Le Croisic

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    • Day 42

      Final Rest Day in Le Croisic

      October 1, 2019 in France ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

      After the continual frenetic activity of the previous few weeks it was a relief to finally know that there would be no riding today. There would also be no need for packing, moving bags, finding hotels, etc. In fact we had lots of time and very little to do with it. It was heaven.

      The breakfast room of our hotel was actually across the the road in the waterfront restaurant where we had dined the night before. You could not imagine a more spectacular place to enjoy your morning baguettes and orange juice. The building is situated right on the edge of the Atlantic and has panoramic windows on the ocean side that offer continually mesmerising view of the ever changing waves crashing outside. It was the sort of place you could spend hours, just watching the ocean.

      Of course, there was one essential task that had to be done. Our bags were bursting with laundry that urgently needed the services of a washing machine. We already knew that there was a coin laundry, only about 1 km away from the hotel. So that's where we headed. The next hour was spent watching the clothes do round and round in the washing machine, then in the dryer. It was nowhere near as exciting as watching the waves, but it was a soothing feeling to know that you would finally have clean clothes once again.

      One incredible feature of this part of the world is the huge tidal range. At low tide the water recedes so far away that you can no longer see it. At the fishing port all the moored boats are left sitting on the sand. It is quite a sight to behold, especially when the tide turns and the water starts russhing back in again. Over the space of 20 minutes I sat and watch the entire scene change before my eyes. Boats that were stuck firm are lifted from the sand and start bobbing away in the water.

      Le Croisic is very clearly a holiday location and, at this time of the year, most of the houses are already locked and shuttered for the winter. It does seem like quite a waste seeing so many magnificent homes being left empty for so many months at a time.

      In the evening we met for the final group dinner of the ride. We had been booked into L"Estacade Restaurant. This is a Michelin restaurant that is rated number 1 out of about 50 in Le Croisic. We discovered that this rating was richly deserved. The food and service was simply superb. It was a magnificent way to end an incredible trip.

      After dinner we had a lengthy walk back to the hotel, but the evening was mild and the wind had dropped. It was a magical feeling, walking back through the narrow streets, lit by subdued sepia lighting. I suspect we were probably all a bit noisier than we should have been, but it really didn't matter much since the place was almost deserted.

      In the morning our group will disperse to places all over Europe. What an unforgettable time we have shared together.
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    • Day 41

      Mission Accomplished

      September 30, 2019 in France ⋅ ☁️ 17 °C

      Although we had already ridden to the mouth of the Loire at St Brevin, our ride was not yet fully completed. We all know that the Tour de France is not completed until the riders enter Paris and ride around the Champs Elysees. That final day for the Tour de France riders is something of a formality, the maillot jaune has already been effectively won in the final day on the mountains.

      If yesterday was something of our final day in the mountains, then today was our epilogue. While we had achieved our primary aim, we still had to continue our way westwards to the wild Atlantic coast at Le Croisic. It still had the potential to b e another really challenging day, especially as the weather forecast was for more rain and very strong winds from the west. This would not be an ideal way to complete our ride, but we would have to accept whatever was thrown at us.

      You can imagine my relief when I awoke to find that the rain had stopped. So had the wind. That was a very promising development. We donned the cycling gear for the last time and went down to attack the breakfast buffet. The breakfast itself was in keeping with a large casino hotel, so I took maximum advantage of what was on offer. I then gathered the group together for a group photo in front of the hotel.

      Then it was time to begin our final day. The first challenge was to safely get across the huge bridge across the Loire to St Nazaire on the right bank. This bridge was built in the 1970s and was for many years the longest bridge in France and the longest cable suspended bridge in the world. At 3.4 km long, it certainly would take a brave cyclist to try to ride across it, especially as there is no bike lane and the wind at the top would be horrendous.

