Monday, 31 August 2015

Friday 7th August: Flers to Arromanches-les-Bains

The Breakfast in Flers was a quick affair and we were away by 0900 for the first time on this trip. Glad to be away from Flers after a very noisey night. The town is a dedicated to traffic and all the noise seems to echo around the streets. Add to this a few drunken residents and those who enjoy playing rap to the town at 0200 in the morning and you get the picture.  However it was good that we got away earlier than usual - it was a long hard day.

To reach the Channel at Arromanches rather than Ouistreham meant that after the first 10km we had to leave the V43 and move across to catch a path heading for Bayeux, and then leave this path to bypass Bayeux to reach Arromanches. I had spent a lot of effort planning this route but in the event I had made a few errors and a couple of times we ended up on roads that were much more main than I had wanted, and a couple of times a put us into very rough unmade tracks that were too rough or overgrown to cycle down - how can you tell when reading the map? 

Apparently from the first day when we had lots of ups and down on the coast in the foot hills of the Pyrenees, this was the only day when we had significant hills. We had to cross so called Suisse Normandie which was rolling hills similar to Devon.

We made good progress and had lunch in a very pleasant Normandie resto in Villers-Bocage. But the last 8km had been along the D6 and a motorway junction with a 1km 1st gear hill straight up into the town. We were thirsty and drank two bottles of Cidre Bouchė. We got our table at 1225, when the place was half full. By 1235 the place was full!  

We made it into Arromaches at 1700 where we are staying at the Hotel de la Marine which is right on the seafront at the very centre of the famous Mulberry Harbour, and has a well regarded restaurant. We have a sea view from our bedroom window.

The Marine Hotel in the centre

selfie on arrival!

From the window you can see the surviving outer harbour walls and a piece that is left of the landing pontoons.

Toasting our safe arrival in the resto!

There was a sunset to remember that night😀
Distance 90.3
Average speed 16.28kph
Ascended 827m

For the record, our total distance travelled is 1161km so far

Saturday 7th was a rest day and after walking around the bay at low tide we spent most of it learning about the importance and construction of the Mulberry harbour at the excellent local museum. Su much excited by the Engineering and wishing her father was still with us to share this with.

Outer harbour walls

Pontoon floats

Road bridge sections

This is what it looked like in use

And the layout of the whole harbour. Our hotel is just where the middle pier lands.

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