June 5, 2017

Voie Verts and Canals



Travelling by bike, the route, the bike, my fitness, and of course the weather determine the experience.


The route: 800 miles from northwest Bretagne to the frontier with Spain. My bike: strong, stable, capable Papillon. The fitness: blah, bad. The weather: it will do what it will.

The route is flat, but long. I need to average 40 to 45 miles a day to complete my trip on time to make my train back to Paris. On a fully loaded bike, riding a rough surface not always paved, with not such good fitness, this is a challenge.

But the route. I have spent three days riding first along an abandoned train right of way, then along the Canal Nantes-Brest and am now about 120 miles south of my starting point. With far more days it would be so sweet to make photo studies of the architecture.

Along the railways, train stations in every town with a stop. Now sometimes abandoned, sometimes with a newly devised life.



And the canals. At each écluse, or lock, there is a small house. Once the residence of the lockmaster, some are now serving other purposes (often holiday rentals) some are unoccupied.


And between those functional, historic, buildings, nature filled with birds who I do not recognize, but whose songs are so beautiful.



Humans enjoying the route in these tourist wagons.



This donkey patiently carried his human's gear, reminding me of Robert Louis Stevenson's book,Travels with A Donkey, about his walk in the Cevennes.



















14 comments:

  1. Thanks for blogging. I'm there in spirit! Wish you the softest bed, nourishing food, a good glass of wine and exciting stories from your fellow travelers at the end of the day. Have a great trip! Linda Bacon

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    1. Linda...How very nice to hear from you, and those things are great to wish on me, thanks. Last night I stayed inside instead of camping, in an early 18th century B&B. You would love it.

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  2. Well, well, I was wondering why I hadn't seen you around lately! Have a fabulous trip!

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    1. Hi Ned, When I went to tell you, you weren't working, and once it was just too busy... And the last few days at work were so crazy it was nuts. This is a long and f.l.a.t. route! Any fish bas reliefs in old buildings I should look for?

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  3. Thanks for the evocative photos.

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    1. The thanks are to you for reading.

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  4. You bring back happy memories of cycling in France. I hope that the sun continues to shine and that all your route choices are good ones.

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    1. Have you been back since we met up with Gerry?

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    2. Not by bike but we went direct to Marseille by train from London which was enjoyable and we are going again this year.

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    3. When will you be in Marseille? Not in the winter when I'll be in Montpellier?

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  5. Bring me back that cute and useful donkey! PS Scott and I rode the rail trail, saw a beautiful oriole, just ONE turtle on the log though...xxoo

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    1. The donkey, hmm. But I rode the rail trail Memorial Day weekend, I forget which day. There were four.

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