Monday, 24 October 2016

Friday: 30. 09. 2016            Ares – Parentis en Bourn      (89kms)

This very splendid house of last evening produced, not unexpectedly, a very splendid breakfast to which I could not really do justice. I was joined, during my repast, by monsieur, who was quite charming and a retired professional cyclist. Our very enjoyable conversation and debate ranged over many and varied subjects stretching my knowledge of the French language to a challenging level. In view of my pathetic appetite, madame insisted on packing up cakes for elevenses, which at eleven o’clock were very welcome.
I picked up my route, from which I had slightly deviated, with no problems. There were more cyclists out and about today, most notably a ‘lady’ on a sit up and beg bike, who looked as though she was sucking on several lemons. My ‘bonjour’ was entirely ineffectual at eliciting a response; in another kilometre I passed what must have been her twin closely followed by someone who could only have been the brother! Such sad faces!
Soon after, I arrived in Biganos – a town to be avoided. It hosts a massive factory of indeterminate production. Whatever it does produce, appears to require the belching of thoroughly unpleasant smelling ‘smoke’ from numerous chimneys. A horrible and wide ranging pong. Ugh!
I misplaced myself just before La Teste de Buch but was put right by the inevitable kindly couple.
Now, my map showed lots of arrows indicating ups and downs but not all of them! Someone had told me that they were ‘only dunes’. Don’t be fooled – they were very big dunes! Having gasped my way over them, I took to the road to avoid the plethora of car parks and their accompanying sand and cars. That worked well.

At Biscarrose Plage, I had already decided against the up and over route as it had double arrows marked on my map. I cannot even push my bike and Sherman up double arrows (more than 20 percent!) so I took the alternative route on the road: still lots of up and down but not as steep. Having saved that smidgin of energy, I ignored the inviting looking hotels in Biscarrose and continued to Parentis en Born. A sad little place but a decent enough hotel and lock up for the bike (not entirely convinced about the efficacy of the locked doors). Expecting breakfast at eight o’clock was, however, a step too far but there is always a boulangerie. 

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