Bilbao to St. Malo 

1996

 

  Day 1 - Monday 19th August
  Santurzzi to Mitruku
  58.1 miles @ 10.3mph
   
NJ: Santurzzi 8am, lost, then on motorway.  Eventually found Bilbao and onto nice dual carriageway.  Got some miles in then Shaun decided to go cross country, enough said.  My arse is sore.  Saw Serge.
SC: Arrived 5pm - Mitruku.  Neale's cynicism and sarcasm knows no bounds.
GH: Shaun's geographical and map reading technique needs fine tuning.
SC: Gareth encountered various technical problems, but managed to avoid a buggering.

 

  Day 2 - Tuesday 20th August
  Mitruku to Hendaye (France)
  via San Sebastien
  54.7 miles @ 12.2mph
  1.30pm to 8pm
   
NJ: Enjoyable day overall, after a night of sheer hell.  Thunder, rain, slugs, I will say no more.  Late leaving camp. Lost Kate's address due to wet weather.
GH: My bum virginity remains intact.  My pants smell.
SC: Motorways continue to have a magnetic attraction.  Thunder continues.  Hygiene problems are developing.  Atletico 0-4 Real Madrid (half-time), scorers Suker, Mijatovic, Seedorf, Raul.  Picturesque coastal villages early on.
All: San Sebastien seemed a classy and attractive place to stay.  Bilbao was a dump and slum.
SC: NJ's hormone imbalance causes him to chase after female cyclist to return dropped orange cagoule.
NJ: NJ still remains undisputed 'King of the Mountains'.
GH: GH is 'Prince of the Plains' and 'Downhill Racer', Shaun is woefully slow.
All: Double cake and crisps for lunch.  Lettuce for tea.

 

  Day 3 - Wednesday 21st August
  Hendaye to Messanges
  via Bayonne, St. Jean de Luz, Tarcons, Vieux Bacau
  12.15pm - 6.30pm
  48.97 miles @ 11.2mph
   
SC: Heavy rain continues to dampen spirits.  GH equipment still plagued by technical problems.
GH: Personal hygiene should improve following a much needed laundry session.  I love the waitress.
NJ: A day where we showed true English bulldog breed spirit, real English spunk.  Rain, more rain, all belongings wet through. Despite this we pushed on, on this endurance test.  A long wet day, but now, we have had our cold shower and fed ourselves in lovely pizza place.  Yes the waitress is very nice.  I'm ready for bed.
SC: Motorway (again).  At least Gareth's cagoule remained dry.

 

  Day 4 - Thursday 22nd August
  Messanges to Sanguinet
  via cycleways, Mimizan, Parentis
  62.2 miles @ 12.6mph
  Started 11.20am, ended 5.50pm/6.45pm
     
SC: SC breaks away from peloton.
NJ: Good day, up early after peaceful nights rest.  Good miles in saddle, with sun on back, and slowcoach somewhere in the distance behind us.  Arrived in paradise.  Nice waitress.
GH: Beautiful girls a plenty, shame we can't stay.  Prince of the plains, SC is a worry.
SC: Sent noisy German teenagers to bed, while other team members feigned sleep.
NJ: Shauny may be slow, but he is our hero.
GH: I had a dream World War III had started.
NJ: Shut the fuck up Gareth.

 

  Day 5 - Friday 23rd August
  Sanguinet to Lacanau Ocean
  via big long straight road, Mois, cycletracks
  54.5 miles @ 11.9mph
  12pm to just after 6pm
   
SC: SC rejoins peloton.  "God is Gay, Abort the Christ".  SC/GH 7-4 NJ.  SC breaks away from peloton again.
GH: GH wants to shag an oriental transvestite.  He's starting to get desperate.  Watch out Jasper.
SC: SC kept awake at night by a snoring bastard.
NJ: Snoring bastard can't be, cos he has been kept awake by slowcoach snorer.  Nudist cycling next year.  Hard to get going today, need more calories says our nutritionist.
SC: SC to be given light duties to enable him to recover his strength.

 

  Day 6 - Saturday 24th August
  Lacanau Ocean to Cadeuil
  via ferry over the Gironde
  61 miles @ 11.8mph
   
SC: GH/NJ have become inseparable.  They have even taken to holding each others equipment when one of them goes for a wee.
NJ: Today I am full of inspiration.  A bit better night sleep, snorey bugger was other end of tent.  Gareth and I are getting on well, we have a lot in common.  SC is still a problem.  Hard day in the saddle across forest tracks.  At one stage I had a call of nature and SC instigated a vicious unprovoked cone attack, so I chased after him with a shit on a stick. Good day really.
GH: SC again had trouble getting up, his cycling improved briefly when he took on the mantle of "King Of The Jungle".  The rest of the time he just looks shagged out.  I think he lacks protein.  Neale is going to sleep the right way round tonight.
SC: Nobody cycles with me!
NJ: At one stage today a four year old overtook Shaun on her tiny bike with stabilizers on.
GH: I want to get home.

 

  Day 7 - Sunday 25th August
  Cadeuil to Nalliers
  via Marans
  56 miles @ 12.7mph
  4hr 22min in the saddle
  Total elapsed distance so far = 395 miles.
   
