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TOURING DEPARTMENT - DOC 5

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									                   TOURING DEPARTMENT


 ST MALO TO BORDEAUX
                      July & August 1989

Notes compiled by Elizabeth Wagstaff.

Distance
722 miles: this was the figure on the bike computer so sightseeing
diversions were included.

Maps
We used IGN Map 105 and Michelin Maps 67, 71, 75, 78 & 79.
(Michelin Map 230 could be used instead of IGN Map 105).

Tour Details                                                                     Update 1993: Motorail services no longer carry cycles. For details of
The trip was 18 days in France. We took the overnight ferry Portsmouth           services on which you can travel with a cycle between Bordeaux and
to St Malo. Returned with couchettes on the Motorail Bordeaux to                 one of the ferry ports, contact French Railways, or see information
Boulogne, then ferry to Dover.                                                   available from Touring Department on this subject.

                                                                                 There were three of us, my two daughters aged 18 and 16 and myself.


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Across Brittany rolling countryside, pleasant woods and valleys. Vendee               ROUTE
- low hills, quiet. Marias Poitevin - tiny roads along river banks and
canals, very attractive for cycling. Flat all down the coast, pine forests            Day 1
from Marennes south. Rolling countryside, south of Bordeaux,                          St Malo (the old city is worth seeing, turn left from ferry terminal - well
vineyards, crossing the Garonne & the Dordogne. Cycle paths - quite a                 sign posted). Leave St Malo by N137 going south, soon turn right (west)
number between Pointe de Grave and Cap Ferret, mostly narrow                          to cross la Rance (large estuary) in direction of Dinard. Very soon turn
concrete, some in a bad state of repair, some excellent. We went                      left (south) on D114 then D12, and into Dinan, scenic approach along
second half of July and first days of August, rather too hot. Roads a bit             river and then up a hill. (Good views from walls of Dinan, also from
busy near coast. We found it difficult to get onto the bridge over the                clock tower). Continue on D12 to Plouasne.
Loire at St. Nazaire, only major roads - cyclists forbidden; best to go in            45 miles
general direction of bridge on minor roads (ignoring signs to bridge)
then possible to get on bridge at toll. No charge for cyclists. Ile de Ré,            Hotel: La Petit DÔtellerine (good).
no toll for cyclists (1993). Major roads and traffic a problem getting into
Bordeaux.                                                                             Day 2
                                                                                      Leave Plouasne by D25 west, soon turn left south on D61. Just after
Accommodation                                                                         Iffendic bear right still south on D61. Soon after St Peran turn right (D40
Two excellent gîte d'étapes in Brittany. They both had good sign posts                west) in direction of Paimpont. A tourist map of The Forest of
to them. If writing: gîte d'étapes and then the name of the village should            Broceliande (associated with Knights of Round Table) can be obtained
be okay. Both were empty when we were there. In fact, there are about                 from syndicat d'initiative in Paimpont. Attractive forest with many tracks,
6 gîte d'étapes in the Paimpont area. None were available along coast.                abbey in Paimpont. 47 miles, includes tour in Forest.
Chambre d'hôtes and logis inns good on the whole, a bit variable.
                                                                                      Gîte d'étape between Trédéal and Trudeau has a campsite.
Farms, we always had bed and breakfast and evening meal, though the
latter is optional. We booked just about all our accommodation in                     Day 3
advance. The hotels wanted deposits (euro cheque), the farms didn't.                  From Paimpont take D773 south east. At N24 turn right (west) then left
Along the coast in July and August booking would be advisable, inland                 back onto D773. After la Gacilly bear right (still south) to Glenac. Turn
not so essential. The gîte d'étape at Trudeau had a campsite and the                  right (west) on D149. At crossroads turn left (south) over canal turn left
farms at Saint-Sulpice-de-Royan and Beychac-et-Caillau. Any                           again (southeast) to St VincentsurOust. Take D764 (south east) then
accommodation recommendations are included with the route below.                      D65 to Redon (church with separate spire). Go south on D20 then turn
                                                                                      left (south) on to D114 to Rieux. A bit hilly, but pleasant countryside.
Ferries                                                                               45 miles
Royan across Gironde regular service, I think no charge for bikes;
across Arcachon Basin regular service Cap Ferret to Arcachon 15FF for                 Gîte d'étape on the D114 just south east of Rieux (8km south of
bikes.                                                                                Redon).

