Day 13: Leo laid low - Heidi Ho - CycleBlaze

June 19, 2012

Day 13: Leo laid low

It might not seem like we are doing a lot of distance, but with all the climbing we've been up to, it's been wearing. Today it was Leo's turn to have a bad day.

It started out well enough. We had breakfast of bread, croissant, coffee, and other French type of stuff, and set off from our hotel. I felt good. It was the first night since I arrived in France that I slept the whole night through. And off we went, into a long down hill and variable weather conditions.

After we crossed the Loire river, which you may remember from last year's journal, we decided to stop for lunch. And I must say, it was equally delicious as the previous lunch I spoke of. Three courses, and one course was a buffet.

French buffets differ from those in America. There was not a mash potato or fried drumstick in sight. Nor was there jello, chocolate pudding or bread sticks. Instead it was regional cheeses, meats, salads and other delicious things. After that came the main course and then a choice of desert. Delicious!

My first course at lunch--sure beats chicken fried steak!
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Steph's first course selection...
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The main course. Yes, that is wine, in the middle of the day and on a bike ride. It's France for crying out loud, so back off!
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Desert. The waitress gave me a little extra so I could try the pear tart, as well as the berry tart, which was my first choice.
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Stuffed with food, we went outside to start off again, only to have rain pour down in buckets. We waited a while, then decided to push on. What did it matter? We were going to get wet and that was all there was to it.

So, we got wet, and climbed, and then went down, and climbed, and then went down....mostly in the rain. Around 2:00 we pulled into a little town called Violay and sat down for a Coke. It didn't take long to find that that was as far as we were going for the day.

We got a hotel and Leo started his nap. A few hours later Steph knocked on my door.

'He hasn't moved for 3 hours,' she said.

I guess we all have bad days. Except when, finally, Leo came back to the world of the living, he was right as rain.

We ended the day in the hotel restaurant where they just happened to serve pizza. It was good, and very much like a quality pizza in the states. It was then I lowered myself, once again, in the eyes of my European companions when I couldn't finish my pizza...

"I'm going to save my extra pizza for the morning," I said, to which I received a horrified look. "Haven't you ever had cold pizza in the morning?" I asked.

They had not. Clearly they had never had too much do drink at a frat party, or been to a high school classmate's house when their parents were out of town. They clearly missed out on some of the finer things in life.

Still, I insisted, and, since I don't speak French, Steph asked them to wrap the last of my pizza.

"That's the first time I have ever asked for a doggie bag," Steph said.

I think she was ashamed? I think she should be proud.

THE GREAT GAS HUNT: We went into 2 "superstores". Nothing. The hunt continues.

This was the town we stayed in last night. Not a bad location, eh?
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A pretty little town where we stopped for coffee
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Near the Loire River Valley
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The Trucker's first view of the Loire River
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The weather closing in in the afternoon
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Leo, you're looking a little ragged there...
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Today's ride: 54 km (34 miles)
Total: 809 km (502 miles)

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