GH: SC rejoined the peloton for much of the day, but it was a ploy to break NJ/GH.  He even resorted to causing a R.T.A. of which GH was a victim.
NJ: Well where do I start today? Having just had a cow and chips, I feel I must comment on my fellow peloton members.  GH is still my mate, but he has developed this bizarre habit of riding his bike into the back of us and then falling all over the road. Strange.  And he won't let me kiss him.  As for SC, I am very worried about his strange behaviour, having spent most of the trip miles behind, today he flew off like a bat out of hell.  When the inevitable happened and I overtook him, he greeted by saying "you fucker".  More worryingly we found out today what his hobby is while lagging behind: taking photos of dead animals.  From now on we will call him sick boy.  Today we also learnt a new sport the French have invented called "Car Boot Fishing".  Good day.
SC: I like to think that I can keep the spirit of these animals alive in my camera work.  It's not natural, normal, or nice that these beautiful creatures must die.  It's death for no reason and death for no reason is murder.  Kill the cars.
NJ: I still believe it is sexually motivated and alarmingly he took photos of me and G.
GH: I'm scared at night.

 

  Day 8 - Monday 26th August
  Nalliers to Vertou (East of Nantes)
  70 miles ?
  @ 12.1mph ?
   
SC: I forgot to mention yesterday that I met a puppy called Christine.  My companions have gone to bed at 10.45pm.  Neale has just started to snore.  I am sad to report that I will not be able to acknowledge that this tour has been a good team effort.  For the majority of the time, I have been left to cycle on my own, some distance behind and with no map.  I wonder how I would have reacted if situations had been reversed?  Neale continues to snore.  Young moped riders ride their mopeds outside.
NJ: After cheerful night in local hostelry, where a colourful cockney chappy remarked how similar SC and GH were in appearance, enough to call them twins, we set off afresh.  From then on everything went wrong.  The Abernalles acted strangely again, SC rushing off and the blowing hard, and GH fixation for motorways arose again.  G gave Shaun the map, what a mistake to make.  Did 70 miles today around in bloody circles.  In response to certain criticism levelled at myself and G, if SC could keep up these problems would not occur, but he is an awfully slow child.  After 70 miles and seeing it was getting dark, we just wanted to see a campsite.  Oh, by the way, Shaun's map reading seemed to take in a lot of cemeteries.
GH: Near panic arose as a result of SC's shortcomings and his paranoid delusions appear to be getting worse.

 

  Day 9 - Tuesday 27th August
  Vertou (Nantes) to Bain
  via Nort, Nozay
  65.74miles @ 12.2mph
  Total so far = 531 miles
   
SC: I would like to thank GH/NJ for their support on the road today.  This was my most productive day in the saddle by some distance.
GH: SC led the peloton and demonstrated map reading skills to a high level of skill.  We are back as a team.  I've got lots of spots/bites.  But can see light at the end of the tunnel. I want a bath and bed...
NJ: ...and a decent hard on.  I can only echo G's words, Shaun did remarkably well all round.  Well done.  I can only recall one minor detour up the biggest hill in Northern France, but he led well and kept us going.  Two things have caused concern alas.  Firstly a lot of the reception we encounter from the natives has been piss poor.  After all we did save the buggers twice, but they seem to have forgot.  Today was the first time anyone has given us the time of day and we had a lovely lunch in a lovely hotel.  Secondly, animals of all sorts seem to fear Shaun.  The number of dogs that bark at him and chase him is quite concerning, a la Damien.  Hard day, nearly home.
SC: I have encountered my first French toilet where I was not overcome by the stench of urine.

 

  Day 10 - Wednesday 28th August
  Bain to Tinteniac
  via Bourg, Bruz, Rennes
  36 miles @ 10.6 mph
  3hrs 25min in the saddle
   
GH: Once again we rode as a team.  The cycling is becoming a chore.  My spots and bites are starting to clear up.  I rode in boxer shorts today.
NJ: Nearly over.  Hard day up hills into driving wind, but we are getting there.  We all smell a bit and are sick of the bikes.  SC led like all leaders do, from the rear.  Nothing else to report, too tired.  Played basketball in evening.  Full moon tonight, worried Shaun might get up to some tricks.

 

  Day 11 - Thursday 29th August
  Tinteniac to St.Malo
  32.6miles @ 9.3mph
  3hr 30min in the saddle
  Total mileage = 600 miles
   
SC: Feigned knee injury to lure GH into water bottle attack.
NJ: Last day.  I was given the honour of leading the troops in.  After initial piss taking we got on very well and I think we had our most enjoyable day in the saddle.  Had a great lunch where the wine kept coming, which made the ride a little more adventurous.
GH: I fell victim to an unprovoked water attack.  However, demonstrated my military skills by disarming SC.  We reminisced about schooldays and talked of sexual fantasies.  We can't wait to get home.
SC: Also performed synchronized water bottle attack on GH.  I got a 1st on the motor car game.  Crazy golf - I forget who won, but Stiffy was definitely last.

 

Snorey Bastard and Snorey Bugger touring France in 1996

Snorey Bastard & Snorey Bugger

 

awaiting photo
The Abernalle Twins

 

Bretagne

St. Malo to Portsmouth
"Bretagne"
Launched 1989
Gross Tonnage 23,000
Length 152.80m
Beam 26m
Service Speed 21 Knots
Crew 140
Total passenger capacity 2,030
Cars 580

 

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This page was last updated on 02/09/2000.