Sunday, 20 May 2012

Extraordinary Long Things

Friday 18.05.2012 Chaumont sur Loire – Beaugency 55kms

I had been woken a couple of times during the night by what sounded like an approaching dragon but was, in fact, only the wind. Always the wind; did I mention the wind?! However, as I poked a head out of the tent in the light of morning, it was with palpable relief that the wind, happily for us, was a whizzy. Over breakfast we watched, with some amusement, the antics of our motor home neighbours as they attired themselves for their day’s biking; never seen such a variety of shapes and sizes, and that was just the bikes!

By nine thirty, we bade farewell to the cheapest site yet, although we would happily have paid an extra couple of Euros for the provision of toilet paper!

With the wind up our bums, it was possible to expend the extra energy on reminiscing about some of the beauty of the area. There is much to be admired, although the picture included is a mystery: answers on a postcard please. That aside, the track along the river has been heavily forested and often the river is just a glimpse and at other times our tyres have been inches from the water. The chateaux have been both numerous and quite magnificent and many stretches have been similar to the Dordogne with the houses built into the rock face with Troglodite villages higher up. Sharing our track have been the inevitable fishermen with their extraordinarily long rods! (Still not seen a fish on the end of one.) We have also had to share some of our space with vehicles of the motor variety and have discovered that the code of conduct for French drivers is nothing if inconsistent. In Britain you expect to be run down, in Italy the drivers will run down the oncoming car, in Denmark everyone stops for the bike – but here, sometimes they are most courteous and sometimes they will run you down!

Our journey finished early today as we found ourselves in a very pretty town with many historical references and so we thought to take a short break and find us some lodgings (with toilet paper). With the aid of the tourist information (which was open!) we found ourselves in what can only be described as an adequate hotel up in the loft. Food was excellent and we passed some time with a delightful, oldish French gentleman who was cycling to see his son. Back to the attic for a night’s kip and see what tomorrow brings.

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