Day 1 St Malo to Vitre

As the ramps lowered on the car ferry at St Malo by chance we were second vehicle off so avoided any security delays. We were aiming for the Fort National, near to the official start line for St Malo to Nice. St Malo was still asleep, we had forgotten it was a Bank Holiday in France but pleased with lack of traffic, save for a demonstration outside a government building, early morning on a Bank Holiday, really !

The area around the old town was all yellow lines and no parking but as there was little awake we took advantage of the bus station to park for breakfast and The Grand Depart.

At 9-30 I was off following the coast road to Concale and I could not believe my luck as within a mile my Garmin had broken its mount after hitting some rough road. No matter I had paper map and had to wait until I came across Kaye in Harvey to collect another Garmin, I had 2 spares, how sad is that.

Some spectacular scenery and the road to St Broladre was flat and early ride adrenaline had me in time trial mode for a while, there were plenty of camper vans and cycling club riders enjoying the extra days holiday.

Combourtille with English phone box in the background.

While most shops were shut the farmers were busy, it may be that this bank holiday Monday has significance on the farming calendar as every other field seemed to contain a tractor ploughing.

From Pontorson I was heading south through quaint villages and open countryside before a lunch stop rendezvous with Kaye at St Germain-en-Cogles.

Fougeres was the first larger town and a very impressive medieval Chateau de Fourgeres. A little further I came across the villages of Billie and Combourtille which was very keen to show its love for the bicycle with a display at each end of the village and an English red telephone box thrown in for good measure.

Chateau de Vitre, could be a film set, beautiful.

Chateau de Vitre, could be a film set, beautiful.

Vitre was my final destination of the day and did not disappoint, the Chateau de Vitre sits above the town and there some impressive old shops, well preserved and showing the differing styles of architecture. My first day impressions on the ride had registered the vast amount of churches to be found along the route, all of completely differing styles of architecture, it seemed even the smallest community had one, or more.

Campsite for the night was the municipal site at Vitre, €13 with electricity, wi-fi and motorhome service point. There was a free Aire outside with no services.

Stats for the day 81miles 3455ft climbing. temp +11c sunshine and broken cloud

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