…. you ever know what you are going to get. Yes, today was one of those kind of days. Frustrating and challenging but there were some great rays of sunshine!
Today required great risk, riding through Bordeaux weaving in and out of cars, cyclists who weave around all over the place, wet tram tracks and that was just to ride the few km to the railway station.
After eventually extracting train tickets out of the French language only vending machine and missing our first train, we hung around for a little too long.
Finally by 1030 we ended up in Arcachon, where the intent was to circumnavigate the Basin, catching a ferry back across the bay.
I had mapped out the route and uploaded to a Garmin GPS file, however it was having a hissy fit and kept trying to recalculate the route. So to save the Garmin from being thrown a great distance by Tony we decided to wing it. Yes in a foreign country at that.
Realistically we needed to ‘just’ keep the Basin on our left. In practice this was not quite so simple. Dead ends, one way streets in villages ensured we could not see the lake for 50 km or so.
What we did find was an extensive bike path network that intersected a road every 100-200 metres meaning stopping, starting, decleating, recleating. I reckon we did this 100-125 times today making it really hard to get into a rhythm.
We stopped at a boulangerie for a quick bite as they were about to close for the afternoon siesta. No coffee available. Hmm.
A little further down the road I found a coffee shop and ordered deux cafe grand crema ( with a clear vision in my head of the one from yesterday!) This is what turned up!
The undoubted highlight of the day’s ride was the tip of Cap-Ferret, with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Basin and Dune du Pyla on the other. The Basin forms a huge triangle more than 100 km long.
I walked up over the sand dunes at the Cape to the Atlantic Ocean.
Back at the Cap, this is the view towards the Dune du Pyla, regarded as Frances most moving monument. It is also the highest sand dune in Europe and growing at around 1-4 metres per year! Currently it is over 105 metres in height.
With time marching on we needed to get back to Belisaire to catch the ferry to Arachon to then catch our train back to Bordeaux. We could not help but to stop and check out the impressive lighthouse.
We just missed the ferry and needed to wait for an hour. What to do?
Oh but I did check out the oyster farm adjacent to the pier.
I am a big kid at heart so could not resist sharing a picture of my new steed from today.
So whilst the day was frustratingly slow, there were many highlights!
Interetingly there seems to be a number of blind people in Bordeaux, tapping their way around the city. I watched one poor lady try to find the road crossing with her stick, tapping all the wrong poles near the roads edge. Without thinking, I dashed across the road, grabbed her arm and took her to the crossing.
The whole way she was saying “merci”. I did talk to her the whole time as I did not want her thinking I was a bad person trying to take advantage of her, but I hoped that she did want to cross that particular road!
Tomorrow we head to St Emilion, 115 km scheduled! Hopefully we have maps tomorrow.