The little hotel in Redon, The Asther, was a great find. Right in the centre of town, very reasonable and with a secure place to store the bike. The owners have only been operating the place since April and yesterday was a big day. They had received the official seal of approval for their venture from the police, the Mairie, the Pompiers and any one else entitled to express an opinion. A good breakfast this morning with the added bonus of Marmalade, I was even asked for an opinion on the new blend of coffee being used. It was good!
Off at 8 a.m. again along the gravelled but bumpy track to Blain. I stopped for a while at Guenrouet, much to the embarrassment of the kids serving at a drinks kiosk by the river. There was a fete in full swing which seemed to involve lots of canoes. They had to practice their language skills in front of their teachers but, as you might expect, I dragged the agony out for them.
A light lunch at a small bar and restaurant near the canal and then, to my shame, a brief snooze next to one of the few remaining locks.
I was woken by the arrival of another tourer who looked worryingly fit…. Not fit as in attractive – that would be worrying – but fit as in svelte, slim and bustling with energy. A man of my age, he had cycled from Bayonne since Monday afternoon and was carrying on to meet his wife in Rennes today! They will start the return journey tomorrow. To be caught snoozing by such a paragon was upsetting. I nearly kicked him into the lock when he said he rides an average of 170 kms a day. Have a look at a map to see the distance he has covered in a few days. Disconsolate, I shambled into Blain to find my hotel for the night.
I have decided to cut out Nantes from my route. The question: 60 kms from here to Nantes and then a further 60 kms to St Brevin at the mouth of the Loire, or 45 kms from here to St Nazaire and 3 kms over the bridge on a bus to St. Brevin? My bottom has given me the answer though it will test my rocky relationship with the Garmin Touring. Mr Bayonne would unquestionably have gone the long way around!