145.Day: Break Day: Nantes

10th of October 2018:

Together with Nadine and Katja we walked along a green line, which leads tourists passed most of the cities attractions. Partly, the line was not visible anymore or we were focused too much on our conversations and therefore had to find our way back. After visiting the castle of Nantes, we went to a small restaurant and communicated with amusing gestures and new creations of French words with the service staff. One of the main attractions are “les machines de l’île», which contain a 12 meter high and 40 tons heavy elephant. This impressive elephant can transport up to 50 people and spit water through its trunk. At the old port area in the middle of the island of Nantes, we met our hosts and admired the colorful sunset.

144.Day: La Sel-de-Bretagne-Nantes

9th of October 2018:

We cycled the last 100 kilometers to Nantes with temperatures clearly higher than 20 degrees and used sun protection for the first time in a while. Already before we reached the sixth largest city of France, we joined the cycling paths and therefore avoided the busy roads during the rush hour. In the evening, we were welcomed warmly by Marine and Asael in their home. Immediately, we liked the young couple a lot and enjoyed the dinner together.

143.Day: La Caserne-La Sel-de-Bretagne

8th of October 2018:

We woke up rather late, enjoyed breakfast in the warm sun, and started the sporty part of the day only after noon. On the quite flat and qualitatively good roads, in comparison to the UK and Ireland, we reached Rennes relatively fast. The small city surprised us with its many old buildings with beautiful timber framing constructions in the center. Even tough, we set our watches one hour back since we arrived in France; the sunset was still at the same time, thanks to the more southern location.

142.Day: St.Malo-La Caserne

7th of October 2018:

Shortly after 8 am, we reached the port of St.Malo and visited the old town including the city walls by foot. The city was still asleep and we were fascinated extraordinary. Therefore, we soon started cycling along the coast towards Mont Saint Michel. Since the tidal range in this area can be up to 12 meters and hence one of the highest in the world, it was almost impossible to see the ocean. Shortly after noon, we reached the village La Caserne from which the island was accessible the easiest. Because the targeted campground was closed since couple of days due to the end of the season, we had to find an alternative close by. We asked the owner of a small, closed hotel, if we could pitch our tent somewhere. After a short thinking stage, she showed us the garden with a perfect view on the monastery, where we were allowed to stay for one night. In the afternoon, we visited the monastery on Mont Saint Michel and strolled through the narrow alleys of the impressive island.

141.Day: Break Day: Hayling Island

6th of October 2018:

We woke up to quite bad weather and therefore we ate breakfast in one tent altogether and exchanged news from home. In the afternoon, we cycled the last few kilometer until the ferry port, waited in the terminal and cooked our dinner. In the huge ferry, we had our last English beer and slept with our air mattresses in the aisle.

140.Day: Swallowfield-Hayling Island

5th of October 2018:

Shortly before we started cycling, we wanted to rinse our dishes and fill our water bottles. Therefore, we rang on the door of the famer, who provided a spot for our tent. We had a conversation with Andy the farmer and his brother Rod and discussed about our journey and a potential development of the Brexit.

After the lovely conversation, we pedaled towards Portsmouth, supported by perfect autumn weather and warm temperatures. During an exceptional short lunch break, we strengthen ourselves with diverse snacks and an energy drink, called Collossus, which was produced with an infinite amount of chemicals and gave our bodies a humungous energy boost. The last few kilometers, we cycled through rural regions and the South Downs national park, which impressed us due to the beautiful forest covered with all autumn colors. In Hayling Island, not far from the ferry port in Portsmouth, we found a nicely located campground close to the coast. In the evening, we met Nadine and Katja and enjoyed our last meal in an English Pub.

139.Day: Newport Pagnell-Swallowfield

4th of October 2018:

When we left Milto Keynes, we passed minimum ten roundabouts and we almost got dizzy. Later, we closed our loop through Ireland and the UK shortly before Reading, were we passed the exact same spot approximately 45 days ago. Back then, we were cycling from London to Oxford. Thanks to the flexibility of a farmer, we were allowed to pitch our tent directly next to two huge piles of hay bales.

138.Day: Hinckley-Newport Pagnell

3rd of October 2018:

Today’s destination was a town close to Milton Keynes. Our friend Inês lives there with her boyfriend and offered us a place to sleep when we pass by.

The weather today was warm and sunny and we could cycle with T-shirts and shorts for the first time in a while. When we arrived in Newport Pagnell, we were happy to reach the 8’000km limit and were spoiled with good food cooked by Inês. After dinner, we met in one of the many local pubs for a beer with Nadine and Katja.

137.Day: Manchester-Hinckley

2nd of October 2018:

After saying goodbye to Hannah, we pedaled along the canal and slowly out of the conurbation of Manchester. Because of relatively flat terrain in comparison to the last few days and an ideal wind direction, we covered almost 90km before the lunch break. Until we reached our overnight destination, we cycled close to 150km and therefore beat our previous Cape2Cape record.

136.Day: Break Day: Manchester

1st of October 2018:

After an extensive and sweet breakfast, we visited the Museum of Science and Industry, which is devoted to the development of science, technology and industry in Manchester. In the textile industry, Manchester played a key role in England and counted as the most important industrial center in the World during the 19th century. The first commercial railway in the World was between Manchester and Liverpool and in Manchester; there was the first warehouse next to a train station.

Afterwards, we walked through the canal system and discovered many brick buildings in the rather calm city center. We had to search for quite some time to find an open hairdresser to treat us with a new hair- and beard cut.

In the evening, we welcomed Fabian’s sisters Nadine and Katja, who will accompany us in the following two weeks with a rental car.