Monday 3 Oct

It’s a beautiful day, so it seems wrong not to make the most of it and go for a ride. One of the silver linings of currently being jobless.

The A272 calls to me. I think I will head to Loomies at West Meon for a fry up brunch, but might continue on to Winchester.

As other bikers know – It’s about the ride not the destination.

At Midhurst I stop to get petrol.

As I get off my bike I notice that the side of the seat looks damp…but its not rained?

Then the realisation hits me.

Can you spot what’s missing in the photo below?

Duh! I’d topped up the oil before leaving this morning and somehow had forgotten to put the oil cap back on 🙄

There is oil all down the side of the bike.

So it’s into the garage shop to buy a roll of kitchen towel,to clean up and a roll of insulation tape- the short term answer to so many problems.

I use the scissors from the first aid kit, that lives under the pillion seat, to cut a circle from the tape’s plastic packaging. I then tape this on, criss-crossing the tape to ensure coverage and hopefully enough stickiness to get me home.

It works!

Here is my “repair” when I get home.

The oil cap is where I left it on the shelf in my shed.

Now why I put it on the shelf and not on the bike seat, which is what I normally do, will remain a mystery. I hope it won’t happen again.

Anyway, despite being shorter than planned, it was still a good ride, the A272 rarely fails to deliver.

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Friday 22 Sept 2017: Newlands Corner

I have arranged to meet Jenny Linn Cole, another lady rider who blogs, at Newlands Corner today. We are both also members of the Facebook group Motorbike Women, so as it’s such a beautiful day I also post up a general invite, and message Christine, a biking friend, just in case she has today off.

My wiggly route over:

There are about half a dozen bikes there when I arrive, but quite a few more by the time we leave.

Motorbike Women:

L to R Jenny, Christine, me

Jenny has brought her Round Britain Rumble photos and her sketchbook to show us. I love her sketches.

Paul, Christine’s brother has bravely come to join us too,

He very kindly buys us all a hot drink, whilst we sit and natter.

When a nasty big black cloud obscures the sunshine we decide that maybe that’s our cue to leave.

This rider obviously has a good sense of humour ” Not On”

Paul openly admits that he does like to try and fit a new box or bag wherever he can on his bike !

Christine getting ready for the off .

If you want to see Jenny on her bike, please take a look at her blog Round Britain Rumble as unfortunately the photo I took didn’t come out.

My Garmin Zumo took me home the curvy way, down lots of little wiggly wooded lanes.

On a day like to day, being out of work has its compensations!

#life is good

Thursday 24 August

I’m definitely getting into the holiday time mode now: late nights and late mornings!

I’m lazing about in bed catching up with writing my blog over a cup of coffee when theres a rat-a-tat-tat on my front door. Quickly pulling on my dressing gown I answer – its Martin & Jennifer popping round to say Hello, obviously expecting me to be up as its 11 am! Oops!

After they’ve gone, after a quick chat on the doorstep, I get dressed and do my chores…another coat of primer on the front windows.

In the afternoon I ride out to Rochefort-en-Terre.

I take a slow, leisurely walk through the cobbled town centre, stopping to browse in the many gift and artisan shops- some new ones to visit, but many have been here for a few years.

Always great flower displays here, as in many of the Breton towns.

Look up as you walk round, you never know what you will spot.

One of the new shops sells these rather gorgeous trendy wellie boots, but at 90 euros they are a little pricey.

The basket and bag shop has gone to be replaced with umbrellas.

One of my favourite artists is still here. This lady makes the most amazing sculptures out of wire- skulls, keys, birds so many different items all made so beautifully and crafted using the minimum number of lines possible.

I have a piece of her art- a pair of shoes – that I bought the first year she was here.

The Pelican Hotel

More stonework, this time used as a flower pot shelf

My favourite of the day, a happy face, with a rather knowing smile.

On my way home I detour to have a cuppa with Ken and Lesley at Mototaranis.

The road from Maelstroit to Reminiac is such a joy to ride.

They are waiting for new guests to arrive. These are regulars- as are many of their guests- this is their second visit this year.

Back home and its back to my chores, putting the first coat of gloss on the windows.

Friends, Paul & Tracey are coming to stay for a few days on Monday so I need to have the painting complete by then and it needs a full 24 hours between each coat – its gard work being on holiday!

Wednesday 23 August

My late night stargazing meant I didn’t wake until late this morning.

I decided that I ought to do my chores and start painting the front windows, otherwise before I know it it’ll be time to go home and they won’t be done.

Its up in the high 20s so time to hit the beach.

This is another one that my friend Sara and I went to earlier in the year ( but not the nudist one).

It’s much busier this time of the year and the fields at the back of the beach are all now offering paid parking, but I manage to squeeze the bike in at the side of the road.

Happiness is…

…riding your motorbike to the beach.

I have a swim, then lay sunbathing and reading a Harlan Coben book, The Stranger, for an hour or so.

Then its time to head home.

I decide to go the scenic route.

Through Auray, then to St Anne d’Auray, the most important pilgrimage site in France after Lourdes.

Then I criss cross country roads. The setting sun lighting up the cornfields.

I reach the village of Plaudren.

I smile.

Why?

Well, this little squirrel marks the start of a little bit of country road that I just love. The D133 to Tredion, past the cross for St Bily, or Billy as I call it.

I can’t explain what it is about this short stretch of road.

