Day 9 Thursday
This is our last day with Ronan as we head for home tomorrow. Boo Hoo.
So today we are going to do a fair few miles down to Saint Nazaire. Ronans home town.
We are going to the dock area to visit the Submarine museum and the WW11 U-Boat pens.
We again met at Ronans place. Just the four of us today, we’ll meet up with Franck later on.
Ronan asks if he can have a go on my C125 Super Cub. Certainly mon ami no problem. I didn’t quite realise that in France a go of, means literally all day. I never got the Cub back until that evening.
Again Ronan is leading, this time on the mighty Cub. Saint Nazaire, brace yourself, here we come.
The journey to Saint Nazaire takes us through the stunning scenery of Parc naturel de Briere. Taking in the vilages of Saint-Joachim and Saint-Malo-de-Guersac.
The villages within the Parc are basically tiny islands surrounded by marshes and water courses. It was only when we stopped in the villages and this was pointed out to us could we see the expanse of reed beds and water for miles in every direction.
Soon the roads are starting to get bigger. We must be getting close to Saint Nazaire. It’s busy, but not mad type busy and soon we are into the vast dock area heading towards the U-Boat pens.
Sometimes it’s nice having someone in front who actually knows the area. It gives you time to take it all in and have a nosey whilst riding. We pull into a car park right opposite to the WW11 U-Boat pens.
Saint Nazaire WW2 U-Boat Pens
Hmm, I wondered, which poor buggers had to build that lot for the German cause? They were still very impressive though. The dock that we were at, Basin de Saint Nazaire also housed the French Museum submarine Sous-marin Espadon.
Espadon Museum Submarine
It Was Very Cramped Inside
The Canteen But Also Note The Bunk Beds
The Galley Was About Five Foot Square
We had a tour of the Espadon aided by English audio headphones. I have no idea what modern Subs are like. But I can tell you, those from the 1960’s are blimmin awful places to live and work. My God they are so cramped. Not for me thanks. However it was very interesting and informative.
Before too long we are out in the hot midday sun. Ronan said that we should take lunch at his cousins’ restaurant, not more than ten minutes away, in the dock complex. We all agree that it’s a splendid idea. What a lunch it was.
Food And Drink At Saint Nazaire
More Relations, Ronans Uncle
Five courses including wine for less than twenty euros each. We obviously met some more of Ronans family. It was like a scene out of the Godfather, minus the horses’ heads. We spent a very pleasant couple of hours there, eating and drinking (a little) and chatting away without a care in the world. How very cosmopolitan.
Time to head for our new home of Malestroit. I’ve not got me bike back! I can’t prise it out of Ronans Gallic paws?
Head for home? Well via the Plage de La Baule. A very upmarket French holiday destination just a few miles North of Saint Nazaire.
Then onto the salt marshes of Marais Oellets Blancs de Guerande. There are few roads that traverse the vast salt marshes. It’s devoid of houses and very beautiful.
We then head inland to the Walled town of Guerande. We park the bikes up just outside the town walls and spend an hour taking in the inner town itself. It was touristy, but also quintessentially French medieval. In fact it was a lovely place.
Parking Up Outside the Mediaeval Town Of Guerande
It Was Just As Nice Inside The Walls
Vintage BMW In Guerande
Time to go…again. Back to Malestroit? No, further North to Port Azal on the Vilaine River.
We pull into the car park and are confronted by Francks BMW and a Norton Commando. We sidle over to the onsite café bar to meet up again with Franck and another new mate Brian. Brian is French and a local to the area. We have a quick coffee and are soon on our way with Brian leading.
We are following the river inland and cross one of the bridges into the town of La Roche Bernard. We do a lap of the town and are then heading along deserted roads to who knows where?
Bike Lined Up AT Port Azal
I Wasn't Expecting To See One Of These In Britanny
L To R Brian, Franck and Ronan
The further we go the faster we go. Brian is giving the Commando some stick, but Nige on his 125 Cub is never more than thirty meters behind. I really don’t know how he’s keeping up, but I’ve known Nige a long time and know what a good rider he is.
Brian keeps checking behind to see if he’s left us. Sorry mate. No.
Soon we are pulling off the road to be greeted by a ginormous property and garden. Yup, it’s Brians place and very nice and large it was too.
Ronan was waxing lyrical about my Super Cub and how good it was. I’ve had seventy four out of it coming here. Thanks Ronan I’m sure it’s run in by now.
We have a look at Brians Ducatis, then he wheels out a 1970’s Suzuki GT125. OMG I was in love. I’ve always liked this model along with the GT185. Proper nostalgic and it started up first kick and sat there idling away. I obviously had to tweak the throttle a few times.
Parked Up Outside Brians Pad
Some of Brians Bike Collection
A Couple Of Brians Ongoing Projects
Hmmmm GT125 Luvvly
There was, in my opinion better to come as he ushered us inside his workshops to the inner sanctum to show us his tiddly 50cc racer. It had a really nice finish to it and it was a fantastic restoration. He was justifiably very proud of it.
This Was Really Special
Time, for Malestroit. Really, are you really sure this time? We were all a bit knackered it was past six O’ clock.
Ronan said we must be at his house for 8pm for Crepes and drinks. Oh, it wasn’t negotiable again either. So our last night was spent with Ronan and his family along with Franck and his wife, eating and drinking in plendid company A perfect end to a perfect holiday.
Crepes and Obviously Drinks At Ronans
Jason About To Tuck In