Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Greenway in Manche

Monday, 26th of September. I would have loved to stay longer with Olivier and his family, but one shouldn't outstay one's welcome, so the next morning after a restorative breakfast Olivier drove me back to the café where we first met and I went on cycling. In Ducey I visited the tourist information to ask for cyclist's maps, and the woman in the office was exhilarated to help me, because in this area they had a greenway, a re-used railway track which leads through the green nature without any traffic. And while I still had some doubt because this would lengthen my stage even more, the woman exert herself to convince me – it would be easy cycling, because it's really flat and so nice… and she was right. Olivier had warned me, that the route up to Caen would be very hilly, so it was surely the right decision to take the greenway. It was just nice and relaxing cycling. I was also glad to have such a fine map. The landscape wasn't somehow special but very familiar from lots of tours I did in Germany. It was nice to have this train history background, and there were also some very nice outlooks. But mostly I liked the old train station houses. The only challenge were the uncountable conkers and bell-ends, which were laying spaced all over the ground, but this wasn't a problem at all.

After 75 kilometres close to Vire the greenway came to its end, so the remaining 60 kilometres became hilly, but it was still nice cycling. Surely it became late, surely it was night cycling. When I neared Caen there were lots of toads on the road trying to pass. I tried not to kill them, so I had to cycle wiggly lines, but I assume the chances for the toads weren't so good – actually there were more flat pads on the street then toads alive… Don't they have any tunnels for the toads in France?

It was great to see the city lights of Caen in the night! But I was also exhausted. Once again it had been nearly 150 kilometres – I think I'm a little bit crazy, and maybe it's no wonder that I arrive so late every day… This day it was 10 P.M. Coming to Antoine's place was a good thing. He's so nice, friendly and tolerant. Even if he's actually a couchsurfing newbie he acts like a natural born couchsurfer. He lives with two others together, Amin and Marine, and there was also another couchsurfer, Tino, who was on a motorcycle tour for some month and had arrived today, too, it was fun to join this community. It was also a pleasure to meet Tino. He's very relaxed, uncomplicated and positive. It was fun to talk in German and to compare our experiences when being on long distance touring and doing couchsurfing most of the time. I taught him how to juggle, and he was such a fast learner! Maybe it helps if you are a drummer…

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