To Barfleur (elevenses), St-Vaast-la-Hogue (lunch), and Valognes (aperatif)
There was damp in the air but this made no difference to the Fridays riders on their first full day in Normandy. And what a way to begin! Gordon led me to the boulangerie in Brix so that we could obtain breakfast supplies from the legend that is Madame.
But the real business of the day started when he led the gîtists back to the château for the gathering that was to become the ride to Barfleur.
I can do no better than borrow from Martin’s CycleChat thoughts recorded on the day itself: “Great day. A few spots of rain but not enough to get the gear on for. Coffee in Barfleur. Fish and chips in st huge le vaaast (other spellings are available); some had fresh oysters to boot. Others had crêpes. Return was through idyllic lanes. As you do. The Splittist Tendency of The Fridays International Brigade went off in search of Calvados on the return. The Orthodox Front returned direct to Le Chateau.”
Yep, I had the fish & chips – accompanied by cider (a first) and preceded by half-a-dozen fresh oysters (another first). Our fellow gîtists, Andy and Jo, got stranded on the far side of the harbour when the bridge opened; my, how we laughed!
And yes, I was a member of The Splittist Tndency – a small select group who lingered in Valognes for calvados and cider. Valognes is pretty quiet on a Sunday afternoon and we had difficulty finding a bar. I resorted to asking people on the pavement. The first family were Dutch and also looking for a bar – an ice cream bar – to satisfy their young son. No mistake with the second group; one gentleman looked quite drunk already. Oh yes, he replied, there are two bars open; the one at the station is always open; but, nearer, you will find La Civette. I learned that you do not ask for “un calvados” but rather “un calva”!
Back eventually to the gîte and a marvellous chilli pasta, cooked by Jo and Andy.
Route for the day here. Today’s mileage = 60. Cumulative mileage = 109.