Woke up at 0830am feeling as though we needed another two hours of sleep. Clambered out of tent past all bar bags and front panniers (It’s too cramped with those inside so we’re going to keep them in the ‘bell’ of the tent). Felt a bit stiff and groggy. Heavy dew on everything after a cool, clear night. Tried to dry a few things off but not enough time. Paid about 30Fr for the campsite. Took us a while to get packed up and on our way. Left at 1010am.
Went straight to boulangerie, after dropping off our rubbish and bought some bread for lunch and two pain au chocolat for breakfast. Bright, warm day leaving Gavray. Climbed up out of town for about 5kms. Taking it nice and easy in the mornings. Went through Villedieu les Poeles. Church bells ringing. One or two Brits but less frequent. Lots of interest and attention from passers-by in bikes. Carry on through town dodging traffic on way out. Next stop, Mortain. Lots of 5km to 6km climbs. Hot and sweaty. Knee hurting so put support on it.
Stopped for lunch in side road at 1pm. Pate, bread, creme fraiche, biscuits, bananas, orange and pistachios. Eating a lot but need it as we feel very tired after the morning ride. Wheeled bikes into a field and lay on roll mats in share for siesta. Slept for 1hr. Dribbling all over mat so must have been out! Carried on feeling dazed and lethargic. Went up long climb past an amusement park. Old man and woman shouting “C’est dur, eh?”, and “Bon courage!” We find lots of people say that.
Came down long hill into Mortain . Lovely cruise past abbey. Stopped to put on suntan oil as we are burning a bit. Countryside become more interesting and flattening out. Good cycling. Decided to stop in Garron but no campsites so asked and was told ‘14km away in Ambriere’. I was quite tired by now. Carried on flat, smooth road. Stopped to have a biscuit. Got into Ambriere and went to campsite on way to Mayenne but was full. Now in Ambriere municipal campsite by La Varenne. 24Fr for night. Fish jumping, lots of boatmen. Tent up and sleeping bags in . Cooked supper of rice, tuna and tomato sauce. Lapsang souchong tea - delicious. No milk or sugar. Had tinned chocolate cake and an orange too. Realising difference between holidaying and travelling in amazing. Budgeting targets, targets and cooking for ourselves. Feeling free and quite happy. Feeling less homesick but think about Penny a great deal . I miss her. Quite tired.
Distance 103km Average speed 10.2kmh Time 10.05hrs
Will Hawkins lives in Lincolnshire with his family, works in a technology company in London and does as many micro-adventures as he can.
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