We found The Féderation Française de Cyclotourisme very helpful for                   Day 4
the rest of the route. They sent us various randonnées free of charge,                (Scenic detour) Retrace route (north on D114) cross D20 on D114, then
which we joined together and adapted.                                                 turn left onto D153, (west), then turn right on to D21 going north west,
                                                                                      then west, follow line of river Arz to Rochefort-en-Terre (very attractive
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town with church). Go south on D774 to Limerzel, turn left on D136 to                 53 miles.
Caden. Take D21 south to D20 turn right (west), then turn left (south)
on D148. At Marzan turn south east to la RocheBernard. (Views from                    Day 9
high bridge). Take D34 (east) then turn right (south east) to Missillac.              Retrace route to Damvix cross river, take tiny roads along river bank
49 miles.                                                                             going west until meeting D116, turn left (south west). In La Ronde turn
                                                                                      right (north west) on D116E3 to Taugon. Turn left (south) D109 at first
Day 5                                                                                 crossroads turn right (west) on D262El. At junction turn left to cross
Take D2 (south west) to L'Angle-Bertho, then D50 south across                         canal, immediately turn right (west) to follow canal on D262 to Marans.
marshes. Detour to Ile de Fédrun (Museums of life on marshes). D50                    Cross N137 take D105 (west). Then turn left (south) along D9.
then D971 to Pont de St. Nazaire. Cycles forbidden on main approach                   Excellent B & B farm at Puilboreau, just north east of La Rochelle. 2
road to bridge, take cycle paths, then minor road, get onto bridge at toll.           nights here. 46 miles.
No charge. Go south on D213, turn left (east) on D5 then left (east)
D58. Turn right (south) D211 to Brains then D11 to Bouaye.                            Paulette & Renée Valin, La Vallee, 12 rue de la Belle Etoile, 17138
56 miles.                                                                             Puilboreau, Charente-Maritime. Tel. 46 68 01 43.

Day 6                                                                                 Day 10
Rest day sightseeing in Nantes. Church and chateau.                                   Sightseeing in La Rochelle, lots to see, beautiful historical town. Cycle
                                                                                      to Ile de Ré over bridge. Toll. Ignore signs to Ile de Ré, very unpleasant
Day 7                                                                                 major road. Go west on minor roads (to south of major road), eventually
Leave Bouaye by D85. Then D12 going east till D937 (main road) going                  cycle path leads to and over bridge. Good bathing beaches on island.
south. Turn left (east) along D62 to Bignon. Then south along D57, then               26 miles.
south east and onto D84A. At junction D753 turn left (east) into
Montaigu. Take D23 south east to Les Herbiers. Take D755 towards St.                  Day 11
MichelMontMercure, after 7.5km turn right (south) at crossroads on                    From Puilboreau go east, then south, crossing Nll and over river to
D79. Attractive Vendee hills. 51 miles.                                               Villeneuve. Take D108 going south east, then D204E to Aigrefeuille-
                                                                                      D'Aunis. Take D5 south to Rochefort. Pleasant square. Take D733
Excellent B & B farm at La Bonnelière - Françoise et Gaston Retailleau,               going south over river. Turn right (west) on 238El to Soubise. Take D3
La Bonnelière, 85700 St.Michel-Mont Mercure, Vendée. Tel. 51 57 21                    south west over salt marshes to Brouage, ancient walled village.
90.                                                                                   Continue on D3 to D26, turn right (west). Turn right for Bourcefranc-le-
                                                                                      Chapus. Pretty harbour. Oyster museum accessible at low tide.
Day 8                                                                                 43 miles.
Go south on D79 to Le Boupère, then south east on D13 and D113 to
meet D752. Go south, cross D949, continue south on D67 then D89.                      Good hotel Hôtel Le Terminus, Le Port, BourcefrancleChapus 17560,
Cross D938 go south east on D31 to Vouvant, continue (D99) to                         CharenteMaritime. Tel. 46 85 02 42.
Mervent. Picturesque with woods and lake. Join D65 to Fontenay-le-
Comte going south west. Take D23 south to Maillezais. (Abbey). Take                   Day 12 From Bourcefranc retrace route to D728. Go east, very soon
D15 south west, at crossroads (4.5 km) turn left D25 (east). In 3.5 km                turn right (south west) on little road, make for coast. Follow coast south,
turn right (south) to Damvix, cross river, go south east to Arcais. Lovely            at junction with main road turn right (south) over bridge. Take first right
area, tiny roads along canals through marshes. Boats for hire.                        (north west) D25. Take cycle track through forest to beaches. Good
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bathing. Continue south on D25. Bear left on D141 (east). Turn left                  turn right (south) on D108E3 to Lugos. Turn left (east) D110 to Belin-
(north) at cross roads on D140E2. Take first right D140 (east) to St.                Beliet. B & B.
SulpicedeRoyan. Good B & B at farm 3 kms north. 34 miles.                            36 miles.

