Jour Quinze - France on a roll -- depending on charm - CycleBlaze

June 26, 2011

Jour Quinze

Castles and kings, without the kings, and really without the castles. But they called them castle the chateaus and seem to mix the two...

What I'm trying to say is that today was a GREAT day! After a nice breakfast of starbucks coffee (my instant stuff) and two croissants and some fruits I was off down the Loire Valley bike trail and it's AWEsome! Most of it is dedicated bike trail, or on such small roads you might see a car every 15 minutes or so. Most of it meanders along the river where there are a lot of other cyclists, most of them local on a day outing, though a good number of touring cyclists as well.

I stopped at my first, chateaus in Villandry. The "building" is nice but the main feature of this place is the gardens. And holy crap, when I say garden I mean GARDEN! After seeing this place I won't be so apt to describe my little lettuce patch with such pride, like I'm the cock-of-the-roost for vegetable gardening or something. So, whoa, this place was cool!

After that I rode on, and landed in another COOL little town with another castle, that really did look more like a castle. I didn't go in though because there are castles/chateaus everywhere and I need to limit my intake some. Still, I stopped and got some fruit at the market and had a picnic of sorts with a cool family from Oregon who were also biking, though on a supported trip. They were great fun to talk to though and promised to take a look at the journal...

...it was in this same town that I finally was forced to use my first, eeeeer, "squatter". And by squatter I mean, well, toilet that is really just a hole thing and you, well squat. I'm sorry if I offended anyone but if this journal is going to be comprehensive you need to know. Besides, I'm really not that sorry if I offend anyone. Actually, being an outdoorsy kind of gal I have squatted in the woods often, but it does seem weird to be in a modern type tourist town and, well....you know. Still, it was mission accomplished!

Anyway, after that it was just more of the same, ho hum, awesome, picturesque riding! Loved it! I'm in a nice campground in Chinon in a hiker-biker like campground next two a couple that have been touring for a year, from Alaska to Chile to all sorts of places. Fun.

I'll stop rambling now and let the pictures do the talking...

(FYI, this entry also has 2 pages of pics)

P.S. and BTW, I'm having a little trouble with my computer. It is an on again, off again, thing so I'll keep the updates coming as best I can. I guess after bouncing around for thousands of mile on the Trucker and the Girl Friday its little wonder. At the very worst, I may have to give written updates and add pictures later. But hopefully she'll hold a little while longer.

It was a sunny kind of day!
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The start of my ride in the morning on the Loire River
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Villandry
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Villandry, more gardens. These are all vegetables. Fancy.
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Villandry
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Villandry
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Villandry
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They had a maze garden. Cool!
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From one of the bedrooms of the chateau. This layout really appealed to the circuit board designer in me.
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Inside the chateau
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View out the front of the house, I mean chateau
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...and the kitchen
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Villandry
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Vegetable garden layout.
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Back on the trail, and some travelers with a different mode of transportation
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Cool bridge
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The Girl Friday over the river Loire
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Next town down the line...
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And the cool family I met from Portland, Oregon
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Ya gotta like the French decorating schemes
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These mark the trail. They are at every turn!
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Me again...
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Castle at Chinon
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Same castle at night from the campground
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Castle supposedly the inspiration for sleeping beauty
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Today's ride: 62 km (39 miles)
Total: 586 km (364 miles)

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