It was really sad to leave Pontorson and the many new acquaintances that we made there. But it was time to move on to the next destination, Cancale on Brittany’s Emerald Coast. I was really excited to head out this morning, as I knew that the first part of the itinerary would be flat, and that the only hills would be as we neared Cancale.
So we headed out for the wonderful Pontorson greenway, except instead of heading for Mont Saint Michel, we turned off the greenway after about 4 km and headed west. As we turned off the path and crossed a small bridge, we entered Brittany for the first time. We now began following signs for the Petit Tour de Manche which would guide us to Saint Malo over the next couple of days.
For about the next 10 km, the bike path was a car free, well signposted gravel and packed dirt route. Despite the fact that we were bicycling away from the imposing Mont, it still peeked in and out of view all morning. Every time I thought it would be my last time to see it, I’d snap a photo, only to have it reappear again.
Soon the greenway ended, and the Petit Tour de Manche continued on quiet shared roads, mostly used by agricultural machines busy with the late summer harvest. Other than an occasional truck, we had the pathway all to ourselves. It was a beautiful day for cycling and the road conditions were perfect.
Almost before we knew it, we were cycling along the coast and we were treated to views that were spectacular. We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to stop for a second cup of coffee, and I celebrated the great day with my first Cornetto of the trip. Perfection!
Once we reached the coastal highway, the bicycle route was on busier shared highways, but luckily the traffic wasn’t that busy. I would not want to bike this section on a weekend or earlier in August when the French are on holiday. As far as scenery is concerned, it doesn’t get any better than today. Bicycling along the coastal highway was a real treat for the eyes.
Then came the part of the day I had dreaded, the hills going into Cancale. After looking at the elevation notes online, I was worried as the graphic made it look like Tour de France level hills. Great news, the hills weren’t nearly as bad as those we rode earlier in the week. And the payoff was my first views of Cancale as we descended towards the harbor.
This has been a spectacular day of cycling in Brittany. I can’t wait to explore the town and area around Cancale further tomorrow!