Le tour de Vendée

Our final day had nothing specific planned other than getting to a Chambre d’Hote 40 minutes outside St Malo.

We started with a visit to the market in Lucon at 8am. It was early for us but not the French it seems. It was surprisingly busy.

It’s a shame we’re not here longer and self catering, the fish, meat and vegetables all looked amazing.

Having said that, we’ve not seen roti de cheval before

Luçon was transformed this morning – cars and people everywhere and a fantastic haberdashery stall. It would be nice to know if it’s every Saturday or just because it’s a holiday weekend.

We said goodbye to Madame and headed out to Fontenay le Comte, a medieval town 20 minutes inland. Compared to Luçon, it’s huge with a very long and straight main road and of course, as it’s France, a river and more market stalls.

We parked by a cycle shop owned by a Tour de France rider and John was in like a shot. He met a couple of English cyclists who’d cycled in from Vouvant. They were very impressed Kim had cycled the bridge on a Brompton – that was the highlight of her day. John was more impressed with how good electric bikes are getting.

Fontenay was very lively but we only had to walk a couple of streets back and it became calm and quiet.

We took a detour back to Vouvant to see if there was more going on than we first thought. It was so busy, we couldn’t park and may head back this way on our next trip to France!

Next it was onto the pretty town of Mervent with its fabulous views over the river Vendée, but unfortunately not much else going on.

Although their idea of a Triathlon was rather appealing

It was a long drive up to Dol de Bretagne for our last stop. We are in a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere with a hostess that doesn’t speak a word of English, unless you count ‘Expedia?’

We didn’t book through Expedia but we have the room key so there’s no getting rid of us tonight!

Despite the language barrier it was made very clear that we must remove our shoes before entering. We think we’ve arranged breakfast for 8am tomorrow but only time will tell how well that discussion went and if we are permitted to wear our shoes.

We’re staying 3km outside Dol de Bretagne and ventured out to explore. The town has some exceptional medieval houses and feels like a film set. It’s a shame about all the cars lining the high street.

Apparently there are fireworks tonight for the annual Bastille day celebrations, they don’t start until 11pm so there will be no chance of us seeing them.

Some entertainment has been arranged for our 9 hour ferry journey home. Can England beat New Zealand in the cricket, or should we compare notes with fellow cyclists while watching the Tour de France, then again it could be the Wimbledon final or the British Grand Prix at Silverstone?

à bientôt

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