Our daily bread - Kiwis fly - CycleBlaze

September 11, 2019

Our daily bread

Sully-sur-Loire to Orléans

Goodness me. It's not yet 3pm and I'm well into a glass of not-so-cheeky red wine, along with delightful edibles. Even Tour Leader himself has a glass of red in hand. Where has our moral compass gone? Must've fallen off while pedalling over those cobblestones earlier today. 

We have only a shortish ride this morning to get ourselves from Sully-sur-Loire to Orléans. The carrot to keep our tired legs turning is a two-night stay with a washing machine, I mean, in an apartment that just happens to have a washing machine. In other words, a rest day tomorrow and a chance to freshen up.

This is exciting enough but when we arrive at Bellevue, on the outskirts of town overlooking the Loire, we are overwhelmed by our spacious and well-appointed apartment. And our host, Philippe, has even left us with a little something to welcome us. 

The something to welcome us...
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Dawn HunterGood old Philippe! A man after my own heart! 😊
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2 years ago
Jennie EastonImpressive indeed! 😀😁😂
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2 years ago

Did I mention the bathrobe?

Mind you, we're keen to explore Orléans and, on a practical note,  we do need to visit a bike shop and the train station. But this afternoon, my calendar already appears to be full. Another glass? Why not?

Our daily imperative when cycle touring is to find morning coffee and a boulangerie for lunch supplies.  At times this can be a challenge. 

This was true particularly at the start of our ride across France. Many villages are too small to sustain a boulangerie.  Others would be closed on a Sunday.  Or a Monday. Or a Tuesday. The lack of coffee can be hard to take but so far we've managed to find food to sustain ourselves. If the baguette et pain au chocolat option fails to appear, then we've been open to midday  meal options such as lunch under a canal-side  marquee a few days ago.  Frites and rosé never tasted so good together!

We've seen lots of these elegant timber-built sailboats on the Loire.
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But yesterday after a successful coffee and bakery stop mid-morning,  we later found ourselves in a larger town with no fewer than three bakeries open. All at the same time. I had to fend off an innate cave-girl instinct to call in at each of them to stock up on supplies.

This is a sign, I guess, that we are approaching the picture postcard section of the Loire,  the bit decorated with chocolate-box chateaux, having left behind the big skies, wide levees and quiet villages that marked the start of the Velo à Loire trail.

We even spotted our first tour bus yesterday. Darn tourists!

We watched these cheerful worker chappies over coffee this morning. No road cones. No stop-go people waving cars on. No hazard-warning signs. No traffic jams. What were they thinking?
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Footnote: Our host, Philippe, is a remarkable chap. He's an artist, photographer, gallery owner and golf afficionado who runs tours to iconic golf courses worldwide. He loves the Bay of Islands (Kauri Cliffs), Napier (Cape Kidnappers) and Queenstown (The Hills).  The front cover of his coffee table book, found on our coffee table, of course, carries the tag line 'the itinerary of a spoiled golfer'. Now that's living life.

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Today's ride: 53 km (33 miles)
Total: 1,078 km (669 miles)

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Jill BrinsleyWe need those 2 workers in Cambridge right now. It is awash with road cones and stop go people. Also not making much visible progress!! Great post Robyn. Enjoy the washing and the wine!
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2 years ago
Dawn HunterHic! Enjoy.
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2 years ago
Rachael AndersonYou are such an entertaining writer! I’m with you on stocking up on much needed supplies I.e. bakery items. I’m also really into coffee but I need it first thing so the apartment you stayed in with the espresso machine is great!
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1 year ago
Robyn RichardsThat was a great apartment. And we really enjoyed our brief stay in Orléans.
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1 year ago