Day 35, 16.08.2019, AB Laval – Orleans – Jargeau, 266 km

I did not mention in yesterday’s report that I stopped at a highway fuel station for the night. I headed east again towards Germany and Austria.

55 km before Orleans I found Schloss Châteaudun. What a beauty.

In Orleans I parked at the river Loire opposite the city and rode my bike to town.

A bit further up is already an image oft this hotel and court yard. Now, one hour later it was used for a celebration of the French National Holiday. They had representatives from the US Army around in their original uniforms. Also vehicles were on show from 1945.

One of the vehicles was a Dodge troop transporter which I had driven in my military training in 1979. Can you believe that? It was not a question that I could take a seat and get photographed by the US Army.

About 15 km “behind” Orleans was Jargeau, which had a small parking lot for motor homes. Quite quaint views.

Day 34, 15.08.2019, Mont St. Michel – Rennes – AB Laval, 141 km

Who has not heard of Mont St Michel? I did and it was on my bucket list for a long time. Today was the day.

The camping site was near, so I took the bike once more and left it before the long bridge and mingled with the crowd. Medieval through and through the place moves you back in time automatically. Everything has style and charm and quality.

I was blessed by being able to attend the end of a church service, where the nuns sang as a small choir with a mystical sound in that high cathedral.

Wandering from level to level one has views over the Channel or inland or is drawn into court yards and chambers.

It is such a center of positive energy that I did not want to leave on the same day. On the other hand my time came slowly to an end and I carried on east bound to Rennes.

My blessings did not seize. Rennes offers stylish architectures and splendid restaurants, pubs and cafes.

Day 32, 13.08.2019, Oxford – Stone Henge – Pool, 202 km

This would be special day. I visited good friends from long long back at their country cottage near Oxford. And later on I drove to Stone Henge in the Salisbury Planes. It should be no secret that I am mad about the Neolithic Sites.

The mystery of this center of energy is still under investigation. Austrian scientists are leading the wider area research from an helicopter using Radar and Sonar technology. They discovered a huge far reaching structure of stones and paths and type of canals. For me the presence of Stone Henge is nothing short of the Pyramids of Egypt or Macchu Picchu in Peru.

After that intense visit where I moved backwards and forwards in time in my imagination (->, I carried on to Pool to cross over the Channel tomorrow to France.

For France I had in mind the Normandie and Bretagne, but detailed targets. I was lucky enough to get recommendations and hints from friends and neighbors. One would be “Carnac” with many large fields with hundreds of Menhirs. Equally intriguing.

Day 30, 11.08.2019, Fort William – Morecambe, 439 km

As I parked very near to the ALDI shop, what sounds more attractive than fresh croissants for breakfast? What a treat in the morning.

Moving back south with just a few short stops. Time for better weather all together.

Some roads had unstable shoulders on the side of the road. As I sat in a left hand driven car and had to drive on the left side of the road, judgement to oncoming motor home traffic was tough at times. It resulted in 4 hits on one Sunday. And one to the four broke the right outer mirror. I just could fix it with cable strips not to loose it completely.

I choose Morecambe for the stop over by chance because it got late and I got tired. Found parking quickly in a side road of a shopping complex and walked to the festival at the sea side.

Day 29, 10.08.2019, Portree – Fort Williams, 259 km

The idea was to cycle to the northern side of Skye and visit some points if interest. One was the “Old Man of Storr“. A look out of the motor home showed some clouds in the background, but all in all it was very promising.

But just after one Kilometer of cycling the background came strongly to the foreground and I had to put on the rain jacket. I only made it to the first attraction, Old Man of Storr. There were about 15 – 20 people on the way up and down. With a group of younger guys I made it to quite close to the stone. But the last bit was very steep and slippery and there was fog and a gail force storm which almost blew us off the socks. The clouds were so dense, we only saw a ghostly image of it. Perseverance is also a virtue.

In rain and storm I cycled back and suffered a bit. But only the tough survive. In the motor home I quickly changed to warm clothing and put the wet ones onto drying ropes.

All set to drive around the island on four wheels.
Found the “Kilt Rock & Mealt Falls Viewpoint” on route.

Duntulm Castle was a bit lost in the distance, but one could imagine it interesting in different weather.

Other travelers persevered on two wheels and I felt a little weak. My excuse was afterwards, I did not have the perfect outfit for these conditions. And it was true. The way to Fort Williams led over the bridge around lochs and lakes. I found parking and a pub for dinner. All well.

Day 28, 09.09.2019, Ullapool – Portree, 259 km

Today the target was the Isle of Sky with the “capital” Portree. The drive was scenic as every day and I feel, one cannot get tired of it.

If you are lucky you find parking at a fine coffee shop with book shop attached and you meet Italians who are on a long distance cycling trip around the Scottish islands.

Fantastic views of Scotland’s shores and lakes and hills.

As it is called Isle of Sky it needs a connection to the mainland. It could be a ferry, a tunnel or a bridge. They choose an elegant bow.

My parking spot again was an act of bravery: searched down a small road into a little forest and found my niche across the town of Portree. Could not have been any better.

First a stroll to the top of the nearby hill. Found this magic jewel: The Cuillin Hills Hotel.

These pics are from the walk to town.

Day 27, 08.08.2019, Durness – Ullapool, 126 km

I took an extended stroll on the beach far out to the opposite side of my location. It was just peaceful, relaxing, meditative and energizing at the same time.

I love the micro cosmos and miracles of nature along the shores.

The panorama form the far end back.

This are the ruins of Balnakeil Church close to my paring spot.

From the ride to the south west to Ullapool I was again amazed about the beauty of the Scottish Highlands with their winding roads and rivers and waterfalls. You can also meet interesting people on bicycles like Tim from the Netherlands. He had this top special touring bike from Germany for about 8.500 Euros. Respect. I gave him a lift to find a coffee shop. We had to search deep into one of the fjords and found that charming place at the far end…

The camping ground at Broomflield Holiday Park was just outside Ullapool and very well organized.

Day 26, 07.08.2019, John o Groats – Durness, 150 km

It was a westwards move from John o Groats to Durness along the north coast of Scotland. As one can see the weather was rather dull, driving along the sea side is still peaceful and relaxing. Never mind the narrow and partially one-lane-roads. All motorists play to the rules and wait at the next passing island and traffic really flows and flows …

Could not resist to play nine holes of Golf ad-hoc when I came along the Reay Golf Club. It was a fine links course, as they are only in the motherland of Golf.

Similar to the above images, this was the view from the parking site of the motor home – near Durness – and another Golf Club, by the way.

Finding this ideal location needed the courage to drive past Durness on a narrow winding road. Then I found some parking, but it was full already. So I carried on another one-lane-road to the Golf Club. And found my spot.