So far things have not exactly gone according to plan. I am tying to adapt as I go but I am behind where I had expected to be on the route already. I was in Brest this morning but I expected to be in Carhaix which is about 95 kilometers away. That is going to make this a very long day! Brest is the starting city for the Tour de France this year and I had hoped to see some of the preparations for the event, but since I am behind schedule I will not have time to see much of it. I have seen some signs announcing route closures on my way but not too much otherwise.

I got breakfast in the hotel and set off again through town. Brest is a busy place and I see a large group of tents in town that are probably for the Tour. I don’t have time to look around much however and I get started on the bike. Returning the same way I came the route finding should be a little easier for a while but I expect difficulties again later. I have not studied the TDF route for this year but it looks like I will cross it several times. I see more “route baree” signs for the Tour noting different closures days along the way. I will have to look at the official route later to see where it goes.

Back in Loudeac I find a market and stock up on supplies. There is also a bike shop here and I do need some things but it is closed. When I ask someone when it will open today they just laugh and tell me “of course it is closed, it is Monday!” Silly me, I should have known better. The bike is giving me a little trouble shifting and I wanted to get some CO2 cartridges as well. I have not been able to get any yet and repairing my flat tires takes much more time without them. All these little delays continue to add up and deduct from the mileage I can cover each day.

You have a narrow window when the shops are open to buy things in the little towns along the way. Even water is proving to be a challenge. I think that without 2 large water bottles and a Camelback I would have run out of water a couple of times. I am carrying a lot more food than I normally would as well. The route is very rural and if you run out of groceries in between large towns or if you arrive in the towns at the wrong time you will go hungry. Ask me how I know that!

Climbing back over Tintineac Mountain I see another sign for a route closure on the TDF route. It looks like they will be climbing over this mountain and past the huge antenna on the way. This is a landmark that most PBP riders will recognize. When I watch the tour I will look for it. After the descent into town I find a small restaurant to stop at. I have eaten all of my food and water and it is late in the day. I am able to get a sandwich and a beer but when I try and buy water I find only 1 liter available at the bar. I spend another half an hour looking for water in town but there is none available. Apparently I got the last bottle of water in Tintineac!

I continue on towards Fougeres where it is my plan to spend the night. Navigation continues to be difficult and I do at least an extra 15 kilometers of back-tracking and looking for the right route. I came to one roundabout where there were 3 seperate signs indicating the direction to a larger town which was on my route. One was via the motorway, one was a truck route and the other was a local route. All 3 were the wrong way! The correct route was a little harder identify and went through smaller towns via some poorly marked lesser roads. Trying to determine the correct route has been my curse and may prove to be my undoing!

I arrive in Fougeres just after 10 pm and start to look for a hotel. It was a long last 10 km into town and now the search for a hotel adds to my day. I finally find a Campanile Hotel on the south side of town. All of the restaurants are now closed so I will have to be satisfied snacking on my remaining food for dinner. It doesn’t really matter that much, I am beat and I fall asleep right after a shower.

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