Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => Rides and Touring => Topic started by: andrewc on 08 April, 2018, 10:42:05 am

Title: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: andrewc on 08 April, 2018, 10:42:05 am
This years first camping trip will start at Le Havre in early May.  The plan is to follow the Seine up to Giverny and then head down to Chartres before looping back to the coast.


I'd lik to spend a day in Rouen as well, to look at the cathedral & musee beaux-arts.   This leads to the perennial problem of leaving a loaded bike in a busy city centre.  Is there any secure parking available ?  Perhaps at the station ?


All other advice & tips welcome, especially about the best way out of the Le Havre docklands, of which I do not have fond memories.
Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: arry_b on 09 April, 2018, 12:45:54 pm
Leaving Le havre - There's a likely looking road heading away from the docks upstream called Rue des Salines. Don't be fooled, it's a very rough and rocky track. Avoid.
Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: Andrij on 10 April, 2018, 11:43:52 am
Rouen is well worth a visit.  We stayed there a couple of nights, so had no trouble with parking.

If you plan on crossing the Seine before Rouen research carefully.  My guide book mentioned a town that had a ferry.  Turns out there hasn't been a functioning ferry there since WWII.  I don't recall the name, but will look it up later.  Also, if you cross Pont du Normandie getting anywhere useful from the western end was a bit of a mess.  Please note this was nearly 10 years ago, so things may have changed.
Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: Canardly on 10 April, 2018, 01:31:30 pm
Quillebeuf?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnopAlfdXiA
Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: Andrij on 10 April, 2018, 09:36:49 pm
Quillebeuf?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnopAlfdXiA

That's where we ended up crossing on our way to Caudebec-en-Caux.  Can't find confirmation at the moment, but I think the non-existent ferry was supposed to be in Vieux Port.
Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: mzjo on 10 April, 2018, 11:30:24 pm
France has discovered bike cages. At Limoges there are some in a P&R parking which seems exceedingly futile and is probably why I have never seen one in use. I think you need your own padlock (cadena in french for those who don't know). Contacting the Office de Tourisme at Rouen might produce useful info on this.
Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: sg37409 on 10 April, 2018, 11:42:40 pm
We went this way. It wasn't great, but it maybe best way out. Be very aware of tram tracks when crossing the bridge just before 6km. A lot of lorries just hurtle past you and leave little room.  Le post de normandy is ok if your experienced and have a head for heights.

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/899/39566102400_eba3791566_c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/23hjBMj)hosted for yacf (https://flic.kr/p/23hjBMj) by sg310 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/24775321@N02/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: Canardly on 11 April, 2018, 10:10:56 pm
That looks suspiciously like the route we followed last  the other year. The camions were a bit terrifying tbh and one of the port bridges was out which added to the confusion.
Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: LEE on 11 April, 2018, 10:26:49 pm
There's no nice way out of Le Havre.  Eventually you find a cycle path approach to the Pont du Normandie but you can't avoid the truck route for a large part of it.

Just put your head down and get it over with as quickly as possible. 

Also, use the pedestrian path on the Pont du Normandie rather than the cycle lane (which is white paint separating you from the lorries).  It's a steep and long climb so you'll be going very slowly right next to the lorries going very quickly.  3/4 the way down (on the right) you'll see an exit from the bridge ...take it.  It's a nice quite route to Honfleur...the jewel of Normandie.  If you descend the whole bridge you'll get stuck on main roads again.

Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: Kim on 11 April, 2018, 10:33:17 pm
Also, use the pedestrian path on the Pont du Normandie rather than the cycle lane (which is white paint separating you from the lorries).  It's a steep and long climb so you'll be going very slowly right next to the lorries going very quickly.

Andrewc knows this already, but for future reference here's the photo, with a Wowbagger for scale:

(http://www.ductilebiscuit.net/gallery_albums/normandy2016/2016_06_10_11_36_14.sized.jpg)


Quote
3/4 the way down (on the right) you'll see an exit from the bridge ...take it.

(http://www.ductilebiscuit.net/gallery_albums/normandy2016/2016_06_10_11_06_30.sized.jpg)

It's finding that one from the other direction that's the clever bit.
Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: andrewc on 11 April, 2018, 11:24:30 pm
There's no nice way out of Le Havre.


Sounds like Liverpool .....


