Today, we say au revoir to the Loire River and the Loire à Vélo. We have covered a lot of terrain in six days – 422 kilometres. It has been a learning experience.
One of the many wonderful things about the Loire à Vélo is that the route is designed to take the rider past all of the special places along the route. It detours into small towns and passes the historic buildings of note in each town. We are often surprised to find some unique place, without the any effort required to find it. The Loire à Vélo finds it for us.
About five or six years ago, I traveled with my sister-in-law Tannis to France. Our home base was a small town near Chinon called Cinais. As part of our trip, Tannis and I toured some of the châteaux that Dennis and I are visiting this week. Of course, Tannis and I went by car. She was the driver. I was the navigator. It’s been a peculiar experience, this week retracing some of our journey, but this time on a bike.
This post will arrive in your mailbox a little bit later than usual. I like to write at night before I go to bed but we were home late last night from the best meal we have had in France. Recommended by our hotelier, L’Oceanic in Chinon gets five stars in our books. I would love to tempt and entice you with lovely photos of our meal, but apparently, being a food photographer is harder than one might think. My meal started with a beautifully flavored crab bisque. I can tell you that the photos I took of it and the main course didn’t do them justice.
Today, we left the Loire River for the day, heading south to the Cher River. Following one of the châteaux cycling routes, we went to see Château Chenonceau, which oddly enough is in the town of Chenonceaux. I wonder why the château and the town names are not spelled the same. I have yet to find the answer to this question.
Today was a lovely, relaxing day of riding. The weather was warm and the wind was gentle as we travelled from Blois to Amboise along the La Loire à Vélo trail. The ride, at 50 kilometers, was thankfully, shorter than yesterday. Our ride was a mix of riverside trails, through forests, vineyards, and farm land; a bit of everything this area has to offer. We met some fellow Canadians and road along with them for a time, swapping stories and tips for the trip.
Today was the first full day on the bike and it was a spectacular day! We are riding La Loire à Vélo trail system which follows the Loire River from its start near Nevers to the Atlantic Ocean, though we started midway along the route in Orléans. In total, the trail is an 800 kilometre cycle tourism route.