Up the Loire! Wk 7

Day 44   Mon 22nd July
Take train to Paris from Versailles getting of at Eiffel Tower thinking there would be a lift…. No lift…. so struggle up and down 6 flights of stairs with bikes fully loaded.
Cycle along river Seine stopping for Cafe au Lait at €4 a cup! to Gare d Austerlitz station where we are getting a train to Orleans to start the Loire valley part of trip.
Pick up velo map at tourist information and head out to Olivet and eventually find campsite,  very good with small shop and a pizza delivery that evening!

Day 45  Tues 23rd July
First day on Loire

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First view of Loire from velo route

Its really hot and humid and we’re covered in midges
We stop for lunch in Jargeau which has an excellent supermarket, and stock up for evening meal and pack up for tomorrow.
Campsite is at Sully-sur- Loire and has a swimming pool,  not very deep or big but enough for a dip, very welcome after 35miles!

Day 46    Wed 24th July
34 miles along to Briare, another good campsite, the Loire is very picturesque

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Vineyards

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Château and lovely buildings are in abundance.

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The Velo cycle route is very family friendly and at times boring, its nice when it veers off through small hamlets although there’s usually some hills!

Day 47   Thurs 25th July
Briare to Saint Satur another 34mls, we’re finding that 35 to 45mls between sites is acheivable without arriving shattered!
After pitching tent we’re off for a dip in the river, its wonderful and warm but the current is strong so we don’t go too deep.
We’ve decided to stay here 2 nights and make tomorrow a rest day.

Day 48   Fri 26th July
My trusty planet earth sandals have finally gone so before breakfast we nip up the hill to the village shoe shop, not a great selection but as I’m desperate I’ve had to settle for a mens pair.

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We’re off kayaking this afternoon,  minibus up the river and paddle down, 18k.

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Ready to go

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We have a lovely time and it takes us 2hrs to paddle the 18k.

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Taken by me at front of canoe

I would have preferred a shorter time as theres only so much river you can look at! We have to negotiate getting the canoe out of the water and we eventually manage despite me nearly putting Dyl in the river!
So a quick dip in the river and its back to camp for tea, one pot paella and a glass of Loire wine.
A notice has gone up alerting us to the possibility of “flash flooding” and where we should evacuate.
Dyl checks the weather app and suggests that tomorrow we should stay in F1 hotel as its going to be bad.

Day 49   Sat 27th July
Amazing thunder and lightning last night and thankfully the tent held up well, although at one point the rain was so heavy I felt sure we’d float away!
Our destination today is Nevers and we start off fairly early, again its on the velo route, but thankfully detours of and we find a small tabac for ice cream and cola at Marseilles-les-Aubigny. Lovely houseboats moored up.

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Arrive in Nevers to beautiful sunshine and I suggest cancelling hotel and using campsite,  Dyl says to keep it and we unload our bikes before venturing into town for food.Thank goodness he did, although he’s very smug…
Its coming over dark and as the first drops of rain fall we duck into a ” all you can eat” chinese. The storm that ensues is awsome like something from a film and the staff at restaurant are battling to keep the water out, without much sucess as its forcing its way under the doors.
The wind is howling and the rain is lashing down and I am so pleased we’re not in the tent!

Day 50   Sun 28th July
We poodle out for shopping and take a route along the river, the storm has caused havoc with debris all along the paths and we move branches from our path.
So pleased we decided to stay and at €35 its not extortionate.
As I write this the dark clouds have blown over and the sun is shining! We could have moved on today, still theres always tomorrow.
So the end of another week,  7 done and …… to go!
178mls covered and hardly any hills,  hurrah!!!