Plouguerneau, France to Omaha beach, Normandy, France

Day 139 – Thursday 09/09
St.Michel, Plouguerneau to Plouigneau – 83kms Total 7265kms

Got up at 07:00 and were on the road by 09:00. We said goodbye to our nice camping hosts and got underway.
We tried at first to follow the scenic route but soon tired of it so we got on the main road (D10) to St.Pol-de-Leon than SE to Morliax.
We quickly found the tourist office and confirmed that the camping near Plouigneau is open. I think we will need to do this from now on as many camping’s here begin to close from 10 September.
We had to go up a pretty good hill right after Morliax but no problem the four rest days really worked.
Camping here is OK.

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Another great sunrise.

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The Celtic architecture continued.

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On the quiet D 10.

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We’ve seen many of these monuments in this area.

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On the D58 crossing the La Penze.

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Farming in the low tide mud.

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This is artichoke country.

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Chateau de Taureau from the D73.

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On the D73 just before Morlaix.

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Morlaix.

Day 140 – Friday 10/09
Ploigneau to Hillion – 104kms Total 7369kms

Got up slowly and got everything ready. We knew this was going to be a long and difficult day but we still got surprised. It ended up being 104kms of non stop hills with a few reaching 10% or more. They weren’t long but after the 4th or 5th it began to really get to us.
We stayed on the D712 for most of the day. But when we got to St.Brieuc we managed to get lost for a bit.
Nothing much to see following the D712, just a very long straight road running next to the A50 motorway.
Camping at Hillion (camping Belleview) is very basic with a few drunken Frenchman and their families. Almost got lucky and saw a fight between two of them hehe.

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Another great morning. If only we could find a way to get paid for this 🙂

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The view for most of the day.

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More Celtic inspired architecture.

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Looking back and …

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… looking forward. The Monument that Monique is next to is for a group of WWII Marquee who got caught and executed by the Nazis in these woods.

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Just had to take a picture of this sign.

Day 141 – Saturday 11/09
Hillion to St.Lunaire – 67kms Total 7436kms

Another tough day today with many hills. Getting a bit tired of them now. We stayed mostly on D roads but traffic seems to be more chaotic on weekends. We have noticed this throughout France. It seems all the jerks are out of the factories and onto the roads. It’s safer riding on weekdays with the trucks.
Camping here is expensive at 15 euros, but good enough for a night.

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On  Rue de Fonteneau looking back towards Camping Bellevue Mer. Click to view larger.

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On the D34 with Port Dahouet in the distance.

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On the D786 looking at Le Fremur. Click to view larger.

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Low tide on the Le Fremur from the D786 at Saint Briac sur Mer. Monique is looking back at …

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… the bridge we just crossed. Click to view larger.

Day 142 – Sunday 12/09
St.Lunaire to Pontaubault – 72kms Total 7508kms

Good start to the day, clear skies but very windy happily it was almost a tailwind. We went over a couple of hills but eventually got down to sea level and enjoyed a very flat road next to the ocean with fresh ocean air.
We tried to visit the Abby at the Le Mont St.Michel but as we got close it looked like a zoo with tens of tourist busses and hundreds of people so we’ll check it out next time.
Camping here is cheap and basic, good value for money. It also has a great selection of paperbacks.

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Raised bridge and locks on the D168 over the La Rance.

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Looking at St.Malo from the D168.

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The mouth of La Rance from the D168.

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An action shot of Monique and hanging from the rear view mirror is Henri, taken from the infamous French football player that handled the ball in the world cup.

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A wide view of the landscape we rode through today. Click to view larger.

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Finally riding along the sea on the D155 right after Saint Benoit des Ondes.

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First view of Mont Saint Michel in the distance.

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Shame we did not visit this time but the tourist hoards were really thick. But we will be visiting this area again so hopefully it wont be as crowded next time.

Day 143 – Monday 13/09
Pontaubault to Agon Countainville – 86kms Total 7594kms

Last night we got a real surprise from the weather it got down to single digits and we were forced to put on our sweaters and winter caps so we could sleep. Also the camping was a bit noisy from the motorway (or what sounded like a motorway) on one side and trains on the other.
Today was a bit tougher than we first thought. A couple of towns we had to got through were on hilltops and several hills in-between.
The first town of Avraches had many monuments to General Patton. The second town with a tough hill was Granville. After Granville we got on the very busy D971 which got a bit hairy at times until we reached Brehal.
Camping here is OK.

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The General Patton monument at Avranches.

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View of the coast line we’re headed to.

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One last view of Mont Saint Michel for the D911 right after Saint Jean le Thomas.

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Still on the D911 at Granville. I had asked this strange woman to smile while I took her picture.

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We also passed a monument on the Sienne at Pont de la Rogue. The story there is the allies were to bomb this bridge over the La Sienne, to keep the Germans from retreating but after 21 tries and the cost of a Canadian pilot they still failed.

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This evening we went out for diner and enjoyed a lovely sunset on the way.

Day 144 – Tuesday 14/09
Agon Containville to Colleville sur Mer (Omaha beach) – 94kms Total 7688kms

Last night it was blowing real hard, felt like a storm. It started while we were in the restaurant enjoying some delicious mussels, and by the time we got out it was after dark and the wind was blowing pretty hard already. We were very tired so no shower just a quick clean with baby wipes. Late at night I had to get out and tie some extra guy lines as the tent seemed to want to take off.
The wind this morning was still there but it proved to be very good for us as it was a tail wind and we averaged 17kph. As we got nearer to the invasion beaches we started to see many monuments.
Camping at Colleville is pretty good.

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Even with the change of weather we were still in high spirits.

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A very wide angle of the sea on this cold morning. Click to view larger.

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On the D971 after Periers.

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The very impressive world peace statue.

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Located on the D514 near Grandcamp Maisy.

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No comment.

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No comment.

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This area must have been hell during the invasion.

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Many memorials to the Big Red 1. Or the first infantry battalion who were the first ones on the beach. Don’t know them? Check out the first 10 minutes of the film Saving private Ryan.

Day 145 – Wednesday 15/09
Omaha beach – Rest day

Today we visited the large American cemetery at Omaha beach. We also went to see the visitors center were we saw a couple of films from that terrible time.
Later on we rode to the nearest town with a supermarket (Port-en-Bessin-Huppain) and got enough supplies for the rest of the day before heading back to camp.
Later on that afternoon Monique went for a siesta and I sat outside drinking a six pack while watching our little notebook being recharged. Later on our next door neighbor (which happens to be German) came by for a visit. His name is Gunter and he’s traveling alone. A very nice guy and we chatted for a bit before he went down to the beach. Later on that evening he came by and he shared a bottle of wine with us. I have to admit it was a bit strange meeting a German after visiting the American cemetery.

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The 1st infantry division memorial at Omaha beach.

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Click to view larger.

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A panoramic view of Omaha beach just below the 1st infantry memorial. Click to view larger.

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A panoramic view of what the First infantry division saw when they landed. Click to view larger.

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The American cemetery.

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And a fitting statue to remember all the young man that gave their lives so we could enjoy our freedoms today.

This has been a great section of our tour. We would love to cycle along the northern coast of France again, perhaps going the opposite direction. The WWII memorials were nice to see and recommend everyone see them at least once in their lives.

Continue to the last section of this great tour, Omaha beach, France to Maastricht, The Netherlands.