You always have to be careful with alternative routes…
We read on the Velodyssey site that the 1km bridge over the Seudre river was dangerous, with the cycle route narrow and separated from fast traffic only by some very low blocks. We also read about the alternative of taking the passenger boat over the Seudre from La Cayenne to La Tremblade. And so we duly cycled 5km through utterly ugly oyster farms (a tourist attraction, we couldn’t believe it) down to the port … to find the boat wasn’t running today. So 5km back up through the utterly ugly oyster farms and we arrived on the bridge, dangerous as described, with nearly 15 unnecessary km already on the clock. Hrmphhh.
Once we’d passed the very tacky tourist town of Ronce les Bains the cycle path improved and flowed through some very lovely forest behind sand dunes.
There were hundreds of cyclists enjoying the trail, though notably few tourers (no panniers). Apparently 10 years ago France had almost no cycle paths; now they are everywhere and very heavily used. Everyone goes on holiday with bikes on the back of their car or campervan, great to see.
A little before La Palmyre we climbed the sand dunes to see why hundreds of cars had parked alongside the bike path.
Tom recently reached 300 stickers for great team work and good behaviour and chose La Palmyre Zoo for his reward. Lucky Mum got to accompany him. Tom will blog about his day out, but Helen needs to share the story of how she watched a young polar bear swimming and doing back flips in the water for half an hour. Staggeringly beautiful and right up there with the best moments in her life.