Hot and windy, Aussies and the Irish

You know that saying, you get easy you pay for? Yep, I remembered it too during the night as my back ached on an awful mattress in the cabin park.

We got up early and packed and headed off to leave the Island and search for food.

Below is a map of our route off the Island, heading out the northern side (as we’d arrived on the southern side).

It was nice pootling along the bike tracks without all the tourists weaving around on their e-bikes. We enjoyed the crisp air, passing by many salt producing ponds. Salt is sold at multiple places on the Island.

Nice smaller fortification
Grapes are also widely grown
La Couarde- sur -mer

Then we rolled into the main town on the island, Saint Martin de-Re and found a boulangerie. Nice views.

We had a nice unhealthy breakfast as an be seen here in the video.

Interesting fortifications as we left town go back to the 1620’s and the Huegenots.

Remains of an old moat

Rivedoux plage is the last village. Posers!

Seagulls farewell
The bridge ahead
Getting closer

The bridge as I mentioned yesterday is 2.9 km long. It has featured in the Tour de France. Ritchie Porte did it in circa 4 minutes 30. We were a few minutes longer I am pretty sure 😝🙈. We decided it is steeper from the western end but who knows what is factually correct.

Once back on the European mainland we needed to stop and have my domestique inspect my e-tap as it was not changing between rings. I knew I would like my granny gears a bit later in the day.

Out came the tools and he played around, we rode the bike up and down the street and he fixed it. Tony told me that my bike had actually crashed to the ground at the caravan park in a gust of wind. 😢 it sports a scar! He thinks the issue may have been as a result of that. I am fortunate that Tony has self taught himself many bike mechanic skills.

Getting through La Rochelle was another pain in the butt. City shuffling, in and out of the cleats, walking across crossings, dodging everything.

We did stop in this central area as there was lots of old stuff! A few photos below.

This guy made mousse famous I think….chocolate is my personal favourite 😝

We were glad to eventually hit dirt. This track below was the scene of a near nasty accident with Tony and a young teenager on an mtb. A bunch of boys were riding through, runners behind and in front and he decided to flex muscle and overtake his friends with the sure fail way of looking at his mates rather than what is ahead. We both shouted very loudly and he may have received our first DH call for the trip. That is a river on the right and Tony’s default bail out.

It was stinking hot as the morning progressed. In Clavette I popped in to get a cold drink. This boulangerie does free samples of different items, so how could I refuse? I also got some froid boisson(cold drinks).

Adjacent to,the boulangerie was this oyster seller from Ile de Re. The lady pulled up in her car, bringing her own bucket. Scratching the bum helps I think? Curiously these oysters are not refrigerated. There is no ice either. I like oysters but I hate side effects if not properly refrigerated.

Surgeres was a busy town, and quite large. We stopped at a supermache on the outskirts for drink and bananas. We took a wrong turn in centre ville and found this.

Map of the old village
One of the remaining buildings
And another

The day was a scorcher at around 34C plus we had a lot of wind to contend with. Wind in front is hard work as it requires more physical effort. As we are not used to the heat we try hard to be conservative with our energy use to ensure our fluid lasts long enough to be replaced.

On the other hand, the wind helped to cool our body temperature. My legs were wet with sweat, not something I am used to in Tasmania. I have heat rash in patches as my body tries to adjust to the conditions.

We passed through an area of hundreds of wind turbines. Wind must be a frequent visitor.

We liked this scarecrow, on a bike!

Nice old church and cemetery.

Lots of great and varying signs warning of kids crossing the roads.

The afternoon was quite hilly, up and down. At the top of one climb was this old German bunker and wind turbines. An interesting mix.

Finally a few shaded roads in between climbs. By now we were stopping every 5 km to have some fluid to counter our liquid loss.

Tonight we are in Chef Boutonne, having ridden 135 km. We are only 400 km from the Spanish border….3 days away it our journey will take us east.

At our accomodation we were greeted by Niamh, a lovely Irish lady who has lived here for many years. She also has some friends staying from Dublin (Valerie and Ben) so it was great to sit and converse in English.

Cyclists touring I can recommend this accomodation. Good bike storage too. Will put pic up tomorrow of details.

We have an apartment on the top floor of her home that is huge, and includes a washing machine. So instead of hand washing our gear, it has been through the machine.

We went up the street to an Italian restaurant for dinner and I am now ready for bed as it pushes 10 pm.

Another day of adventure awaits tomorrow.

Thanks for reading, stay safe and smile on 😊

Being a goose….that comment is dedicated to Patrick Watson!

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