There appears to be a cycleroute V33 along the northern bank, which will take me towards Rouen.   If I cross the Pont du Normandie it's likely to be on the last leg of the trip,  and I've done it before, though I recall finding the access road was not easy.


http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=12/49.4565/0.3419&layers=C
Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: andrewc on 30 April, 2018, 07:41:36 pm
https://twitter.com/severeweathereu/status/991020779860094977?s=21 (https://twitter.com/severeweathereu/status/991020779860094977?s=21)


Looks like good touring weather....  :jurek:
Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: Canardly on 30 April, 2018, 08:19:00 pm
Warmer next week.
Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: Canardly on 03 May, 2018, 09:44:51 pm
I hope you are going to do your usual tour blog Andrew?
Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: andrewc on 05 May, 2018, 09:01:57 am
Le Havre Loop https://trackmytour.com/C96kt (https://trackmytour.com/C96kt)
Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: andrewc on 05 May, 2018, 10:00:15 pm
A long day on trains, then the overnight ferry arriving in Le Havre on a sunny morning.  Followed the V33 route which had a couple of kms of busy road before a parallel cycle route appeared. Alternating between river or canal side or quietish roads. Going along one road with a wide ditch & marshlands to my right I saw something in the water, a large rodent. Best guess is a Coypu, google says there is a large local population.


Past Tancarville & more riverside, lots of expensive housing, also lots of painters trying to emulate Monet.


Camped at Caudebec-en-Caux, an extortionate 17€.
Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: Canardly on 05 May, 2018, 10:10:14 pm
Ouch.
Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: andrewc on 06 May, 2018, 09:59:50 pm
Very hot & sunny, I’ve got a blistered nose from forgetting sunscreen yesterday. Due to laziness & faffage I wasn’t on the road until 11:30. Under the Pont de Brotonne & down to le Trait. From there down to the lovely Jumieges & up to Duclair where I took a free ferry to the other bank.  I rode down to Anneville , but what I thought was a public campsite was in fact a naturist one  :facepalm:
Had to backtrack to jumieges for. €17 campsite & €6 beer.
Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: Polar Bear on 06 May, 2018, 10:07:40 pm
In this heat perhaps a bit of naturism might have been quite welcome.  No?
Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: Ashaman42 on 07 May, 2018, 09:12:03 am
But then without his sunscreen he might have more than a blistered nose to worry about!!

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: andrewc on 07 May, 2018, 09:14:09 am
Very true! I’ve got leaking blisters on my head  :sick:
Don’t want them anywhere else!  Lady at the campsite confims they had snow last week..
Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: andrewc on 08 May, 2018, 07:30:31 am
Another glorious hot sunny day.  Away by 10:30 this morning so slightly better. Quiet roads to the free ferry at le Mesnil then onto the other bank for quiet road to Barville & then a lovely lane through flowered meadows with chalk cliffs on one side & the Seine on the other. A quick picnic of bread, cheese & sausage.
I stop in la Bouille for a couple of cold beers then get another ferry.   The bank I’m on is fairly undeveloped but the other is heavy industrial & docklands, not very pretty.


Eventually get to Rouen & a €7.70 beer in the shadow of the cathedral. I paid in change....


It seems to be a Law that whenever I visit a cathedral it must be covered in scaffolding. Only the main spire this time. I’ll take a proper look in the morning.
Camping l’aubette a few km outside the city is the cheapest so far at €8 but you have to pay for a shower & there is only 1 proper toilet, the others are squats.


Rabbits on the campsite but no insects.
Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: Redlight on 08 May, 2018, 08:22:15 am
I rode down to Anneville , but what I thought was a public campsite was in fact a naturist one  :facepalm:

There's a certain logic in planning a cycling tour stopping only at naturist campsites - you don't need to carry any spare clothes to wear while your kit is drying each evening  :thumbsup:

(I should add that I haven't yet deployed this strategy myself as most of my touring has been done in cooler weather)
Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: andrewc on 08 May, 2018, 12:22:26 pm
A bad choice for an “off the bike day” in Rouen. It’s VE Day & all the museums are closed.


Buying food for tonight might be awkward as well.
Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: andrewc on 08 May, 2018, 09:13:24 pm
A wander around the cathedral, a couple of other churches & the old town. All very pretty. I found an open supermarket which takes care of dinner & breakfast, but couldn’t find an open pharmacist. My right upper eyelid is swollen & I can’t see the tear duct, this could be my Blepheritis flaring up or a reaction to something else?  I’m not usually bothered by pollen & there is no scratchy feeling from debris.
Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: Canardly on 09 May, 2018, 08:29:22 pm
Did you get some help from pharmacist Andrew?
Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: andrewc on 09 May, 2018, 10:07:31 pm
I’ve not bothered yet. The right eye isn’t as bad as it is was, the left only slightly swollen. I’ve never suffered from Hay Fever but there are clouds of vegetable matter floating in the air at the moment so suspect it may be this.


