Epic European Cycle : 2015-05-18 : La Véloscénie to Ducey

Type Name Description Service Provider Cost Kms To Date Total Notes Actions
Cycle La Véloscénie Mortain / St-Hilaire-du-Harcouët $0.00 0.00 0.00 14.9km
Cycle La Véloscénie St-Hilaire-du-Harcouët / Ducey $0.00 34.00 34.00 Day 9: 19km: Total 372km
Type Name Service Provider Confirmation Location Cost Notes Actions
Hotel Auberge de la Sélune Random walk-in Ducey $110.00

Trip Log

Notes Actions
We went to bed last night while the sun was still up. We were in the tent and it was so warm that neither of us could conceive of having to get into our sleeping bags. During the night that changed... boy did it change. We woke up cold and we've been cold pretty much all day. We rode only as far as Ducey. It was cold, at times drizzly, and sometimes windy. I was weak and wimpy from the big cycling day yesterday. The forecast for the next couple of days looks even rainier. Ugh.
The more tired I am, the less I feel like speaking French. I am completely exhausted right now. I don't remember ever being this tired before. Wow!
Note from Brent: Our campsite was practically in the middle of town and I thought that there would be lots of light for us to find our way around the campground after dark but, no. I'd forgotten that European cities don't leave the lights burning all night as North American cities do. (Quite wise, really). After dark the sky was a blaze of stars, very pretty without light pollution to interfere.
Note from Brent: Getting back to Mortain; it isn't really on the Veloscenie route but the route passes nearby. We were getting near the end of a longish day of riding and Mortain was shown on the map as having good facilities and being only about 3 Km off the rail-trail so we turned and started to climb. But first a bit about topography: The land that we have been travelling through since leaving Paris has been mostly rolling farm land crossed by hundreds of slow-moving streams. We cross at least 20 every day and I have been at a bit of a loss as to where all of the water is coming from. The land is very green and reminds me most of the lower Fraser Valley. The streams are mostly small (1 or 2 feet wide) to medium (8 or 12 feet) and flow along nicely from low hills, but until today we really hadn't seen any rain since we left Paris. Mortian is on a sizable hill, and quite steep. The map we have shows a cycle route going passed the town then looping around behind and coming in from the opposite side. Unfortunately it's not very detailed. We met a nice lady who didn't speak much English and managed to get her to understand that we were looking for a camp site. She stood silently for 2 or 3 minutes, I could see her brain working. She gave us a couple of sentences in pretty good English that helped us along our way. I think it was all of the English that she could muster. A bit later, when the bike trail diverged from the roadway, and our map showed one direction while the road sign showed another, we met a man who spoke no English at all. He was more than happy to talk to us and talk to us and talk to us. However he did eventually point in the direction of the bike trail as being the right way to go to Mortain. We passed through Romagny, which is really only about a kilometre from Mortain and biked about 3 K's to town. The 2 towns are on opposite sides of a very steep gorge and although there is a road that links them, few people are stupid enough to try it on a bike. I saw one sign advertising a 20% grade.
Note from Brent: Directly below the campsite are Le Grande Cascade and Le Petit Cascade. Rhonda and I walked down the steep path to check them out. Le Grande Cascade is on the larger of two creeks that come together in the gorge. The creek is only about 6 feet wide and was dammed at one time to provide a mill-pond for some sort of factory. The stone- and earth-works are still there, as are portions of the flood gates, but the system is no longer used and much of the mill-pond looks to have been silted in and grown over. About 30 feet down stream from the dam the smaller stream joins in. It's small enough to step across but Oh So Magical. There is a tiny dale surrounded by towering stone cliffs. Walk up stream about 100 feet and and the steam curves, there are a series of waterfalls, stone cliffs covered with flowering plants. All so different from the rolling farm land that we've been travelling through and so tiny that Rhonda and I both thought that it looked more like a movie set than something real and living. That little unexpected view of Le Petit Cascade made the side trip worth it. Everything else was a happy extra.