And so it begins
Woke at 6am and went upstairs to have breakfast. Even though I'd brought my own cereal, it still cost me 6€ for milk and coffee. Up on deck took some great photos of France waking up and then back to the cabin to pack. Still had a while before disembarkation so had a little lie down. Fell asleep again and woken by announcement telling us the vehicle deck was now open. Hurriedly got all my stuff together and trekked to the very back of the ship and down to the bikes where everyone else had already left and they were waiting for me so that they could lower the upper decks. Threw everything on the bike haphazardly and took off up the ramp. Turned brain on and rode on the right.
Found my way straight out of St Malo (pronounced SAMalo) and up towards Cancale. Stopped and repacked the bike and looked at the map. Mont St Michel is not far so I can afford to take my time and find some backroads. As per usual, I got completely lost and found a divine little road along the beachside and cruised past some old windmills.
Got to Mont St Michel around 11am, realising I had lost an hour from GMT. I'd already decided to "do" the Mont tomorrow so I could get an early start and hopefully avoid the bulk of the crowds. Rode down towards the camping ground that I had previous looked up on the net but not booked. The whole area was organised chaos with a heap of construction going on, the causeway full of diggers and cranes, St Aubert closed off by boomgates and parking nazis who were directing the many many buses, campervans and cars into the enormous brand new carpark.
I asked one of the nazis how to get to the camping area within La Caserne and he asked if I had a reservation. I stupidly said no and he turned me away and directed me back to Beauvoir, 4km back down the road.
I found the caravan park easily and set up my tent. The owners were very helpful with information and directions in English.
After a lunch of reheated frozen quiche, I went back to finish organising the campsite. Just as I finished pumping up the airbed, the first sprinkles of rain hit. Nothing to do but lay down for 5 minutes and wait for the storm to pass. Three hours later I woke up slowly roasting, the storm had passed and the sun had come back with a vengeance.
I wandered back through the township and stumbled on the canalside walk. The Mont was visible so I set off down the path. 4km later it didn't feel like I had made any headway but I needed the exercise. It was a pretty walk and I bumped into a few locals along the way. When I reached La Caserne it was just a mess of tourists and buses and empty restaurants. It was a very artificial, soulless place with a great view. I found the camp ground which was mostly empty (so I didn't need a reservation after all) but I'm happy with the site where I am. 4km walk back to Beauvoir and I found a divine restaurant where the delightful waitress did her very best in polite English. I am warming to the French once again.
I had a scrumptious crepe with ham, egg and cheese and then thought I had ordered a chocolate crepe for dessert but you'll have to look at the pictures to see what I actually got.