This morning we had fresh bread delivered to our tent! We hungrily tore pieces from our "miche" and dunked them in butter and honey while Tara explained to me about the regulations in France for bread making. They're only allowed four ingredients: flour, water, salt and yeast. Once again, the running theme in our lives of "simple is good" appears!
After devouring our bready breakfast we packed up camp and set out for a day of aimless coast riding. We need to arrive in Brest tomorrow to pick up our internet dongle from SFR; today is a national holiday and everything is closed.
It was crisp and cool this morning as we rode under a cloudy sky. We thought we might see a bit of rain and I silently thought to myself that I wouldn't mind after our sweaty ride yesterday. No rain came, and before we had 10 kilometers behind us, the sun was out in full force. We stopped so I could change into my cycling shorts and a t-shirt while Tara took photos of these ridiculously vibrant flowers.
Feeling a bit less sticky, we rode off, meandering towards the coast. About 20 kilometers in, Tara spotted a park with a river and some nice tree coverage. Happy to be in the shade, we stopped to eat. We'd saved half of our fresh bread from this morning. This time around, we covered it in peanut butter and honey for a tasty lunch. Neither of us had given it much thought, but we both realized today that honey is a pretty huge part of our diet.
A few months before we left the States, I spent some time with a friend back home who keeps bees. He supplied us with more jars than I can count in the weeks before our departure. Tara and I used them on practically everything as we were trying to save money (and it was delicious). The trend has followed us all the way to France. Thanks Pat!
After lunch, I semi-jokingly said we should take a nap by the river and Tara practically dove to the ground in acceptance of this idea. We stretched out under the trees listening to the river and watching the sun filter in through the leaves before sleeping soundly for about an hour. Things are so easy right now I almost feel like we're cheating. I love it!
Refreshed from our superb lunch and cozy nap, we continued on, finally reaching the craggy northwestern coastline of Brittany. As soon as we saw the ocean we were greeted by a brisk cool breeze, and I was glad of it. We followed easy rolling hills and gently winding roads from one picturesque scene to the next for a good hour, stopping to take photos here and there and marveling at what a wonderful day it was.
After about 40 kilometers we decided to head inland towards Brest in search of a campsite, a task that is very thankfully not difficult in France. There really are campgrounds around every corner here. We picked a quiet municipal site in St. Renan and set up for 9. I quickly found the fresh water spigot and doused my head with the frigid water while imagining a huge cloud of steam erupting around me. Thankfully our spot was well shaded because I was very, very hot.
Tara almost lost her title of 'Medium-Slowy' (graduated from 'Slowy') as she took almost 30 minutes to pump up our air mattresses; by the time she was through I had our entire camp made! With home assembled yet again Tara set to the task of making dinner when she discovered the pump on our MSR fuel bottle was not working.
I felt a bit crushed for a moment, as we've had several minor gear failures in the past few weeks. I sat down and managed to disassemble and repair it while Tara watched and handed me tools like a nurse helping a surgeon. The rubber stopper at the bottom of the plunger had popped off. After fishing it out with one of Tara's knitting needles, re-attaching it, and lubricating the sleeve and plunger, I put it all back togther and it worked!
With the stove working again, Tara made a heaping portion of spicy spaghetti for me, and an equally heaping portion of sweet 'n spicy peanut rice for her. For dessert we had "mozzerella" sticks! We accidentally bought some flavorless, rubbery cheese a few days ago. Tara was somehow able to turn it into really, really tasty breaded-and-fried cheese sticks, which we dipped in marinara sauce! YUM!
What a great day. Time to settle in for some reading.