Days 3 and 4 Blains and Ancenis

Yesterday I made it all the way from Pontivy to Blains over 100 miles and much further than planned (although there is no real plan) and I was so knackered that all I could do last night was eat. Actually, I ate a lot and I think the guy at the hotel was just a little shocked by how much - still needs must.

I was going to stop at Redon which is about 60 miles, but the going was just so good - a metalled trail and some wind assistance - that I got there sooner than expected. It was a great cycle ride with the route going from paths shaded by huge beech, sweet chestnut and oak trees to the more open countryside. This stretch of the canal is navigable so as well as cyclists to wave at there were also men on boats.

I stopped for lunch at Josselin, a lovely little town with a particularly splendid medieval castle.  There were other cyclists at the river side and they very interested in my 'Croix de Fer' - I just describe it as a cyclocross bike and I think leave the false impression that I know what I'm talking about.

Anyway, after an ice-cream stop at a lovely spot in a gorge I pressed on into Redon, it's about 3 o'clock and I'm feeling great so decide to continue. The weather has been great, but it's raining in the rest of France so I felt 'making hay while the sun shines'  makes sense.

As it turned out it wasn't such a good idea. The route after Redon is not nearly as helpful. No longer metalled, long sections have been scrapped and the earth had hardened into a sort of rough very uneven concrete, uncomfortable and slow. The scenery, however, is wonderful, passing lakes with Herons and Cormorants.

After 25 km I arrive at Guenroet but the anticipated hotel didn't exist, so no choice but another 25km, the hotel at Blains and a huge meal.

Todays trip involved finishing my stretch along the Eurovelo 1 and joining the Eurovelo 6 (which goes all the way to the Black Sea). The route doesn't follow the canal into Nantes but, after a cross country stretch, heads through the suburbs of what is one of the biggest cities in France. 

Once in the suburbs, it was hard work following the route, the signs didn't link with my GPS route and it was not always easy to spot them. In the end, I just followed the ordinary signs, headed for the city centre and the river. Next week I have to cross Paris so today was a good practice run (cycle).  From the river, which is enormous, finding the route east was a doddle.

So far the route along the Loire has been nice, but not as consistently excellent as the Nantes Brest canal route.  I suspect that will change tomorrow as I start to visit some of classic Loire valley towns.  I'm staying in Ancenis, a nice town on the north side of the River Loire.  As usual the hotel was hard to find and it wasn't until I went to the Tourist Information Office (also hard to find) that I could work out where it was.

As it is, at the moment, I'm just a bit knackered after 250km in 2 days - some smooth services tomorrow would be very welcome.


  1. Glad you are off on another adventure I can follow. Looks good so far. But John never put your bike down derailleur first as in picture 4 [Brest kilometer stone] - asking for trouble again.
    Best wishes

    1. Excellent point, the only thing I would say in defence is that my trusty steed rarely lays down