Tuesday, 17 July 2007


Final attempts to dry a load of washing each meant that our suitcases looked smaller to Daryl while he was packing the car, but we’ll let him be impressed, it’s just our little secret. A few hours in the car took us to Redon where we tried to work lunch in around the daily French schedule. Majority of shops close from 12-2 everyday and again around 7, with nothing open Saturday through Monday. It seems that everyday is a hungry day for me, making every day a baguette devouring day. A picture tells a thousand words…although I opted for pizza at lunch. We spent a few more hours scouting town before checking into the first of our Bretagne race headquarters.

We got a workout before our ride in having to lug our bikes and luggage up 5 flights of stairs. On the first level is food, level two showers…where 80% of the time you can catch someone towelling themselves down in the hallway! I feel a bit prudish compared to the French. We’re staying in school dorms so our rooms lack toilets and contain just the one bed. A desk for our laptops and a basin for hand washing has proven them to be worthy of race requirements, despite the lack of a lift... I'm told they don't believe in them here in France! Should I have dodged our 50kg excess allowance??

When it came time to head back to the first floor for a shower Kate claimed she couldn’t go it alone and I understood why when I arrived. The cubicles are small with the door shutting tight leaving little available air. There are two hooks, no shelves and a timer button lasting 10 seconds without variation in water temperature. The positive, we are probably saving water, the negative, having to push the button every 10 seconds! Liz Taylor, my coach, wasn’t lying when she said that it was windy here. Our short ride this afternoon proved that very true. The meals here were better than expected with the choice of some bread, a starter, meal, dessert and fruit all available. Our major concern on arrival had been the lack of security but somehow Michel used his French persuasiveness to have us as the only team with keys to our rooms =)