Domloup to Saint-Malo, the final ride in France

We were awake early with bright sunshine streaming through the window. Breakfast was booked for 8:30am and we decided to finish the journey to Saint-Malo, even though it was two days until we were due to catch the ferry. According to the weather forecast, there would be an easterly wind, a crosswind for our direction of travel. However, reaching Saint-Malo today would give us a day free to explore the city on Tuesday, before our 8pm crossing back to the UK.

Andy with our host, Alain, as we were about to leave our Domloup gite

After a stop at the pharmacy to collect ibuprofen for my improving knee, and sun cream, we left Domloup at 10am. We decided to visit Auberge la Tourelle in Sens-de-Bretagne for sentimental reasons. I´d received such great hospitality when I arrived there cold, wet and exhausted on April 7, 2012, after covering over 200km on my vintage Thanet bike. We arrived at 12:15pm and enjoyed a great three-course lunch, including wine and coffee, for 14 Euro each. We had a chat with the owner about my previous visit. I´m not sure she remembered it but she did a good job of pretending to! I can´t recommend the auberge too highly, it´s what dining in France is all about and it doesn´t cost the earth either.

Auberge la Tourelle – highly recommended!

As we left the restaurant with about 40 miles to go to Saint-Malo, Andy noticed that he had a puncture in his back tyre. We fixed it on the steps of the town hall and were on our way again about 20 minutes later.

The route to Saint-Malo was lovely. It was sunny, about 18C, and with a cool breeze from the East. Ideal conditions for cycling. We were in rolling countryside so there were a few hills to climb but nothing of any consequence. We had a small beer about eight miles out from our destination then we dodged the rush-hour traffic as we entered the city.

We arrived into Saint-Malo about an hour earlier than we had indicated to our host so we sent him a text and had a celebratory Ricard at a bar just inside the ramparts while we waited for a reply.

Andy with windburned cheeks and a small Ricard as a reward for cycling the length of France

Our apartment for the night was one room with a mezzanine floor for the beds – you could kneel beside the beds but not stand up and the steps leading up the mezzanine would be unlikely to pass any UK health and safety regulations. However, the building was clearly hundreds of years old. It was called ‘Le 1684’ and had great charm and character.

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