Bouchemaine_St Brevin_France_9-19-14

Bouchemaine_St Brevin_France

End of our long journey

 

97 miles (156 km)-3 days

Total so far: 1,785 miles (2,873 km)

 

 

Route 2,978,920 – powered by www.bikemap.net

 

 

It took us 3 more days to cycle Bouchemaine-St Brevin to and the Atlantic Ocean, the end of our journey. Our first night we made it to Udon in time to see the marvelous castle.

It was a beautiful ride continuing from Udon as far as the outskirts of Nantes. A unique trail through the woods along the Loire was fun and interesting.

 

 

but Nantes was not fun to travel through. It is very industrial and the route was poorly marked and heavy with traffic.

 

 

After crossing the Loire on the ferry from Bac, we rode a good bike trail as far as Paimboeuf.

 

After Paimboeuf to St Brevin was not pleasant riding. The route followed the main highway. The road was narrow, rough and heavy with traffic. Ten years ago, a new trail along the Loire was to be finished, but it is still not realized.

 

St Brevin itself is a wonderful, small tourist enclave on the ocean. In mid-summer, it must be very crowded but in late September, it was very peaceful. There are two large campgrounds. But we found a wonderful Bed and Breakfast right off the beach.

The beach is wide and has a long bike path/walkway along the shore.

 

 

St Brevin is considered the start and finish of Euro Velo 6. We celebrated on the shores of the Atlantic with a bottle of great French wine.

Bouchemaine_St Brevin_France-Anne and Mike -St Brevin-journey's end

Bouchemaine_St Brevin_France-Anne and Mike -St Brevin-journey’s end

The train back to Paris, however, leaves from St Nazaire, a big city on the opposite bank of the Loire. The long bridge connecting the two towns has no bike lane. A bus leaves every morning that takes bicycles and goes from St Brevin directly to the train station.

Bouchemaine_St Brevin_France-St Brevin to Nazaire bridge

Bouchemaine_St Brevin_France-St Brevin to Nazaire bridge

 

Now our journey is over. We have tried to share with you the ups and downs of Euro Velo 6 route. Challenges come in many forms on such a journey; one may think only of the hills as challenging, but that would be a mistake. Travel in foreign countries, with different cultures, languages, and customs present an entire spectrum of daily challenging events. That, after all, is the reason to travel. Everything is new, fresh, perhaps totally unexpected or opposing to our preconceived ideas. We become alert, awakened out of the ordinary day to day lives we spend at home and see and feels things that we may not have experienced before. In our opinion, traveling in a foreign country on a bicycle makes those experiences even more vivid.

There is nothing in America that can compare to the Velo system of routes in Europe. The network of trails is immense and growing at a rapid rate. We saw so many new possibilities as we rode EV 6 that we shall have to return to Europe again for another journey. There are 14 EV routes that are acknowledged. Most of them are incomplete, EV 6, being the one route recognized as finished, still has many improvements to make. But the entire system is a marvel of purpose and industry. And…in addition to the EV routes, there are thousands of local routes to explore…enough to keep a busy cyclist on the road far into the future.

This journey was to celebrate Anne’s 70th birthday year. Mike, at 73, got to celebrate his too! As stated in the beginning of this blog, this was not our first bicycle adventure and we certainly hope it will not be our last. Our bigger adventures include cycling from Bali, Indonesia to China; New Zealand for 5 months on two separate occasions; Australia for 5 months, and from Costa Rica to Peru for 6 months. If you would care to read about these experiences, we invite to search the pages of this website. There are also many hiking adventures we have shared on these pages. So, please enjoy…and tell your friends!

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