Sunday, July 31, 2011

25. BIke to English Channel, eat some more!

Easy-going day today, that’s how to spend our last Sunday in Dinan, huh? Fantastic weather so it was perfect bike riding time. Today’s plan was to head west toward Plancoet, to a forest just beyond, and see what was over there. Plancoet was a good destination, because many good small roads intersect there. Fantastic ride through thousands of acres of wheat and corn again, plus some lovely small towns. 

When I got to Plancoet, I leaned my bike against the café where Lynn and I ate lunch a few days ago, to check my map for my next move. A local bike rider came out and spoke to me (!!! That NEVER happens spontaneously, in my France riding experience!). He spoke almost no English, and with my terrible French we were a funny pair to listen to. BUT: he was a resident of Dinard, on the English Channel near St. Malo, and was heading that way from Plancoet…so I changed my destination to a little beach town near Dinard called St. Jacut-de-la-Mer, and followed my new riding buddy out of Plancoet. Cool guy, who really wanted to talk while we rode. He must be 75 years old, serious rider, good pace for me to match, and so talkative! (What a shock!) We had a blast trying to understand each other for 10 miles or so, then he showed me the best place to turn off and I headed to the beach town. Before we parted, we agreed that even though we didn’t understand each other’s French or English very well, our common language was really the “velo”.

St. Jacut-de-la-Mer was a pretty town, on one of those Pointes we’ve been visiting all over Brittany, which stick out into the English Channel (La Manche) with beautiful views, and making good ports for sail boats. This place was totally set up for vacationing beachgoers: streets lined with rental units and parked vacationers, beautiful wide beaches, and lots of little cafes. You could see out into the English Channel, and see probably a hundred sailing boats under way out there. I found two parks on the farthest tip of the Pointe, and took some lonely-guy bicycle pictures, then headed back to Dinan. My bicycle route through town which ended up being mostly a dirt and grass path…good thing I got those FATTER tires before this trip, bike worked perfectly.

After the ride, Lynn and I were stoked for lunch, so accomplished another of our list of “things we intend to do but haven’t got around to yet”: w ate at the classy restaurant several folks have recommended to us Chez la Mere Pourcel, right on the middle of town. We sat outside for the fantastic atmosphere, and ordered an aperitif and fancy lunch. It was good, served in little individual cast iron pots, but we both felt we’d have enjoyed the lunch more at our favorite restaurant Le Cantorbury…this place was kind of a disappointment. Afterwards, Lynn found the carved Monk on the side of their building we've seen in all our Dinan books, so we took a pic!

Not much else exciting to report. We did some laundry, read more on our books (BOTH of us have now finished “Water for Elephants” and LOVE IT!), and had a light supper in the English Garden. 

We saw two local guys playing  "Petanque”, a French ball game, kind of similar to 

 horseshoes, behind Basilica St. Sauveur, which just added to the ambiance. Tomorrow: heading to Vitre, another ancient walled city similar to Dinan, but supposedly even better preserved and more beautiful. AND we get to ride the train system again, which I really like. Thanks for reading this stuff!  

PIC captions:  Park at tip of Pointe at St. Jacut-de-la-Mer.
      Lynn found the carved monk statute at Chez la Mere           Pourcel in Dinan.   
        Petanque players, throw and roll heavy balls at Basilica
CLICK here for all photos and vids:
2011 Dinan and Paris French Adventure

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