Christian & Claudette Gobin, Les Mêtairies, 17200 St. Sulpice-de-                    Chambres d'hôte, 33830 Belin-Beliet, Gironde. Tel. 56 88 19 28. Good
Royan, Charente-Maritime. Tel. 46 39 14 12.                                          room, food poor.

Day 13                                                                               Day 16
Take D733 south to Royan. Follow signs to ferry, cross Gironde to                    From Belin-Beliet go east on D110 to Hostens, then Louchats. Then
Pointe de Grave (Ferries go all the time). Take cycle track (a right turn)           D115 north east to Guillos, D125 to Landiras. Then north east on Dll
through forest to Soulac-sur-Mer. Take road south to Hourtin-Plage.                  cross over motorway, take D117E2 to Cadillac (old walled town). Cross
From here cycle track goes south to Carcans-Plage, attractive through                Garonne. Take Dll through rolling countryside, many vineyards, bear
forest. Rather narrow cement path, broken in places. Good bathing -                  right on D231 to Arbis, then Dl9 to Branne on the Dordogne.
waves.                                                                               51 miles.
47 miles.
                                                                                     Hôtel de France, 9 à place du Marche, 33420 Branne, Gironde. Tel. 57
Hotel de l'Ocean, 33121 Carcans Ocean, Gironde. Tel. 56 03 31 13.                    84 50 06 (Good).
Quite good, slow service.
                                                                                     Day 17
Day 14                                                                               Cross Dordogne, bear left (north) on D122 to St Emilion. MarveLlous
From Carcans-Plage go east on D207 to Maubuisson. Largest lake in                    medieval walled town with church in rock and catacombs. Stands on
France, worth seeing. Slightly retrace route, take cycle track on left               escarpment. Leave St Emilion on D243 going west to Libourne. Cross
through Nature Reserve, an excellent contoured path to Le Moutchic.                  Dordogne. Avoid main road by turning left (south) and taking winding
From here we went south (to west of Lake Lacanau) to Le Porge. Then                  roads D128, D18, D20; turn right (west) at St GermainduPuch to
on D3 (busy) south to Lège, then west on D106E3 to Grand Crohot                      Caillou. B & B farm just north of N89.
Océan. Might be better to use cycle tracks between LacanauOcean and                  29 miles
Grand Crochot (state of tracks uncertain). From Grand Crohot very
good cycle track south to Cap Ferret. Passenger ferry (takes bikes)                  Anne-Marie & Rene Bord, Sortie La Barrade, 33750 Beychac-et-Caillau,
across to Arcachon, goes frequently. Very scenic, good bathing.                      Gironde. Tel. 56 72 96 22. Quite good, simple.
45 miles.
                                                                                     Day 18
Good hotel - Hôtel StChristand, 8 Allee de la Chapelle, 33120 Arcachon               Go south under N89 on D13 to Pompignac, then D241 west to
Gironde, Tel. 56 83 38 53.                                                           Bordeaux. Pont de Pierre has a cycle track. Quite a lot to see.
                                                                                     20 miles
Day 15
From Arcachon take D218 south by the coast. Must see largest sand
dune in Europe on right at Pilat. Continue south, very soon turn left
through forest (east). Throuqh Caudos on D108. Approaching Salles

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