Category Archives: From St. Nazaire to Arcachon

Rolling down the Vélodysée on the EuroVelo 1 along wonderful beaches, towns and historic places

Cycling day 13-14: From Montalivet to Arcachon

Finally I’ve visited the Dune du Pilat today – as I’ve missed it two years ago.

But let’s start from yesterday…after having a sunny breakfast I’ve been covered by rain and thunder…just half an hour were enough to get everything wet…

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I’ve been cycling along the Atlantic without seeing it as you’re riding through the woods…but I’ve knew this already.
Luckily I’ve asked a Warmshowers couple, Sylvie and Bernard, for a night to stay so we had a great chat of travelling after I’ve met her in the woods coincidentally as she has seen my pic on the blog.

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And…I’m happy having seen this on my cycling computer…in 6 years I’ve been cycling 19.999 km.

This morning I left Sylvie and headed towards the Reserve Ornithologique which I’ve blogged already.
So I came to the famous Dune du Pilat which is the biggest in Europe.

And there I’ve met Detlef, a german guy who lives here in France more than fifteen years, we had a great chat about living in this country and of course the Dune.
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Cycling day 13: On the pilgrims path

Back on the run I had to leave my warmshower friends after Virginie had their accordéon lessons…

It was a relaxed ride to the ferry in Royan I remember from 2013. I met there a dutch couple which on their run to Santiago de Compostella…
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Leaving the ferry I met the two girls who will spent the night at the Warmshowers couple I’ve been…cycling around for ten months… Great! They are also from Munich.
A few kilometers I met a guy I’ve met already in Nantes – so this is a path you’re always crossing again your ways…he is from Britain meeting his daughter tomorrow and cycling down from Cherbourg.
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After having a really short trip – just 60 km – I found my ‘old’ campingsite which I’ve visited 2 years ago on my way to Nice.
And now I’m sitting in the same great restaurant accompanied by cool music and fantastic wines.
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So to all of you – enjoy life, travel, hug your friends and have a good day !
Life can be also short…I’ve had to recognise this while checking my emails yesterday…

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Cycling day 12: Meeting people around the world

So today I had to leave the comfort zone and entering another…but this was nether the less interesting !
I’ve left La Rochelle towards Rochefort as I was looking forward to see the ‘old’ ship ‘Hermionne’ – but as I could find out its at the moment in the new world.

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Afterwards I made a mistake following the EuroVelo 1 which leeds you around a nearby river – but I wanted the use the ‘Trasporteur’ – maybe next time…

But then I met a english couple from Bristol and they are on there way back home via Roscoff – after more than two years.
They’ve seen China, Australia, New Zealand, India and so many other countries you can’t imagine – but now they’re looking forward to get home again.
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Cycling in this county is the completely different than doing it in the Vendée.
They are often signposted ‘after’ the important corners, you can cycle along a motorway, Route National or next to a busy road on a big town…compared to the Vendée it was the difference between day and night.
Also the ground was very often not that solid and nice like the days before…
Perhaps the responsible people should take a lesson in the Vendée – or should be send out without map – could end in a disaster…

But than there was at the end of the day a meeting with some Warmshowers friends where I was allowed to stay one night.
It’s a network for cyclists – like Couchsurfing. So I helped in the garden, Benoît showed me the production of Oysters and in the end we ate about half past 10 – and had really good fun sharing our travel stories…
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So after cycling 95 km also having seen two beavers running over my cyclepath I had a really funny and interesting day…in 7 days this will be my last cycling day…can’t believe it.

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Rest day 2: Exploring La Rochelle

Today I’ve had my second day off, spent a little time at the doctor to check a blood value – but then I’ve visited the Aquarium – absolutely great !

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Dangerous also for visitors 😉

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I’ve also visited the bunker of La Rochelle from the second world war…it wasn’t open to public into the eighties.
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And than I’ve been walking through the old city and found some wonderful shops, for instance this coffee shop which sells organic-fairtrade beans.
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And of course there was the old harbour I was looking at…so tomorrow I’m back on my bike and hope there will be sun…
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Cycling day 11: Back to the continent

This morning I left my old campingsite and had to cross the bridge – nothing if I think back to last year’s crossing from the island Fehmarn (Baltic Sea) with those really strong winds.

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After that I’ve started a perfect cycling day on the Vendée a vélo which you lead through forests and I never would have thought that there are streets – but my gps told me so.

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Rolling down the coast I found again the Bretagne – kind of…it’s a strip of countryside which is like in the northern part of the country…and only a few people.

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Finally the last few kilometres I had to stop so often to take pictures and enjoy the scenery…so I arrived in Les Sables-d’Olonne and got my piece of grass for my tent.

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Cycling day 10: Taking the Passage du Gois

So this morning with bright sunshine I left my beloved St. Brevin-les-pins and headed towards Pornic which is very famous for its old town and harbour.

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After having the obligatory ice-cream I continued the cyclepath along the coast – it remind me on my trip to the Bretagne 3 years ago.

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But than you’ve to enter the countryside again and cycle along canals and so you come to the ‘Vendee’ which is very flat.
The highlight now is the Passage du Gois, where you can cross a path only twice a day for 3 hours – it depends on the tide. But your also can get shells and so many people go there to catch them easily.

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After passing this with dry wheels I cycled half of the island around and my campingsite which I was two years ago…Now as I’m writing the blog I swing in the hammock having had lunch with my gas cooker…perfect day!

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Part two: Cruising along the Atlantic Sea – St. Nazaire to Arcachon

Finally after some problems to download my tracks to the GPS now here comes part two of my journey starting in several days…

First I’ll have a look at my beloved St. Brevin-les-pins where I’ve been already some times starting my cycling trips. The first impressions of the coast and what I’m looking forward – the best bread and ice cream I’ve had on my 19.000 km I’ve been cycling now… The old harbour of Pornic.

Next stop is the Ile d’Noirmoutier with it’s tricky ‘Passage du Gois’ – crossing a 4 km long road to the island – but only by bike when there is low tide 😉

Up now we’ve got the famous beach of Le Sables-d’Olonne where there is a nice camping at the end of the town.

A highlight of this area is of course La Rochelle with it’s old harbour and Marine Museum. Here I’d like to stay the second rest-day, if possible with Couchsurfing or Warmshowers friends.

Going on travelling along the EuroVelo 1 down the south here comes  Rochefort and after the outstanding beach Andrew described on his blog cyclingeurope.org I’ll reach the ferry in Royan to follow an old pilgrims route, the EuroVelo 3 wich comes from Tours crossing the country.

Next Highlight after about 200 km will be the Bassin of Arcachon with it’s famous (but for an vegetarian uninteresting) seafood and shells.

 And here we’ve got the route…


http://www.bikemap.net/en/route/3041417-pts-stnazaire-arcachon

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