      We had arranged for a mini bus transfer of ourselves and our bikes to the other side. The only problem was that it could only transfer 7 of us at a time. This meant that the first group would have to wait by the side of the road for 40 minutes, until the others arrived. I did the right thing by volunteering Maggie and I to join this first batch. Another 5 people reluctantly joined us. We took the bus trip and then waited. And waited. I got tired and decided to sit down, unfortunately right in the middle of a puddle of water I had not seen. Result - a wet backside.

      When the group was finally complete, we were glad to see that the wind was still lacking and the rain was absent. It was ideal for riding. Russell and I had also done a little research and found that the route could be "fiddled with" in order to save us quite a few uneccessary km. I call it a stroke of genius and the rest of the peloton seemed to agree.

      Although we had been expecting a flat final day, we did manage to find quite a few moderate sized hill and one big one along the way. It made us happy that we had excised those extra kilometres.

      One surprising feature of the houses in this region were the lovely thatched roofs. They almost made us feel we were cycling in the UK.

      The final major attraction was the impressive medieval walled city of Guerande. Not only is it fully surrounded by a massive stone wall, it even has a moat as well. It looks like it has come straight out of the Dark Ages. We were also somewhat surprised that it was very quiet. Although we had expected it to be full of tourists, the place was almost deserted. Not only was it a Monday, but we arrived right in the middle of the siesta time. Fortunately a couple of the cafes were open, so we were able to get some sustenance before the final leg to Le Croisic.

      After leaving Guerande we immediately found ourselves riding through the famous salt pans of the region. Here salt is harvested from the sea water in a huge array of interconnected shallow ponds. It is quite a spectacle, but it is also highly exposed to the wind. As we drew closer and closer to the coast, the headwind started to blow in our faces as a reminder of what might have been if the weather bureau had been correct.

      With our final destination almost in view there was a feeling of exhileration in the group. The route had been changed since we last rode this section and the revised version gave us a lovely tour of the city before we began the final cruise to the hotel. With the waves crashing on the rocks to our left and the magnificent stately homes on our right, it certainly makes for a memorable sight.

      When I announced that the ride had been completed, everyone dismounted and hugged each other. We had shared so much together and it is an indescribable feeling to have achieved something we had been anticipating for over a year. It was also time to do what we always do at such times - take a group photo.

      We noticed a lady walking towards us and asked if she would take our picture. She entered into the spirit of the occasion with enthusiasm, almost getting run over as she stood in the middle of the road. She also told us that we had arrived just in time for the next king tide. It would be there in just a couple of hours. How is that for perfect planning ?

      All we needed now was a hotel to stay in. We had previously stayed in the nearby Les Nids Hotel, but is was now closed and boarded up. The replacement hotel was Les Vikings and I have to admit that it looked absolutely dreadful from the outside. Large pieces were missing from the facade, the paint was peeling, it looked derelict. I was more than a little worried. It would not be a great way to finish such an epic ride if we had to spend the last two nights in a dump.

      Our fears dispersed as soon as we entered the front door. Apparently we are the final guests to be housed here before the full restoration takes place. As soon as we leave the place will be closed so that the builders can start. We were thrilled to find that, not only were our rooms huge, clean and modern, but they all faced the ocean. We ran back and forth from room to room in a silly game of "you show me yours and I'll show you mine". I knew that I had a very happy peloton.

      That evening we had dinner in the oceanfront "Restaurant de L'Ocean". You could not get any closer to the water than this place and we looked through the panoramic windows at the setting sun and the huge waves crashing against the rocks below us. It was a night to remember.

      Yvonne Parsons had spent some time collating statistics of our ride along the Loire. This is what she calculated. Total time in the saddle - 57 hours. Distance ridden 812 km per person. The total vertical distance climbed was over 4,000 metres. Of course this does not include the riding we had already done in Provence. I could also add another very important statistic - Number of punctures ZERO. It truly had been an epic ride in every sense of the word.

