The highlight of today was a 2 hour sight seeing stop in Poitiers. We enjoyed a drink in front of the notre dame church, a stroll past the statue of libertie & a delightful lunch in a beautiful side street, which included 4 puddings.
The weather was a very comfortable 24 degrees.
Becci was concerned that she would make it through the day without handing over the mr bump badge but Ian saved the day with a spectacular fall in the supermarket car park just over a mile from the hotel.
Dinner was Vietnamese in the small town of mele, followed by an early night for a change.
Last night deserves more than the passing comment I gave it yesterday. The wine tasting was actually drinking a bottle of champagne & a bottle of white wine and chatting to the owners and other guests. We then headed out to the only restaurant for some delightful French cuisine and some more local wine. When in ‘the loire’… We shared our meal with a friendly Australian, Paul, who was also staying in our hotel- he has taken a month off to tour France by car, and is no doubt enjoying the opportunity to drive away with a crate of wine from the vineyard- the downsides of cycling!
Today has again been gorgeous. We have stopped to admire many beautiful chateaux in sleepy villages. We nearly missed lunch again today but in fact stumbled on a restaurant (each town has 1) that was about to close but took pity on 4 hungry cyclists & offered us a 3 course chicken dinner- winner!
We made it to our hotel, Le Pigeonnier du Perron, which is a 15th century farm that once belonged to the philosopher Descartes. We are staying in the old pigeon loft, a suite of 2 floors with 9 beds. Im not sure who they thought was coming.
Mark quickly handed over the mr bump badge to Luc, who collided with the curb whilst avoiding a lorry. It didn’t stay with him long though. Becci fell in to clover half way up a hill which was really only fit for mountain bikes. The detour added a few miles to the day but sometimes common sense prevails, even if only after a crash!
Day 4 has been more enjoyable all round. Blue skies & sunshine, beautiful scenery & plentiful haribo.
However we learned today that obtaining lunch in France is difficult unless you are willing and able to eat between 12 & 2! Luckily we stocked up in the supermarket this morning but lunch today has mainly consisted of cake or cereal bar type products, enjoyed in a village square.
The mr bump badge has changed hands twice with becci falling over spectacularly at the top of a small hill because mark didn’t want to put his wheel out in to the road & therefore stopped rather unexpectedly. Mark then earned the badge at the very last minute after crashing into the hotel entrance whilst trying to avoid a dog, who thought he was playing a game and climbed all over him.
The hotel is in fact a vineyard and we are just about to sample their wine before heading out for dinner.
80 miler today was always going to be hard but none of us banked on it being monotonous. After an eventful route out of paris which included climbing a huge flight of steps, cycling down some winding back alleys, & walking through a street market we found ourselves on the road to Orleans – and a long, windy road it was, about 50 miles in a straight line surrounded by empty fields and wind farms. We did find a small village with a bar & an even smaller village where we stopped to eat our improvised packed lunch of bread & cheese purchased because France is pretty much asleep on a Sunday afternoon. 15 miles to go & we the rain came. We huddled by a barn out of the wind when the owner came out to us & offered us a cow shed to shelter in to wait out the shower.
The last 3 miles was also wet but we arrived at the most beautiful hotel, with a tumble drier & were driven into town for a very welcome burger dinner.
…with 3 boys.
Ian earned the mr bump badge for falling off in the road, but don’t worry he’s ‘all rite’!
We seem to be a big hit with the locals, everyone is interested in what we are doing and wants to help us – filling water bottles, moving motorbikes so we can park our bikes etc.
Eiffel tower spotted first by Ian – although we’d put money on it being a pilon as it was a good few miles before we saw it for real.
70 miles travelled & 3 bags of haribo + we discovered smurf haribo!
A 3:15 am start, (followed by a detour back to luc’s to check he’d locked the back door) a 5 hour drive & a 3 hour ferry crossing. A 4 hour cycle taking in some beautiful scenery & we have arrived at our first hotel. Just off out to sample the cuisine & un grande vin rouge!
Ian/ Luc heading through the port!!!