Jan and Ian

Brittany by Bicycle: Day 4~ Mont-Saint-Michel > Cancale


Another great riding day with different scenery and lifestyle today. The start was flat, through the reclaimed land, polders, close to St. Michel. You can tell it has been an area of hard work and harsh climate. The wind swept in from the English Channel and was with us all day, leaving us feeling weathered by the end of the ride. Working in the fields through four harsh seasons would be a test of any farming family.

We crossed on to the coastal roads and soon were right in the middle of the shellfish harvesting heart of France. Mussels and oysters are produced by the tonne and evidence was everywhere, nearly every roadside building sold local produce like potatoes, garlic and onions as well as wonderful oysters at bargain prices. Mussel season is over and they aren’t available (although they are still on menus everywhere) but oysters in every size imaginable were being bought by the basket load.

We stopped for a light lunch snack at one stall and were surprised to see our helpful Belgian couple from yesterday had cycled the same route as us and had the same idea as us for lunch. We joined in on a local ros?? and scallop rilletes on fresh bread. And of course the scallops came from… Vietnam!?!?

The glorious coast road led us past tidal rivers where the moored boats highlighted how high the tide runs and on into Cancale, oyster capital of the universe (or so it seemed). The beach side main street was lined with seafood restaurants and take away oyster stalls where the fresh out of the water oysters are shucked, drizzles with lemon and handed to you moments after they are harvested.

Dinner, of course, had to include oysters and we decided to really pig out with one of the great value seafood platters on offer- the smallest one! Yes it was delicious, yes we did finish it, no, I don’t want any more seafood for quite a while…


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