Sting in the tail - Kiwis fly - CycleBlaze

September 14, 2019

Sting in the tail

Amboise to Beaumont-en-Véron

Yesterday took me to my limit. At dinner last night, I was in grave danger of falling headfirst into my dessert. (Which would have been a waste of a perfectly good chocolate brownie.)  But I made it back to our cozy wee chalet in time to find a perfectly good bed to sleep on instead.

Our accommodation was unusual: a complex of dozens of chalets scattered around a central reception area. There was a swimming pool, there was table soccer. There was a cavernous dining room. It should have been alive with squealing children and imbibing adults. But we were one of only a few couples evident at dinner . . . and even fewer at breakfast. At only €56 the night, though, we were grateful for our  Butlins holiday camp-style sleepover.

Today's plan is to manage the mileage better than yesterday. We know we cannot check in to tonight's B and B hotel until 5pm so it is to be a day of small stages. Tour Leader delegates responsibility for choosing the morning coffee stop to me; a sensible move. 

We're travelling through the Touraine wine region
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After an excellent coffee stop (how could it not be?), we move on to the next stage of the day, to Tours. This is a lovely city and we experience it for quite some time as the Loire à Velo paths meanders through the old part of the town and out through the suburbs. Saint-Gatien Cathedral is another awe-inspiring Gothic masterpiece worthy of a walk around. Then, around the corner, we find ourselves in Tours Central. Bike tours, that is. First, a group of green shirts wobble away from us, followed by another lot in yellow, all setting off from the same place. Around the corner here's a purple group. And the red group appears to be running. Have they lost their bikes, or does this company also offer a jogging tour of Tours?

Majestic Saint-Gatien cathedral
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From the 'snap what you can while waiting at traffic lights' school of photography
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This makes me smile, remembering the night a few years ago when we had So Much Fun in Paris with Jill and Brian on our evening Fat Bike tour. Possibly one of the more exciting evenings of my life, come to think of it. Is this how you remember it, Jill?

We join the Cher river for the next stage and pass through some pretty-pretty villages on our way to lunch in Villandry. As part of the plan to stretch the day out, we linger as long as possible in the shade of an umbrella, watching the world and its grandkids go by on bikes. The menu du jour contains French words I've not come across on DuoLingo so the entrée, in particular, is rather daunting. But there's nothing a half-bottle of rosé can't wash down.

It's the eyes . . .
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Dawn HunterAlmost looks like whitebait! Yum!
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2 years ago
Robyn RichardsNot so yum, Dawn, sort of chewy and crunchy but lacking in flavour. But they took ages to eat - so much chewing! - which helped fill in some time.
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2 years ago

The afternoon flies by. We plan a visit to a supermarket for tonight's picnic dinner. Here, the Fates that have so far regarded us kindly (Bruce's tumble without injury, my lost-and-eventually-found-in-a-supermarket train tickets, my temporarily mislaid passport . . .) decide to test us. Google Maps leads us via a series of cart tracks to The Middle of Nowhere and proudly announces 'You have reached your destination '. Well, thanks.

Google's little joke . . .no supermarket has ever existed here
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Dawn HunterPardon my mirth! Lol!
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2 years ago

We re-route ourselves (no point in relying on the unreliable), cycle to the next village on a proper road, and locate the missing supermarket. 

Mission successfully accomplished.

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FOOTNOTE: We met a young Kiwi/Aussie family in a bike shop the other day. They bought a motorhome in Scotland and are now travelling in Europe with no immediate plans to return to NZ.  When they're cycling, the 4 year old daughter travels on her mum's bike and the 7 year old boy rides his own bike. Unless they're in busy city traffic, when he takes up his seat behind Dad. I really admire their approach to life.

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Today's ride: 94 km (58 miles)
Total: 1,298 km (806 miles)

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