      We now have a free day in Le Croisic, before we all begin to make our own ways back to Australia.
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    • Day 34

      Le Croisic

      June 11 in France ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

      Einige fahren mit dem Camper ins Himmelreich 😎 wir sind heute ins Paradies gefahren 🤭 Der erste Campingplatz auf dieser Tour 😁

      Dann ging es mit dem Rad an die Côte Sauvage du Croisic, ein Abschnitt der Côte d'Amour („Küste der Liebe“). Wir befinden uns bei Croisic fast auf der Spitze der Halbinsel Kervenel und am Eingang zu einem Golf, in dem Salz gewonnen wird. Am Eingang der Bucht kann man die starke Strömungen beobachten. Als wir heute da waren, war gerade Flut, also nix Strömung!

      Im Anschluss an die Küstentour ging es in das Dorf Croisic, das wir noch nicht so richtig erkundet haben, das machen wir morgen in Ruhe. Von den gut 100 Caches hier auf der Halbinsel haben wir bereits 20 gefunden, es ist für morgen also noch genug übrig geblieben.
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    • Day 61


      October 23, 2023 in France ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

      Es ging dann noch ein Stück weiter: Auf die Halbinsel KERVENEL in die Ortschaft LE CROISIC.

      Dieser Gemeinde haben wir sicherlich Unrecht getan, da wir nach der Übernachtung gleich wieder weitergefahren sind und die Sehenswürdigkeiten der Ortschaft nicht angeschaut haben.

      Wir sind im Dunkeln gekommen, morgens (um 08:20) von der Polizei unseres Übernachtungsplatzes verwiesen - das Wetter war trüb ==>> also ging's weiter.
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    • Day 28

      Pausentag mit kleinen Radltouren

      May 20, 2023 in France

      Ein echter Pausentag, bevor es wieder Richtung Heimat geht.. Vormittags machten wir es uns sehr gemütlich, ehe wir mit den Radl ins nahe Dorf fuhren. Dort besuchten wir die tollen überdachten Markthallen und fanden dann im Café am großen Platz wieder einen Tisch für eine kleine Einkehr.

      Dann gings zurück zum Campingplatz, wo wir ein spätes Mittagessen genossen, Zimmerstunde in der Sonne, danach gings an den nahen Strand. Ein tolles Erlebnis mit dem wir so nicht gerechnet hatten, denn hier gibt es ganz tolle Felsformationen am Meer, die sogar für gewagte Klettertouren genutzt werden!

      Dann gings um die Halbinsel wieder zurück ins Dorf, ein paar Sachen wanderten auch noch in die Packtaschen, ehe es wieder zurück an unser Basislager am Campingplatz ging..
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    • Day 19

      Bretagne Teil 1: Le Croisic und Carnac

      September 21, 2021 in France ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

      An der Küste in Le Croisic (eine Empfehlung von einem random dude in Nantes, der uns angesprochen hat, weil er unsere Sprache als Schweizerdeutsch identifiziert hat 😄) bleibe ich 3 Nächte auf einem schönen, kleinen Camping und verbringe einen ganzen Tag davon mit Fahrten zu Mr.Bricolage (das franz. Äquivalent zu Hornbach) und mit dem Flicken des Wasserproblems.⚒️ Danach mache ich mich auf den Weg weiter Richtung Norden. Der Pointe de Merquel sollte eigentlich nur ein kurzer Zwischenstopp sein: Ein Spaziergang zum kleinen Leuchtturm, ein kurzer Sandwich-Stopp und dann weiter nach Carnac. Auf dem Rückweg zum Büssli gehe ich aber an diesem schönen Strand vorbei und kann nicht widerstehen… Also bleibe ich ein paar Stunden am Strand und geniesse die Sonne und das Meer.🏖️ Die Nacht verbringe ich auf einem Supermarkt-Parkplatz in der Nähe von Carnac. Leider wird am Morgen genaau dort das Gras gemäht, sodass ich schon sehr früh wach bin. Nicht so schlimm, denn so kann ich die berühmten Menhire (Steinreihen) anschauen, bevor die Touristenmassen auftauchen. Dann liegt noch eine lange Fahrt in die Region Finistère vor mir, wo ich mich für die nächsten Tage in der Nähe von Crozon niederlasse.Read more

