Day 3 - Lucon to Royan

Nothing could stop the two from their perilous journey through the beautiful French countryside, not even Election day...

After a chilly start to Sunday, we headed south into the countryside on Election Day. The roads started off quiet, but soon the countryside was buzzing with traffic - and while we dodged the rain and traffic, steady progress was made.In fact, I decided that we'd dawdled enough yesterday, so we got a bit of a spurt on to get a third of the 70 mile journey done by our mid morning coffee stop. Dave and I agreed that two three course meals a day, plus accompanying drinks and breakfast, probably wasn't the way to go. The evening before I was sitting in my bib shorts in the hotel room, and frankly looked like Demi Moore in the famous Vanity Fair pregnancy cover shot. Also telling people you've cycled to Nice and simultaneously put on two stone doesn't really work either. That's why when we arrived in the lovely port town of Rochefort, we hit the Golden Arches for lunch. The toilets are always clean, you get Wi-Fi, and they put how many calories you get in your Big Mac meal. Beat that artisanal French bistros serving locally sourced organic delicacies!

Overall the route today was interesting and scenic with lots of little towns to keep us occupied. On the down side, the Garmin would have had us going through people's living rooms and garages to stay on track on more than one occasion... and the hill climb just before Royan was 'a bit cheeky' to say the least!

Dave and I checked into the hotel - and yay, it's laundry day - so we went off to get the clothes cleaned. Frankly the place was awesome - everything worked, you could pay with notes and cards, and there was no dodgy bloke trying to resurrect a soiled duvet in the only working drier.

Finally, we ambled along the front and had a superb seafood meal at a restaurant recommended by our hotel manager. It was really lovely, but not cheap - and watching Dave dispatch a kettle of mussels will stay with me for some time.

Tomorrow we must get up early to catch the ferry - we're on our way to Bordeaux!

Paul Carter

Dave trying to look composed. We're at the top of a flyover in gale force winds 

- struggling for breath and trying not to get run over.

The old port of Rochefort. Hello sailor....

Teatime in Royan. You had me at 'we get the ferry from here in the morning'