Day 3: We awoke to rain and wind, but the wind would be in our favour. We had another full breakfast, although I only had six croissants, before we set off on another days touring before making sure we were back at the ferry port at Ouistreham at 1545 for our 1630 sailing back to Portsmouth.
We settled our bill with Erik and Carol and gave Erik a generous tip for all his time and trouble in running us around. They were both really reluctant to accept the money and it took some insistence on our part before they did so. Erik unlocked the garage so we could get our bikes out and get on our way. We said our goodbyes and set off to our first stop at the 360 Cinema on top of the cliffs at Arromanches. I have visited this museum a few times in the past but this time I was disappointed to see that they had changed the film that they were showing, it was good but not as good as the previous one. Both Mark and Steve had not been here before and they both enjoyed it, so that is the main thing.
We carried on along the coast in the rain and then headed along the sand dunes to Gray Sur Mer where we had a quick look at a Churchill Tank armed with a weapon designed purely for close range bunker busting called a Petard Mortar. Continuing along we hit the Juno Beach Centre on Juno Beach, stopping at bits of bunker as went along. This museum is dedicated solely to the Canadians input on D-Day and although it is not the best museum in Normandy, it is worth a visit.
Steve and Mark Dogging at Juno Beach
The rain continued as we set out along the coast roads to the Grand Bunker at Ouistreham, this would be our last stop before catching the ferry home. Along the coast we made a slight detour to see the Bill Millen statue that Mark knew was in the vicinity, it is very impressive and was worth finding.
On the outskirts of Ouistreham on Sword Beach we came across a ceremony complete with television crews and veterans of 4 Commando who under Lord Lovat were involved in serious fighting at the casino in the town. We watched the proceedings for a bit before moving on to our final objective.
This was an impressive six story bunker complete with all its original fixtures and fittings, although Steve did not get the hang of the Range Finder on the top floor; the best he could come up with was “the sea looks rough”.
Bunker tour complete, we got changed into some dry clothes before heading into the town for another beer and some food. We found a nice pub and ordered three large beers whilst Mark went hunting for an ice cream. I was eying up a very nice bakery across the other side of the road and went across with Mark and bought (after sampling it) three very naughty coffee éclairs to take on board the boat.
We then set off to the ferry port, getting there five minutes ahead of schedule at 1540. We pushed our way to the front of the line and we eventually got on board first before any other passengers. This time (after securing the bikes) we set up camp on some nice comfy seats next to the bar. More cider and Guinness followed before we decided to get some lunch, myself and mark going for pizza and Steve going upmarket bringing back a cooked meal and red wine. A little bit of nodding off followed before I went out onto the stern of the ship to record Steve talking about porpoises, a short clip of this video is available upon request.
We docked on time at 2115 and were first off the boat. We said our goodbyes to Steve after passport control and myself and Mark made our last ride against the wind again back to my house. Lots of photos were taken and a good time was had by all.
I may take the car next time.
Summary: Riding time: 2:15:43
Distance: 24.89 Miles
Av Speed: 11.2 mph
Max Speed: 32.7 mph
Elevation Gain: 107m
Av Temp: 13.9 c
Totals: Riding Time: 8:36:26
Distance: 92.01 (including 8 mile route trip to ferry port)