The trip so far has been fabulous. I made it to Dinan today, which is a lovely town with an even lovelier hostel. I rode to almost St. Brieuc yesterday, taking my time to get there. Ended up leaving late (noon instead of 8) but still got to a good place to camp around 5. I guess it was only 90km. That's like 50 miles or something.
I set up camp at the top of this valley, which was only a valley because it had a damn at the end of it. It was clear and nice all day, and then it was cloudy and lightly drizzling, then just cloudy. Initially I wanted to camp right by the stream at the bottom, but it was a Saturday night in a remote area and seemed like a good place for drunken high schoolers to come make a bonfire and party. So I hiked my bike and all my crap up the side in two stages. It was like climbing a wall, but I managed it. I couldn't see stars when I went to bed, but when I woke up one of the numerous times in the night, I could. I was too tired to pick out any constellations, though.
I met up with two friends during the ride yesterday. The first, Mustapha, is running to Caen over the vacation. He was supposed to leave Friday, but got off late and so I passed by him on the rode about 45 minutes after starting. We had a coffee and talked about our respective adventures. And cows, and how they moo differently in France.
My other friend, Bernard, is a cyclist and drove to Guingamp, then bactracked my route until we met up. He gave me dried bananas, which if you've never tried you must. No, not banana chips but these whole dried bananas wrapped in tinfoil. We rode and chatted and then had a juice and some cakes before we got to his car. I wish he could have come with me, but I guess not everybody is a jobless slacker like me.
All of my equipment worries have been unfounded as yet. The homemade panniers are doing fine, even if I don't have a lot of clearance for my foot in the pedal stroke (can't really backpedal, which is ok I guess...). I didn't need to use the "tent" I made because it was clear, but probably will sometime. The stove rocks my freaking socks off. I boiled a few cups of tea and water to drink and a cup of coffee this morning all on like 75ml of alcohol!
More the next time I get an internet connection...