When life is not a race
I am free to roam and ramble
At my favourite happy pace.”
The cold and wet winter months, of course, give little encouragement to roam and explore but, come the summer, the imagination races and we all find old haunts to revisit or pastures new to explore. So it was with John and Jenny Durham and Graham Black on returning from the Section Tour at the beginning of June.
I don't think John and Jennifer were back for much more than a week before they set off again for France by car, carrying their bikes, of course. The main attraction was the Tour de France, of which John and Jennifer saw stages one and three. Their thirteen-day tour also allowed them to explore a considerable stretch of north-western France including Normandy, the Vendee and Brittany.
Highlights, apart from the Tour itself, were (1) the spectacular 70 metre long tapestry in Bayeux, painstakingly stitched by nuns about a thousand years ago to commemorate - in bloody and graphic detail - the Battle of Hastings, and (2) cycling on largely flattish roads in La Vendee and exploring quaint local villages.
Their return to Roscoff took them via Redon and the medieval town of Malestroit, which is just a stone's throw from Dave Newman's second home in Josselin.
Not soon after, Graham Black went looking for the sun, beaches and cycling on Minorca and was, once again, not disappointed. He stayed at a Youth Hostel near Ciutadella (Alberg Juvenil Sa Vinyeta) for the flattering cost of only £16 per night - including breakfast! “It had a friendly atmosphere and you met other fellow foreign travellers as well as a few Brits,” Graham said. Mountain bikes were also available, which made it easy and a great way to get to the beaches and also to cycle around the rural narrow lanes (caminos) of the island. There was also a good bus service which made it possible to enjoy some great days' coastal walking and to swim on the small quiet beaches. Graham is now back after leaving the blue skies and warm sea but, he says, “Hopefully I can look forward to another visit in the not too distant future."