Our tour started five days after my 82nd. birthday, on the quayside at Portsmouth at 3.30 on a Saturday afternoon.  My cycling buddy has a close relative near the town who kindly let us park the car in his driveway and then took us and our bikes to the port.
With a very calm crossing we arrived at Cherbourg in early evening sunshine and on smooth, wide cycle paths, cycled into town where we checkedinto the brand new Appart'City Hotel.  With a massive supermarket just across the road there was no problem finding somewhere to eat.

DAY 1 - SUNDAY
After checking the bikes in the morning we stopped at a minimarket for picnic supplies on our way back to the seafront, where we turned East, following the wide cycle path right out of the town.  This joins the "route touristique" (D116) which runs all the way round to Barfleur.  The ride was flat and easy for the first few miles, but at Bretteville the road started to rise, with lovely views of little sheltered bays below.

At Pointe de Brick there were more hairpins and climbs to Pointe de Brote, where the road moved away from the cliff edge.  Then it was pretty rolling countryside, through Le Heugue, Cosqueville to Moulin Ravenel, where we did a left turn to the tiny village of Rethoville, finding a nice cafe for a coffee break and a sit in the temporary sunshine.
When the clouds rolled in again we continued on to Gouberville, where we were confused for several minutes by road signs.  At Gatteville le Phare we considered the run to the lighthouse on the point, but our stomachs and the look of the sky decided otherwise and we pushed on to Barfleur and found a nice seat on the quayside overlooking the harbour.

After lunch, which consisted of a slightly battered baton and six inches of very vibrant soucisson, we wandered around the pretty harbour, keeping an eye on the deepening gloom above.
By the time we returned to the bikes it was begining to rain, and as it looked as though it was in for the rest of the day, we pulled on the waterproofs and set off on the D1 towards Reville, then the tiny D116 to join the D902 as it enters Quettehou, and arrived, dripping wet at the Hotel, La Demure du Peron, our home for the night.  The evening brightened up a little later on and improved even more after a nice meal and the odd glass of wine in a cosy little restaurant just around the corner.

DAY 2 - MONDAY
The morning found us standing in the doorway of our motel room, our faces reflecting the state of the weather outside. Eventually it turned to intermittent showers, so we set off south down the D14 which although a main road was very quiet.  A short distance after passing through Fontenay-sur-Mer (at least four kilometres from the sea!) we were forced to shelter under trees from a very heavy downpour. We were voicing our opinions on the weather when we heard the roar of diesel engines and out of the gloom appeared two massive twelve wheeler circus trucks, each towing three equally large trailers.  We felt sorry for any motorists trying to overtake what must have been at least a 150 metre convoy.
Leaving Le Chaussee we crossed over the D913 into the tiny lane opposite, with the strange name of Curry Road! This lovely little lane runs fairly straight to the coast at le Grande Vey, then turns west to follow the edge of the marshes for about eight kilometres, goes under the motorway and joins the D913 towards Carentan.

At the roundabout of the D971, which circles Carentan we were faced with a sea of the dreaded "RUE BARREE" signs in the direction we needed. Happily bikes can go where cars cannot, and we managed to pick our way through the jumble of trenches, piles of rubble, bollards and earth movers.
From here it was just a short ride to our B and B ("Chambre Manche") in the little commune of Blactot, just outside Carentan. We were both hungry, so we dumped the panniers and cycled (oh bliss, no panniers)the short distance into Carentan. We pulled into the kerb at le Cafe du Centre and sat outside with a very small beer,discussing the day. The cafe had of course by then stopped serving meals so we locked our bikes to the local Carrefour and went off to find much needed food. Just by chance we turned a corner and found the very "olde worlde" Hotel de l'Escapade, who were only too happy to serve us. The restaurant, though ancient, was just up our street, quirky and full of character. We both had a huge omelette and just a small glass of wine and were entertained by the chef's very young son trying to, and nearly succeeding, to escape the premises.
We settled the bill, cycled back to the B and B, sorted the panniers and fell into bed. Another great day, despite the rain.

DAY 3 - TUESDAY
We awoke to actual sunshine, so got dressed in good spirits, had a nice breakfast, settled up with the smiley Delphine Haubois and cycled back through the town, stopping at the little Carrefour for picnic supplies. Crossing the railway bridge, we took the D971 out of town then left on to the smaller D29 a lovely scenic route and sunshine to boot!
We followed this for about 14 kilometres, through Feugeres to the little village of le Mensilbus, where I had "googled" a little cafe and store for a refreshment break. The look on our faces said it all as we saw drawn shutters and a closed sign! We both had two full water bottles, so resigned ourselves to the fact that unless we were lucky enough to find a village with a cafe, water would have to do. Fortunately we soon found a nice picnic spot with tables and munched on baguettes and some rather smelly cheese.

Soon after setting off again we turned left on to the D52, very scenic but a lot of steep climbs on the first section, then fairly level. A cycle track followed the lane through the woods here, but the lane was so quiet and pretty we stayed on it until we hit the D972 main road.
Turning left on this for a short distance we turned right on an unmarked lane and over the railway line, then turned right to join the D276 for Relval and Ouville then right on the D73, a nice undulating ride with with big hills on the right hand side of us. This took us to Haussey, after which we turned left on the D35 for a level and very rural five kilometre run to an unmarked lane which wriggled it's way across to join the main D971. Our B and B "le 57" was just a few yards away in a "no through" lane.
Mme. Marie Piusney Loggia, a lovely lady, met us with a smile, showed us where to store the bikes, then took us up to an immaculate bedroom. Showered and changed we cycled the short distance up the road to Quettreville to buy food as there was no restaurant in the area. Returning with the goodies (including an expensive 4 euro bottle of sparkling wine) we sat in the late sunshine for a leisurely meal, with the scent of the herb garden in the air.
Breakfast in the morning was wonderful, we were spoilt for choice with the selection of preserves, cheeses, bread and pastries on the table. What a fabulous place to stay, we could find no fault with this delightful B and B.