We had already decided that this day would be fairly low key. A mooch on the bike, do the washing and have lunch somewhere. Oddly, Louise wanted to spend some time by the pool again.
To be honest, I slept very late for me, clearly still trying to throw off the effects of the stomach bug I have had.
We took the now minging bag of washing to the laundry and sat outside with coffee and croissants while it was transformed into nicely smelling kit again.
I had hoped to find somewhere here where I could wash the bike down before I do a bit of work on it. Although we have done about 280k this week, it had been quite tough on Claud with some rough paths on the cycle routes and plenty of mud and grit. Claud’s chain was creaking due to lack of lube, the brakes had taken a pounding and needed adjusting and we were having difficulty getting him into the smallest front ring. The last item being a bit of a problem with such a heavily loaded bike and some hilly terrain.
Anyway, I went to ask at reception as to whether there was a hose or anything on the site that would help. Unfortunately, the two muppets in reception were singularly unhelpful; I am assuming they were working there as some kind of care in the community project. I also asked Betty, the Eurocamp rep and she (rather more nicely) confirmed that there were no such facilities on site.
Looks like I am going to have to clean him with a bucket of warm water and do the adjustments myself; where is Tony Williams when you need him!
In cycling terms, not much to say about today, mooched into the local town, picked up a few provisions, had a nice meal in a small bar and came back for another long nap. The main topic of interest being that there was a programme on the TV in the bar about Jersey.
I suppose this is a good juncture at which to reflect on the week so far. Clearly the first few days had been tougher than we imagined in terms of cycling and we have learnt a few lessons, but we have achieved broadly what we set out to do. Louise is surprised she has only had one hissy fit (though I think I have counted three!). It is also good we now have this stage on a campsite which is an opportunity to get our gear sorted and to rest a bit.
The biggest lesson has probably been that of route planning. Hands up, I planned the first few days and, although I knew it was challenging, was fairly confident (read complacent) all would be OK. I also took poor maps (and lost one of them anyway!). The key to this is make sure we sit down together and agree the route for the day and make sure there are plenty of stops on the way. Oh, and get some decent maps.
Interestingly, we have quite liked the AirB&B stops we have had; on both we have met and chatted to a number of local people whereas in hotels you don’t tend to get the same interaction with others.
Probably too early to talk about gear, although we have experienced all weathers so far and the gear is fine; the favoured item so far being the lightweight gilets we picked up. Also having washed a load this morning it was all dry by early afternoon.
Final reflection goes back to the Americans on out coach trip last Friday. There is a lot of talk generally about the fact that Americans are not very interested in things outside their country or even their town/city (try finding ‘world news’ in the New York Times). Even so, I was surprised at how little some of the American visitors know about the history of the landings. The guy sat next to me appeared to have no idea and proceeded to ask the guide the most dick head questions. The best example being when we were looking at a replica Higgins boat:
‘Were any of these landing craft lost during the landings?’
The guide stifled a laugh, looked me and said ‘ yeah, a few’.
Anyway, a few places to visit over the next couple of days and a bit of planning do do for the next stages. But we have made the first week, something of which we can be proud.