An annoying day. I was up for 6:30, shaved, showered & did breakfast and still wasn’t on the road till 10:30.
Put some freshly charged batteries in the GPS and they died, as did the next set so I had to buy alkalines.


Left Rouen & crossed the river, about an hours pleasant riding then I lost the cycle route in an industrial estate. Escaped to the parallel main road but there was a solid central barrier so I ended up pushing the bike on a narrow footway against the direction of traffic for a couple of km until I could cross over.  After that pleasant enough riverside riding to tonight’s campsite at Poses.  Nothing for breakfast so will have to find a bakery.
Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: andrewc on 12 May, 2018, 10:42:13 pm
Well I’ve been a bit lazy updating this! 
Pressed on to Vernon & booked in for 2 nights at the campsite in St Marcel, this is a long drag out of the valley & had some mixed reviews on the net but I thought it was fine. Bloody cold on the first night though!


Next day I got up early & was outside Monet’s house & gardens before they opened. I spent about 4 hours shuffling around the 2 gardens & the house & loved it. The adjacent Musee d’imprssionisme was less good. Sad to see fully armed troops walking around the village as well, though in view of today’s events in Paris?


Today I was on the road for 09:30, it was cool & overcast with rain forecast for later. I followed the river Eure down towards Chartres. A lot of quiet roads & voie verts.  I stopped for a picnic lunch at what looked like a quiet spot then a load of old blokes turned up fora noisy game of boules


A short distance later what looked like some kind of mastiff chased me & sunk its teeth into my leg  >:(


I ride on for a bit, then stopped to clean & dress the wound, a couple of shallow punctures & some blood.


I stopped at a pharmacy for advice, the woman said it looked OK, but advised me to go to A&E to see a Dr & get some antibiotics. I rode the 30km to Chartres in drizzle then couldn’t find the right hospital! That’s tomorrow’s job then.
Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: Porkins on 13 May, 2018, 02:52:22 am
Re your security question, my compromise is a small D lock to fix a wheel to something, locking skewers, take valuables with me and add a motion sensitive alarmed cable lock. They're easy to break but they may have some deterrent value, or alert you to thievery when you're nearby. There are various cheap ones around. My old Targus one died in the rain and has been discontinued, so I can't recommend it. It never went off when I was in a shop or lavatory or whatever, so maybe it worked brilliantly and maybe it didn't! But it's some comfort when you're travelling alone and you have to leave the bike out of sight for a few mins. Here's one.  https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01K7VT9LC/ref=asc_df_B01K7VT9LC52457412/?tag=googshopuk-21&creative=22110&creativeASIN=B01K7VT9LC&linkCode=df0&hvadid=214440742293&hvpos=1o17&hvnetw=g&hvrand=15440197992917069795&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9045891&hvtargid=pla-450980116924&th=1&psc=1

They usually have a flashing light and a regular beep. Maybe you could add a big ALARM sticker or something.
Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: andrewc on 13 May, 2018, 07:00:11 am
Why are French campsites still installing squat loos?  I can’t believe anyone prefers them . Cheaper & less prone to damage ?
Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: Canardly on 13 May, 2018, 09:25:00 am
You might need a rabies shot Andrew.
Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: andrewc on 13 May, 2018, 09:31:55 am
You might need a rabies shot Andrew.
Officially no rabies in France these days. Last case was 2015 a dog that had illegally been taken to Algeria & back.
Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: Canardly on 13 May, 2018, 09:33:13 am
Good.
Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: andrewc on 13 May, 2018, 07:06:11 pm
Perhaps not so good. Local hospital gave me a prescription for antibiotics but were insistent I call the Pasteur Institute in Paris tomorrow. I can see a course of injections in my future.  Apparently I should have stopped, found the dogs owner & checked that it had been vaccinated. All I wanted to do at that time was to put some distance between the barking monster & myself.


Google tells me that the current treatment is an injection near the bite & 3 subsequent ones in the arm, about as painful as a flu jab.   Probably going to make the rest of the tour awkward though.
Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: andrewc on 14 May, 2018, 08:31:32 am
Just spoken to the Institute Pasteur & the doctor said I don’t need any additional treatment so on with the tour.


