Wednesday 22nd May. Gournay-en-Bray to Les Andelys. 56 miles.

Road fields

And there was me thinking I’d be a good boy today and follow the Avenue Verte, but after nearly 3 hours of going up and down hills, and taking wrong turns, I discovered that I was only about 12 miles down the road from where I’d started, if I’d have gone straight down the main road that is! So after that, I thought balls to following the Avenue Verte, I’m going to go my way!

Abbey
The abbey in St-Germer-de-Fly

A few more miles down the road, I started to struggle with my leg again! So I decided that it probably wasn’t a good idea to go to Paris! After all, it’s not as if I’ve not been there recently! And let’s face it, I was only really going there to eek the time out that I had left this week!

I think that if I had have gone there I wouldn’t have got home for next Tuesday, when I need to be home!

Fields and church
Some random church I saw as I was bimbling around on the Avenue Verte

Now the annoying thing is, that had I given it some thought this morning, I could have come straight here and only cycled 25 miles! What an idiot!

Because I’m finding it all hard going now, I’ve decided to take 2 or 3 days to get to either Le Havre or Caen and catch the ferry back home from one of those places, I’ll look tonight!

Patterned house
Odd house in Auneuil, where I changed my mind as to where I was going

Got to the campsite tonight and they remembered me! Or rather the computer did, June, 10 years ago I was here apparently!

Grass otters
My neighbour’s for the night

Despite struggling I’m still enjoying myself and would rather be on the road than at home! No offence to Julie, Vicky or any of my friends!

Tuesday 21st May. Pourville-sur-Mer to Gournay-en-Bray. 49 miles.

Roast sign with bikes and people on it

Change of plan and direction!

After setting off this morning for Amiens, I found myself on the Avenue Verte!

As I cycled along I ummed and ahed whether or not to stay with the Avenue Verte. I’m starting to struggle a bit with the hills now! My left leg, the one with sciatica is starting to play me up, and it’s got worse as the weeks gone on!

Flowers water hills
What a lovely view to wake up to

I’m hoping it’s only a temporary thing, and will be fine once I have my hip replaced properly! I currently have one leg shorter than the other, where the temporary hip has come loose and subsided a bit! Which is what or rather I’m hoping is the problem!

My original plan, or rather my latest plan was to head up to Calais via the Somme.

Path grass trees
The Avenue Verte really was verte

But now my leg is starting to hurt, I don’t particularly fancy coming home via Calais! It’s a hard ride along the coast back to Bognor!

So my current plan (subject to change of course!) is to cycle into Paris and come home via Caen, or Le Havre, but maybe take my time about it all this time!

Grass, hills, sky
Lovely French countryside viewed from the Avenue Verte

I finished early today and am staying in a hotel! The only reason being that I needed to charge my battery pack. Although it’s probably done me a bit of good as I’ve been resting for most of the afternoon, basically being lazy!

Despite the pain in my leg I still had a good day and maybe tomorrow it will be okay!

Monday 20th May. Saint-Jouin-Bruneval to Pourville-sur-Mer. 64 miles.

Château

What an excellent day!

The day started off with the normal mist and low clouds, so I quickly rode through Etretat and Fecamp, as nice as they both are, there’s not really too much to see in the mist!

Cottages and beach
Cottages in Fecamp

After looking at the map in Fecamp I decided to leave the coast and head inland a bit more. After all I’ve done the coast road a few times and it’s not exactly the easiest ride! Beside looking for an easier route I also wanted to go somewhere I’d not been before!

Old railway station
It reminds me of the Avenue Verte with all the old railway stations

What an excellent choice it was, not only was it easier but I also found a cycle route or green ways as they call them here.

Man path flowers
Such a lovely route and the suns out as well

“Veloroute du Lin” which when it’s finished will go from Fecamp to Dieppe along the old railway line! It’s not quite finished yet, but about 90% of it is, and it’s all smooth asphalt!

And to finish the day off, the suns shining, and I’ve got a superb campsite for the night!

Bottles cooking pot lake
My view this evening

I’m pitched beside a lake and across the water I can see, a donkey, some ponies, goats, geese, ducks and their ducklings and a pair of otters!

Sunday 19th May. Houlgate to Saint-Jouin-Bruneval. 49 miles.

Boats houses

It rained in the night and it was still raining when I woke up! After looking at the weather forecast, I decided to sit it out, as it was due to stop around 8 o’clock. No problem I thought I’ll wait the 2 or so hours! Its a much better option than packing away in the rain, there’s nothing worse!

Man in wet weather clothes
Ready for the elements

Anyway after about an hour or so it stopped, so I quickly decamped and started to load up the bike. That’s when it decided to start raining again, but at least I packed everything away first.

Now that I was packed up I didn’t have any choice but to head off in the rain! So much for that weather forecast, it was still raining at 10 o’clock!

Boats houses
Honfleur

Although it stopped raining it’s been a very dull overcast day and I ended the day in the rain as well!

Man road
On the Pont de Normandie

No more D-Day stuff that’s all behind me now, but I still came through some nice places, Deauville and Trouville, not that there was a lot to see, it was too wet!

Ship, containers cranes
Picking my through the docks in Le Havre

Honfleur is another pretty town that I came through, but that was packed with tourists!