Russia to Spain Tour Leg 29 – Dinan to Nantes

I was totally grateful to be hosted by Alain and Martine, they are honestly like my parents, who made me a sandwich to be taken on the road before I left. I will always miss them! Alain rode with me for around 15 km, showing me smaller road to avoid traffic.

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The weather was fine and I had a nice ride passing Rennes. That evening I arrived a little town called Guipry where I found a piece of grassland behind a gas station, nice place to put my tent. It was raining very hard during my sleep, made me a bit worried about the ride tomorrow to Nantes.

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Not surprisingly, the next day it was raining almost the whole day, and I was riding with everything got soaked. Usually I put my mobile phone beside my handle bar in the space of my rolling mat for navigation, it was totally fine with rain before. However, this time I think the rain was too heavy that some water went inside the screen of my smart phone, it was not functioned anymore when I was on the way. Without the phone, I was LOST.

I realized I was relying too much on smartphone to give me direction and locate myself. I only have a tiny compass to direct me towards south, but at some point, the road ends and I had no idea where I am. For almost 1.5 hours I was making circles in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by fields. Finally I found a man to ask for the direction to Nantes, he pointed me to the road which leads to a motorway.

Usually bad things don’t happen as 2 or 3, today 3!
Phone broken
Heavy rain
And here came a puncture

I had a puncture on the motorway, damn! There was no other option but to change the inner tube under heavy rain on a motorway, how weird was that! Cars and trucks passed by and splashed water on my body, I was totally miserable!

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I expected the police would come when I was repairing the tube, it only happened until I finished and started riding again. The 2 policemen was furious at the beginning, saying that I am CRAZY blah blah blah, I kept apologizing and eventually they escorted me to a private road that leads me to Treillières, a little town 15km north of Nantes. I camped one night in the cemetery there, it was a quiet night and I had time to fix the tube and pack slowly.

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I only had to ride to Nantes the next day. Once I arrived there, the first thing I did was looking for buying a second hand phone, don’t go to big shops like Orange or SFSR, their phones are expensive and always tie with a monthly payment. I eventually ended up in a game store where they receive and sell smart phones and tablets, there was a good offer that a smart phone only cost 70 euros. Thanks God that it works well, I am still a technology geek that I feel disconnected with my family and friends without my smartphone.

I really appreciate one thing in Nantes, that is the bike lanes in between the 2 ways of the roads, quite a unique design.

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In the Ile de Nantes (Island), there is an amusement park called Les Machines de I’ile. Inspired by Leonardo de Vinci, you can find attractions with giant animals, the most famous one is this motor elephant. It is good to have a look, but I don’t recommend paying and riding it, better to go to Thailand or India to ride a real one!!

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The castle in Nantes is quite enormous, but in a rainy day it doesn’t look so appealing.

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I like the decoration inside the main cathedral, a bit special from other cathedrals.

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In the evening, I met my hosts Quentin and Clemence, they did some travels in Africa and South America which are quite amazing, and I love their funny video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FO4hY1iiNSE

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I really think that after this trip in France, I would disagree the bad reputation of French people being rude and disrespectful. No!! French people are most quite nice and friendly. When I was waiting outside for my host, a guy came and chatted with me and gave me a lot of information about cycling in that area! Despite their French ascent is a bit hard to understand in the beginning, most of them are quite willing to help! And actually more and more French youngsters can speak good English! They are catching up!

The coming 2 weeks I will discover more in the west and south regions of France and show you their cultures and cuisine, of course their warm hospitality and beautiful scenery!

Dinan to Nantes  175km

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