Once again I woke up under a cloudy sky and as I was preparing my stuff to depart it started raining. Not much, but just enough to get my tent wet. I packed it anyway, had my banana and started my daily ride, hoping to cover a good distance.
The coastal road was just amazing. The sea on the left, endless farms on the right and the clouds above slowly dissapearing to reveal a nice blue sky and the sun which would help dry my cloths on the bike.
Only a few kilometers on the way and I stoped at the first german bunker, overlooking the sea. It had a few holes on its wall, making it obvious that there was once a big fight there. Continuing down the coast, I saw more and more of similar structures, some deserted, others converted to something useful by locals.
The coastal road, as well as all the near by ones, were dedicated to all the dead soldiers that fought during D-day, so every half a kilometer there was a marking with a name and its rank. A few more kilometers to the south and I got to Utah beach, where the majority of the American troops landed. There was a big memorial, a few tanks, a museum and a very nice beach that French people were enjoying.
I was getting hungry and as I denied to pay for a sandwich at the tourist price, I moved on the the mainland. The first town I met was Ste-Marle Dumont, which was one of the first to be liberated after the invasion. It had a nice church where apparently the soldiers spent a night there and a couple of small museums, one of which I visited.
I then bought a buguette/sandwitch which I straped to the bike and left the town. A couple of kilometers down the road, I found an ideal place to consume it and also unpack the tent and let it dry properly. I tried to have a siesta but it was rather too hot.
The next city on the way was Carentan. By the time I got there, I had only done 30 kilometers and I was feeling like doing a lot more. But unfortunately I hadn’t thought about where to go next and I was debating whether to continue on the D-day beaches on the east or start making my way to the south. I visited the local tourist information office and I found out there aren’t many camp sites in the mainland. I went to the nearby cafe, which had wifi, to think and decide what to do next. I ended up spending three hours in there, which didn’t left me with any other option other than spending the night there. I decided to go south next day, via some dedicated cycle paths.
After I got my internet fix and updated the blog, I went to the local camp site which is the best I’ve been so far and for only 5â‚¬ it is a total bargain. As I was trying to choose a spot to pitch the tent, I noticed a couple that I saw earlier in the day on their bikes, preparing their dinner. Without much thinking the girl approached me and invited me to dine with them, which of course I couldn’t turn down. Christof and Stephane are German and started their cycle tour from the west edge of Brittany two weeks ago and they are planning to get to Caen by Sunday. We exchanged experiences over our maps and they gave me loads of tips and advices as they were more experience than me. After we had the noodles they cooked on the spot, we went into to town to have some desert. I already had an ice cream that day and I felt a little bad having that amazing chocolate cake as I only did 30km that day. But I guess I can burn these extra calories the day after.