Thursday 17. 05.2012 Villandry – Chaumont sur Loire 69kms
Our start was a little tardy as we meandered through breakfast and then had to (no, Alan had to) sort out the posting of the blog. This required a good deal of wandering around the hotel in order to procure an adequate internet signal. (It’s a wonder he doesn’t get challenged for loitering). Finally all was done and we were ready to retrieve the bikes. Walked out of the door and not only was it raining but v. v. cold. I/we had dithered about including buffaloes in our luggage and erred on the side of caution. I wore mine all day! I also moaned all day!
This was truly a Mrs. Grumpy day. Nostril wind was of tree damaging proportions and despite my very best efforts the only word that sprang to mind was the sort of expletive I cannot use in a family blog but it begins with ‘f’. Branches were falling from the trees and the path was covered in twigs which caused the trailers to bounce and make pedalling even more difficult. (You can see the frame of mind I was in!) In view of my anguish Mr. Navigater avoided the route that would have gone over the hill and far away so that we might admire a few more chateaux, and kept to the much, much flatter roads along the river. There were points of interest like the caves along the roadside built into the cliffs for storing and selling the local wines. I acknowledge that for much of the time I was not a cheery cycle companion. My thanks to Al for being so patient. Anyway, a final push up cobbles (I have forgotten to mention those but they are, it seems, very popular in this area as a charming addition to authenticity? Mmm………) and we were within sight of our campsite.
For the princely sum of eight Euros, we found a relatively sheltered and isolated spot and got the tent up. (Getting good at this now). I whizzed back the few hundred metres into the village to acquire a much needed bottle of wine. It only took me a few minutes, but on my return, our little green tent had been encircled by about a dozen motorhomes! To add insult to injury, the gang met under the awning of the motorhome immediately behind us – noise, they could do noise. Mostly laughing and good humoured noise, it is true, but we had hoped for a little more tranquillity. To their credit, they knocked off about eight and not long afterwards, we slid into sleeping bags.