night riding to Malestroit, was hilly with a headwind. Today I have to add another H - humid. In fact the humidity exceeded 100% for about half the day. It wasn't a big deal, since there was only one period, relatively short. of rain that got my clothing wet. Mainly, it was just a chilly, dreary, day of riding.

The combination of hills and headwinds, and the cold, slowed me down and wore me out. I only covered 53 miles, with 2500 feet of climbing, in five hours and ten minutes of riding. There were two other sources of delay. I rode from Malestriot to Guer slowly because of the rain and wind, but without problem once I found the road I needed. It was blocked by construction where I normally would have turned on it. North of Guer, climbing into the wind and rain heavy enough to wet my clothes;-{, I passed two groups of cyclist heading south. When I got to Bellvue, the rain had stopped and it was 12:00. Time for lunch, and lunch was a good way to dry out!

I stopped at the last restaurant in that town - there were a lot of them - because it had a 9 E menu. I went in and, after locking my bike, went to the restaurant room in back. The typical restaurant here has a bar in front and the restaurant behind it. That means you can't watch your bike, but that hasn't caused me any problems for me so far.

When I got there, just after noon, there was one other person in the restaurant. I sat down to my entree plate - they had a refrigerated buffet with salads, sausage, etc and, within 15 minutes every seat in the place was taken by workmen. The main course was a good piece of, medium rare, beef with potatoes. Then there was the fromage (cheese) course, then the desert - I had ice cream - course. I had my own bottle of wine and bottle of water, as well as bread and butter. Very good and 9 E, complete. No wonder it was so popular!

It took me an hour to eat lunch and about 15 minutes to pay for it. There were two people serving and, with all the tables packed, they were very busy. Still, both of them thanked me - and I thanked them - and said goodbye as I left. I just can't get over how much nicer it is, even if you are by yourself, to eat lunch in France compared to any other country I've toured in.

Entering Pleland le Grand

After lunch I tried to ride on to Pleland le Grand. That is when I found that I was on the wrong road. Retracing my route, I found a map at bus shelter that showed me how to get to the road to Pleland le Grand. I got there at least half an hour later than I would have if I had taken the right road, but lunch was easily worth that extra half an hour!

The road to Beede

My next destination was Montford. It was a nice, hilly and damp, ride. Montford was the biggest town on my ride today, but getting through it was straightforward, if a little bumpy over the cobblestone bits.When I got to north end of town, I saw signs for Beede. Then, a little further north, I saw signs where Beede was covered up. At the last roundabout north of Montfort, I found out why. The road was closed. Oh, oh. There was no good alternative that I knew about. I'd have to go a long way out of my way if I couldn't use that road!

The actual closing was 2 km beyond the roundabout, so, after taking a snack break, I rode to the closed section to see if I could get through it. half a km beyond the barrier, the road was undergoing total reconstruction. I walked my bike through the construction until I found a small side road that looked like it was being used to gett o the south end of the construction. The I asked one of the workers if I could get to 'beed' that way. He said I could get to 'Beede' if I went down that road and turned left. I did and, half a dozen km later - Beede is only a few km from Montford, I was in Beede at the other end of the construction.

My bike and the church in Beede

The church in Beede as seem from where the construction blocked the road

I really wanted to stop in Beede, because of the church, the general feel of the place, and the hotel that was right acoss the street from the church, but it was only 4 PM, so I headed north, hoping to make Dinan, It was harder riding north because that was straight into the wind, and the road climbed pretty steadily all the way to Becherel. I'm over 500 feet higher now than I was at Malestroit, and I notice - through the fog - a huge communications town just south of town. I suspect that this the high point on this route. When I got here the fog, the chill, and my tired body, convinced me it was time to stop.

Betcherel is OK, but compared to Beede, dead. My room - with shower, but without toilet, is 44 E with breakfast, which is not bad for France, but I see the standard charge posted on the door is 33, so I feel I'm being overcharged. The only place open here to eat anything does crepes and nothing else. It charged me 6.4 E for a simple crepe and cafe, which is certainly not a bargain. The hotel is run by a woman who seems very nice, but we are almost totally unable to communicate. Oh well, the bed is comfortable and the room is well setup for creating this web page ;-}.

Tomorrow I will ride the 50 km or so to St Malo and then ride along the northern coast of France. I hope the weather improves, but I think the current dreary weather is common. I'm now nearly at the same latitude as southern England.

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