Off towards Le Havre then, it’s cold & grey today.
Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: andrewc on 14 May, 2018, 09:38:47 am
There is a large group of Cycle tourists from the Dutch ANWB on this campsite.  One of them just came over & said I was snoring loudly all night!


Me snoring?


I’m shocked, shocked I tell you!
Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: andrewc on 14 May, 2018, 08:13:55 pm
It was a cold wet morning & I was in no hurry to leave. Just as well as I couldn’t find my Tilley hat! Disaster was averted when I asked the site manager who had it in his office.  A quick stop at a pharmacy to get my prescribed antibiotics & then I took the D24 out of Chartres. Not the best days riding, a dead straight road through a variety of small French towns, most of which have too many empty shops & for sale signs. Not quite as bad as the U.K., but small town life seems to be coming to an end.


A cold headwind & some drizzle as well. I’d forgotten to shop for lunch so had a muesli bar & some chorizo. Found an open cafe for a coffee as well. 


The largest town was Senonches where I found an open supermarket where I bought food & meths before proceeding to a campsite at la Ferte-Vidame.


I’m quite close to Montagne au Perche... is it true that YACF members have the freedom of the town , by authority of a previous mayor ?
Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: andrewc on 14 May, 2018, 08:17:56 pm
I’ve got to be in Le Havre for Friday night. Ideally I’d like to get to Honfleur by Thursday & spend a day there.


Any suggestions for a pretty route?
Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: Canardly on 14 May, 2018, 09:47:45 pm
Dunno 'bout the route but no doubt you will be visiting the Rue de la Bavolle, so hope you get to spend the day in Honfleur. It makes le Havre worth all the effort and the camp site is so well situated.
Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: guidon on 14 May, 2018, 10:01:15 pm
Good luck with the route finding! btw you'll have far better weather than those of us down south!!!
Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: andrewc on 16 May, 2018, 07:10:01 am
A very lazy day as I didn’t get on the road before 12:00.  Bright sun but with enough wind that I didn’t feel hot.  A very quiet straight road through woods, then onto the D45 which went gently up & down through fields of flax, wheat & rapeseed.  Through L’Aigle at about 4, I started googling for a campsite & the only practical one was St Evroult Notre-Dame du Bois, where I found a gorgeous Camping Municipal.  A nice location above the lake, a decent washblock & totally deserted, not even anyone to pay.
84km to Honfleur by google routing, I’ll see what I can do today.
Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: andrewc on 16 May, 2018, 08:30:43 pm
I woke up at 5ish for a pee & the lake was covered with mist. Tent was a bit damp as well, so back to bed until the sun was up enough to dry it.


No one to pay & no honestly box so on my way.  Bright sunshine but a strong cool breeze, usually from the wrong direction.   D13 for a bit then a series of white roads with green edging (scenic) took me through a series of tiny villages, most of which looked at deaths door. I didn’t see an open shop or bar all day. In one village the bakery was for sale & there was a vending machine selling bread for €6....


Finished the day at Lisieux, a perfectly functional campsite, but it’s in the middle of an industrial estate & there is a lot of road noise. 
Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: andrewc on 18 May, 2018, 08:15:29 pm
Left Lisieux late & had a cafe lunch, so didn’t get to Honfleur till about 4. Tent up, a walk around, a nice meal overlooking the harbour, then bed.


A lazy morning, packed up & left the bike at the campsite before another walk around. Moule frites for lunch. Picked the bike up but couldn’t find my Clickstand  :(


I don’t know if I’ve updated my mapping but this time the GPS took me straight to the correct access point for the bridge.  Walked over the thing then head down to Le Havre. As it was now evening it wasn’t as busy as last time.  A closed bridge led to me getting slightly lost again, but am now in my cabin on the ferry.
673Km in total.
Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: Wowbagger on 18 May, 2018, 08:57:49 pm
Good effort Andrew!
Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: perpetual dan on 20 May, 2018, 10:46:31 pm
I've enjoyed following this, here and on twitter, thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: Le Havre & onwards
Post by: andrewc on 31 October, 2018, 05:37:50 pm
After being bitten by a dog in early May & then being examined & treated at a French hospital I have now been invoiced for the sum of  €13.87 .   How the devil I'm going to pay that I don't know?  Time to phone the insurance people.