Day 7 : Blois to Chenonceaux - Lack of Imagination Loire Valley - Tandem Tour - July 2021 - CycleBlaze

July 20, 2021

Day 7 : Blois to Chenonceaux

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Today promised to be another hot one.  We had another traditional French breakfast (with some cheese and meat items this time!) and headed off at our usual 10am.

Our first stop was the chateau at Blois, which we had been too tired to track down last night.  A quick 5 minutes from our B&B and we were there. It sits very high up over the old city and the river below. 

The Chateau of Blois
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We didn’t visit the chateau today because we had bigger fish to fry.  We contented ourselves with enjoying the facade in the morning sun.  There was some great detail.

The Chateau of Blois
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After sufficient oohing and aching, we sped down the hill on the single big street that runs through town.  Blois hasn’t figured out how to route traffic around the heart of the city yet, so you always feel like you’re in the middle of a traffic jam.  Which we truly were!  Stuck behind 10 cars and 8 bicycles, it took us two cycles of the traffic lights to get onto the bridge out of town.

Blois from a better angle - in the morning sun
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Once across the river, we were back to the stellar riding conditions we’ve come to expect.  Smooth surfaces, great views, and our friendly tailwind.  We made our way downriver, happy to come across any shade we could find on this hot day.  

Shady and sweet
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The weather is funny.  The sun is very very hot, but there’s a cooling wind from the east.  So if you’re in the shade, it’s very comfortable and cool.  Sometimes too cool.

We gradually made our way to Chaumont, our major goal for the day.  We arrived at the lower ticket booth to find a sweet little walled area for bike parking, along with 2 Euro lockers for us to lock our paniers into.  How great is that?  We locked everything up and took off to visit the chateau.

Secluded bike parking and lockers at Chateau de Chaumont
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Scott AndersonThe green bikes, the purple lockers - nice composition!
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2 years ago

We trudged up the long driveway that rises from the river to the chateau, and were rewarded with another old friend, who again was looking a lot younger than the last time we saw her.

The Chateau de Chaumont
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There were quite a few people visiting, but we definitely got the impression that it could be much worse.  We toured the chateau, checking out the beautiful old rooms.

Chateau de Chaumont
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It was hot, so we went in search of something to drink, which we consumed sitting on the grass in a tree-covered courtyard.  In addition to the chateau, Chaumont focuses on art, and on gardens.  So we made a quick trip into the garden area to check it out.

Flowers with bee at Chateau de Chaumont
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After all the walking around, the sun was starting to get to us, so we figured that we should get moving to our final destination for the day.  We moseyed back to our bike, loaded up, and refilled our bidons.   Then took off downriver to just beyond the village of Chaumont, where we turned uphill and started our traverse of the tongue of hills that lie between the Loire and the Cher rivers.

These are not big hills, but on an afternoon with hot sun, a loaded bike, and two tired riders, they were a big enough challenge for us.  We stopped a couple of times to hydrate, and we slowed down and spun up the hills.  It seemed to be a lot farther than the 25km the Wahoo had promised.  

Despite the challenges, we soon arrived at our lovely hotel in Chenonceaux  - The “Auberge du Bon Laboureur”.  The lovely staff there scooped us up, found a place for the bike, and installed us in our blissfully air-conditioned room where we proceeded to vegetate until our body temperatures came back down to normal.

You definitely want to stay here
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The hotel has a Michelin-starred restaurant but that kind of stuff just goes over our heads so we had dinner nearby.  

We came back to the hotel and asked at the desk whether we could have a couple of glasses of wine.  Again, we were scooped up and deposited in a beautiful big garden behind the hotel, with two glasses of wine and some cherries in liqueur.  

The garden at Au Bon Laboureur (note hot air balloon in the distance)
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Carefully observed by some geese and a resident goat, we enjoyed our wine in the soft summer evening.  So different from home.  Warm, calm, and very very green.

Toasting a happy birthday to my dear sister Kathryn.
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We have hatched a plot to see the chateau here in the morning before checking out.  It involves getting out of bed at (for us) an early hour, but we’re feeling adventurous.   Time to go to sleep so that we don’t ruin it by staying up until midnight (again)!

Today's ride: 54 km (34 miles)
Total: 380 km (236 miles)

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Kait FrasierWhat? No goat pic??
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2 years ago