Travel diary : Vannes-Orgeval

Hi everyone,

We have been back on the roads since the beginning of October and have just arrived near Paris, in the Yvelines department. Here is our travel diary from the past few weeks.

The arrival at the sea near Saint-Brieuc (on the left) and the hurricane Ophelia passing over Brittany, leaving a yellow darkened sky (on the right)

We first crossed Brittany right in the middle, heading to the north coast near Saint-Brieuc. As soon as the first days passed, we quickly realized that our long stop in Vannes had brought us to shorter days. The sun gets rare and lower in the sky, the energy production decreases each day and we have to adapt our rhythm. And having reached our objective to be in Nantes in time to see the Energy Observer and their team (cf Travel diary: Agen-Vannes), we can slow down a bit to find a rhythm that better suits us.

We followed the coast with the Mont Saint-Michel in the background during several km, such a beautiful view !

We settled a limit at 60-70km/day, versus 100km/day earlier during our trip from Agen to Nantes. That may seem a little difference compared to what you can do by car, but it makes a significant change for us and it considerably changed our perception of the journey ! We realized during the first part of the trip how much the simple fact to give ourselves an objective of distance to make each day is not really compatible with our vision of travelling by bike, and even less with the objectives we have in that project : to take the time to meet people, to discuss, to answer every opportunity that arises, etc. in brief, to make each moment of this project useful and interesting, no matter the time it will take. New objectives, new rhythm, new relation to time, or at least to the time we dedicate to travelling and to others. We know more or less where we’re going, but we know neither when we will arrive nor by which way !

Our itinerary keeps evolving each day, allowing us to meet very different people, sharing with them some stories and adventures, but also very diverse visons of the world. We sometimes get to take out the tent here and there but quite rarely in the end, and mostly to put it in the garden of someone we’ve been discussing with earlier. Many people offered us to stay at their place and shared a meal. We thank them a thousand times, as well as all the others who proposed us too but whom we couldn’t visit !

We will espacially remember our encounter with Jean-Claude and Jeannine who let us repair our puncture in their garage, sheltered from the rain, and offered us a roof and a hot meal, what an incredible evening 🙂

The roads all along the coasts of Brittany and Normandy gave us some really amazing views and landscapes that quickly erase the difficulties of the rainy and climbing days, while the nice people we meet allow us to benefit from the stops that the sun sometimes imposes on us to discuss and provide animations in schools and local events.

Stopping in a school in Brittany (on the left) and in a local event about Housing and Sustainable Development in Bolbec (on the right)

Many thanks to Stephane for escorting us ! 🙂

By correctly managing our energy consumption and our rhythm we arrived without any major issue to the Normandy bridge, which we crossed safely thanks to a service car escorting us, and then to Rouen and finally Orgeval where we have stopped for a few days. And all that in complete autonomy, without ever charging our batteries on the grid (yes many people keep asking but no we didn’t even take a charger with us, our batteries are charged only with the sun 😉 ).

The difference between the calm of the campaigns and the effervescence of the biggest cities is even more impressive when travelling by bike. We feel it on different levels : on the roads with people being more or less pressing of course, but also and mostly in how much available and curious people are, their openness and the deepness of the encounters we make randomly. We can’t wait to see other regions and environments !

White frost in the morning, after a hard climb we managed to get over the mist that was covering the whole Seine valley…

We are now going to hit the road again, heading for Chartres and then Mâcon and Lyon while stopping in Orléans, among others. Of course, you got it now, our itinerary is just a forecast and will quickly change with our next encounters, so if you want to meet up somewhere don’t hesitate to contact us 🙂 We don’t stop a lot in big cities where it’s less pleasant for us but we can pass through during the day !

And one last thing : we added a link “Where are we ?” in the menu like in the photo hereabove. It will lead you to our RouteYou page where you can see our itinerary in France and which we will try to keep up to date as often as possible. And to see the latest news, you can go to the “Reactions” part on the right 😉

See you later !


SolaR’hythm Team