In which normal service is resumed with a tandem ride to the Abbey at Hambye

Monday 28th August

I started the day with another brisk ride round my training loop on the P3 – pretty uneventful, with a moderate time on the timed section – 45:40. At least it didn’t rain on me this time.

The forecast continued to suggest some showers so we decided on a relatively short circuit looping round past the Abbey at Hambye. The route to Hambye took us through the usual rolling Normandy countryside, through Hambye itself, then down a long descent along a road with swooping bends through the woods to the abbey.

The Abbey was founded in the middle of the 12th century and was constructed over the following couple of centuries. The monastery was founded by a group of Benedictine monks. It’s located in a thoroughly lovely location.

Attending to the saddlebag with the Abbey in the background

The abbey was apparently in decline from the 13th century, but the final knell came following the French Revolution, when all such establishments became national property, and was sold in 1790. In the following years much of it was dismantled, and the abbey was used as a quarry! It was saved from further decay from the middle of the 20th century, and it’s now worth a visit (we’d been a few years ago).

We stopped outside the abbey for an early picnic lunch, before cycling on. This involved the steepest climb of our holiday, clocking in at 14%, as cycled up and out of the valley. At the top of the climb we paused to photograph the panoramic view.

After the 14% gradient we caught our breath with a photo stop!

Then it was on to the oddly named La Baleine. Quite why there’s a commune named ‘the whale’ in Normandy is a mystery to me!

We cycled back to the gite, before visiting the large LeClerc supermarket once again.

Our Hambye loop on Garmin Connect

Later on, we watched the third stage of the Vuelta on GCN+.