14 Aug Heading north towards Brittany & Normandy
Day 140 – 142 (26/28 July 2013) – We received a message from our daughter, that she will be working on a project in England the beginning of August. Since we are pretty much just aimlessly wondering along the Loire, we decided to start heading north, so we could meet her eventually. Actually we are quite enjoying our time here in France, the weather is great, the people are wonderful, the food, wine, and beer are delicious, and the campsites are affordable, plenty-some, and clean…what more could a bike traveler ask for??!!
After visiting Angers with its stunning fort towers and walls and crooked alleys, we decide to leave the EuroVelo. We end up following a much lesser travelled route up the Mayene River toward Laval and work our way through the middle of France toward the magnificent le Monte-St-Michel—an abbey built on a rock just off the coast.
The route along the river is mostly dirt and small gravel. There are many watermills along the way and just as many locks, which make for little boat traffic along this river. However, the views are wonderful and it is quiet. It also amazes us how green everything is. Since the river is quite curvy and windy, we take the occasional short cut along minor roads and through small villages. The weather has turned on us; apparently we have entered a more rainy area of France, which explains why everything is so green around here.
One of the days we spend riding through heavy rains and thunderstorms. As we pass a few hikers heading the opposite way, they give us some sort of warning. Unfortunately, we have a huge language barrier and do not understand why they are so unsettled. But as we keep going, we realize that it must have been pretty bad up in this area. It seems that we are just following the worst of the storm. There are twigs and branches scattered all over our path and eventually we even spot a half sunken houseboat on the other side of the river.
Fortunately, the storm clouds soon clear up and we are able to make good headway.