    • Day 38

      Group Two Cross the Line

      October 1, 2015 in France ⋅ 12 °C

      Day 38 In Which the Riders of Group Two Finally Cross the Finish Line

      Le Croisic is a beautiful little fishing town on the Atlantic coast in Brittany. In the peak tourist season this place is packed with holidaymakers and would not be the ideal spot for a quiet retreat. However, once the summer ends the majority of houses are locked and shuttered for the winter and I could not think of a more perfect place to spend a peaceful time after the demands of a long distance bicycle ride.

      On the south side of the peninsula there are a succession of rocky beaches with unbroken views out over the Atlantic Ocean. The fishing port is a short walk away on the north side and here you can find a large assortment of waterfront eateries to satisfy your hunger. The tidal variations here are enormous and, when the tide retreats, all the fishing boats are left high and dry in the mud.

      Although we still had access to our bikes for the final day in Le Croisic, due to the fact that I was still recovering from the food poisoning and feeling a little weak, we were quite happy to just spend the time having a quiet walk around the deserted streets. The mid autumn weather is cool in the early morning but wonderfully mild once the sun is high in the sky. It was a perfect end to another memorable cycling adventure.

      Those early days in Paris now seemed a long time ago, I sat and looked out over the ocean and thought back over the past few weeks and the countless highlights we had all shared together. I thought of our group walk around Sacre Coeur Cathedral, coffee time at the Place du Tertre, the concert at La Chapelle, the night cruise down the Seine, standing on the river bank in Orleans, the terrible storm on our first day’s ride to Beaugency, the manic Chateau of Chambord, the ornate gardens at Villandry, the incredible dinner at Azay le Rideau, riding those magnificent cycle paths along the river, eating crunchy baguettes, dinner at La Cigalle, the walled city at Guerande and so many more memories that have now become a part of our lives. For me the most important thing about any such trip is not stopping to capture as many selfies as possible in front of as many tourist hot spots as you can find in the guide book. It is about the privilege of being able to be a part of another culture for a period of time. We had a unique opportunity to see a wide cross section of the real France, to see what France is like below the surface. Sometimes this is magical, at other times it can be frustrating and downright bewildering, but that is what travel should be about. Those who never leave the main A roads never see anything other than the famous sights and they really do miss out on so much. As the French would say “Quelle Domage!”.

      We returned to our hotel just in time to hear the excited shouts and sounds of the riders of Group 2 completing their ride. The official record keepers could record that they had finished their ride almost 24 hours behind those in Group 1. With all the “chickens” now safely home in the coup I could really relax, knowing that all the complex arrangements had gone according to plan. It is not easy to get 25 people from around Australia to ride bikes across a foreign country without something going astray, and yet all the logistics had gone right according to the script. The only dark side was Carol’s accident in the shower, but now that they were back with us, it was beginning to seem like not such a big deal after all. It even scored her a flight upgrade on the flight home, showing that there is a silver lining to every cloud.

      In the evening both groups returned to the Restaurant de L’Ocean for our combined dinner. After the unpleasant events of the previous night I was rather apprehensive. I shouldn’t have been. The staff were delightful, the food beautiful, we were given choices with food and drinks, the views were breathtaking and it was a perfect ending to an epic trip. It was also Maggie’s Birthday so they provided a lovely cake for her to celebrate while the rest of us sang quite a few choruses of “Happy Birthday to You”. France is like that.