Most would probably ride it and think nothing of it.

But I love it.

Monday 21 August

Wake up late, which seems to be a bit of a habit on this holiday.

Sit having a coffee in bed, trying to decide where to go today.

I decide on Port du Foleaux for a nice lunch by the river.

Once again I decide to let my Zumo take me on a curvy route. It turns out to be a mix of roads I ride regularly and some new ones. Lots of nice twisties.

I arrive just after 12, perfect as there are plenty of free tables.

The set menu is always good value here and today is no exception.

Rough, country pate, followed by delightfully crispy yet moist chicken and a scrummy coconutty pudding.

This restaurant L’escale de Foleux, was one of those lucky finds a few years back, when I randomly turned down a small road as it was labelled “port”. I highly recommend it if you are ever in the area.

Great food, friendly service, in a a peaceful setting overlooking the river. What more could you ask for?

The temperature is rising so I’d planned to go the beach, but find I have only picked up the top half of my costume.. Doh! Its not meant to be, so I head home. Its too hot to go sightseeing.

I artive back in Caro, to find my normally sleepy road lined with cars. I assume its either a wedding or funeral – and when about hour ot two later the church bells ring dolefully I guess its the latter.

My afternoon is spent soaking up the sunshine whilst listening to a couple of chapters of “Me before you” downloaded from the library before I came away. So much easier to listen to a book than read it yourself when lying in the sunshine.

In the evening I watch this classic Brit film. One of many freebie dvds that have ended up over here

Sunday 20 August

This morning I visit Trehorenteuc craft market, which runs all day in July and August.

It is quite small, about 15 stalls, but with a good variety of crafts.

We are in the heart of Broceillande Forest here, so celtic magic and mystery is a reoccurring theme!

My friend Erin would have liked this stall, bizarrely called Mary Poppins, with its medieval costumes.

This potters’ wares were a lovely colour, but nowhere near the quality of my friend Sara’s work.

There was also a stall selling aromatherapy oils, all with the cutest magic themed labels.

Check out Facebook page Magiflore.

I chatted with the stallholder for quite a while- her English was impeccable.

I then rode to Paimpont, hoping to find somewhere for lunch.

The hotel where I usually eat was full, and the BBQ place my Mum and Dad recommend did not want to give one of their many empty tables to just one diner. Well stuff them- they won’t be getting my custom in the future either.

Instead I bought du pain and a pastry, then road home the long way round.

I then enjoyed a pleasant lunch in my garden, accompanied by my first bottle of red wine of the holiday.

Then it was time to relax in the sunshine, on my green lounger, headphones on, to listen to The Archers omnibus.

Such a rock n roll lifestyle…not!

Saturday 19 August Vannes

Saturday is market day in Vannes and it is heaving with people.

But it all seems to be the same old stalls selling the same old stuff.

There are a few new shops round near the Cathedral including a jewellers dufresne. A simple bangle in the window catches my eye…I just can’t resist going in.

The jeweller promises me the clasp will not come undone. I say that is good as I’m always losing jewellery. I try on about 4 of the bangles before getting the correct size- sold! Well that’s half my tax refund spent :0)

I ask if he is OK for me to take photos- of course he says. I explain that I write a blog of my trips.

So if you are ever in Vannes please do visit him and say bikerbunny sent you!

I am always fascinated by a craftsman’s tools. The bangle he is working on had taken 4 hours so far. He says it is in his heart to do this work.

It is now past twelve. I need to find somewhere to eat before the tables start to get full and the restauranters do not want to give up a table to une personne.

I decide to try somewhere new.

Not my usual style, as its all bio and healthy, but it is also chocolate!

The healthy, slightly unusual, goats cheese salad…

Followed by a less than healthy chocolate brownie.

I feel really sorry for the mother of this rather naughty little girl, sitting on the table next to me. She makes a real fuss over not just her main course but her chocolate pudding too. I have to laugh when she refuses to give the extremely yummy caramel sauce a try, raising my eyes in solidarity with the poor mum.

After lunch a walk in the Jardins du Ramparts. As usual there is a stunning display of flowers

I do have to have a little giggle to myself at this couple who have brought their own picnic table. Although I guess its a step up from sitting in the carpark like Brits so often do.

Stunning colours.

Unsuspecting tourists do not seem to have noticed the giant spiders web….watch out!

After my walk its back on the bike and a short ride to Sene, to the large charity warehouse Emmaus.

They have cleared so much stuff since Sara and I were here in June.

This time I also go in the clothes and haberdashery store.

I really wish I sewed or did crafting, some of the stuff is gorgeous and so cheap. Old buttons, linens and all this lovely thick crocheted lacework trimmings.

But I leave empty handed.

Next stop it’s the beach: Pointe du Bill.

I haven’t planned this perfectly as have to change in the car park trying to use my bike to hide my bits! Not that easy, but better here than in full view on the beach!

I’m not sure what it is about this spot, maybe it gas great acoustics, but theres a random man playing the sax, right next to the car park… Weird!

I may not be fully prepared with my cossie, but I am with my new beach shoes…the stones and seaweed won’t bother me now.

There are quote a few windsurfers out on the sea, as it’s pretty windy.

After my swim, I sunbathe for a while, before heading back to Caro, following a curvy route that takes me a new way home.

This shrine catches my eye.

It’s been an enjoyable day #lifeisgood