This was the hardest morning of the ride so far. Setting off into pouring rain and driving wind, I was soaked within about five minutes of a big climb out of Fécamp. There aren't many photos from this morning at all - all I could see was a dirty grey smear for a good few hours. A passing motorist stopped and offered to put my bike in the back and drive me to Caen. I was very tempted, but it kind of defeats the point of the ride if I don't do it under my own steam.
It was still raining as I approached the Pont du Normandie- a most impressive piece of engineering spanning the river Seine at Le Havre. It's a real shame that the weather wasn't better. Approaching the bridge I'd been riding through a wildlife reserve - quiet, flat roads only marred by the wind and rain. The bridge is a huge climb and not much fun on a bike with trucks whistling past within about three feet of you, but the view from the top would have been spectacular on a clear day.
Unfortunately this was anything but a clear day so I had to content myself with getting a little artsy with the photography;
Once over the bridge the rain began to clear a little and google maps decided that to celebrate it would direct me through a rough looking estate when I didn't dare stop, out the other side and up into some muddy woods. Thanks google.
Regardless I ploughed on, and as the morning gave way to the afternoon, the weather brightened up and Caen started to appear on direction signs in numbers of kilometres which didn't seem too depressing.
After an uneventful afternoon riding, I rolled into Caen at about 6.30pm and checked into my hotel in time to meet up with an old school friend who lives in the town.