      The word adventure has been hugely devalued in recent time. I hear people talking about having an “adventure” by the pool at Port Douglas, or an “adventure” on a luxury cruise. Adventure ? Adventure ? By its very definition an adventure must involve a challenge. It has to be something that takes you away from the comfort zone and forces you to confront the unfamiliar, the tough, the challenging and then still prevail. There is no doubt that most people find these long distance cycling trips demanding and challenging. It is hard to get up each day, pack your bags and get back on the bike for another 4 or more hours riding.There are also the other challenges of coping with unfamiliar foods, not speaking the language, living from a suitcase, living in close proximity to other people, variable weather, laundry, etc, etc. They are not meant to be easy, but there are always huge rewards for facing a personal challenge and prevailing. It is hard to explain that incredible feeling of “it was tough but I did it” that everyone feels at the end. It is even harder to explain that, whenever I ask people which days they remember most, it is always the tough days that people look back on with affection in the years ahead.

      We had all spent the past few weeks riding together, laughing together, eating together, chatting together and sometimes crying together. I am sure we have all grown personally as a result and the friendships we have made will be cherished in the years ahead.

      Tomorrow Maggie and I leave to begin our own extended journey around France, but the next few weeks will be spent in a hire car and not on a bike. Next year the Ghostriders will be back in Europe again for our biggest ever ride. Although all spaces are currently filled, I am still taking expressions of interest in case any extra places become available.

      Au Revoir and thanks for being a part of our ride…..
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    • Day 9

      Anmerkungen zum Alleinreisen

      November 30, 2021 in France ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

      Jetzt bin ich eine Woche alleine hier. Das nehme ich zum Anlass genau darüber etwas zu philosophieren. Ich genieße es einfach zu machen was ich will. Keine Abstimmungen zum Thema Essen, Tagesplanung und Zeitmanagement ist erforderlich, aber irgendwann wird es auch etwas einseitig, die Ideen vom Partner sind oft auch eine gute Ergänzung. Man lernt sich selbst schon besser kennen, kommt auf Gedanken die man sonst nicht hätte, und lebt eine Weile nach seinem eigenen Rhythmus. Vieles ist für mich aber alleine ziemlich öde. Gut essen zu gehen macht mir alleine keinen Spaß. Ganz wichtig ist für mich auch einen gut gefüllten E-reader dabei zu haben. Morgen geht es in Etappen wieder zurück. Hier beginnt es sich auch langsam zu wiederholen.Read more

    • Day 4

      Le Croisic

      November 25, 2021 in France ⋅ ☁️ 7 °C

      Gestern Nachmittag bin ich in Le Croisic angekommen. Ein kleines Apartment direkt am Hafen ist bis nächste Woche mein Feriendomizil. Tolle Lage für Ausflüge und Spaziergänge, und alles ist in der Nähe. Besonders wichtig: Fischereihafen mit Poisonerie in Sichtweite. Aber auch Metzger, Café, Bäcker etc. direkt nebenan. Natürlich ist aktuell absolut keine Saison, viele Restaurants haben zu, aber ich mache die Meeresfrüchte sowieso lieber selbst. Das wird der Schwerpunkt der nächsten Tage sein.Read more

    • Day 2

      Ausflug nach Le Croisic

      March 19, 1982 in France ⋅ ☁️ 10 °C

      Auf dem Programm steht heute eine Ausflug zum Atlantik. Erste Attraktion ist die die Pont de Saint-Nazaire, eine über die Loire führende Schrägseilbrücke, die Saint-Nazaire und Saint-Brevin-les-Pins verbindet. Die 1974 erbaute Brücke war damals die Schrägseilbrücke mit der weltweit größten Stützweite.

      Weiter geht es dann zu unserem Tagesziel Le Croisic. Das etwa 4.000 Einwohner zählende Küstendorf versprüht viel maritimes Flair. Wir würden gern länger bleiben.
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Le Croisic, Ar Groazig, کرواسیک, Crociciacum, Кроазик, Ле-Круазік, 勒克鲁瓦西克

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