The kindness of strangers - Kiwis fly - CycleBlaze

September 15, 2019

The kindness of strangers

We leave the Loire: Beaumont-en-Véron to Angers

It's Sunday morning so our B&B hosts serve an elegant breakfast at 9am. (Everything about this B&B is elegant. When we arrived last evening, Madame took one look at our dusty selves and panniers, disappeared and returned with a superior sort of rag, which we used to remove the inelegant dust. Then we were allowed indoors.)

We're usually on the road by 9.00 but we take this chance to lie in. As today's journal entry unfolds, it will become apparent that serendipity is at play. 

The view from our garret of breakfast awaiting our 9am arrival
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After our late start, we stop for coffee and a spectacular view around 15km down the road. Here, I discover that my wallet hasn't made the journey with me. I also discover the limitations of my spoken French once I move beyond the niceties of food, coffee, rosé and hotel reservations. Phone calls to our B&B host and to a supermarket I'd visited last night (the misplaced Carrefour) are unsuccessful.

Also enjoying the view and their coffee are Peter and Pat, from Blackburn, Lancashire. It's their wedding anniversary and I'm only too happy to take their photo. Generously, they offer to return me to the supermarket in their motorhome. Serendipity, see? We meet this lovely couple only because of our late breakfast this morning.

They are up for the adventure of squeezing Robyn and her bike into the motorhome in search of the elusive wallet. Peter is keen to have a go at getting Bruce and bike in too but Tour Leader has his race face on.

We wend our way back in their cosy motorhome. There's  a bit of wending required because the direct route is too narrow for the motorhome. Bruce meantime whizzes back on his bike without the hindrance of keeping to my pace. Within 30 minutes, I have my wallet back, Bruce arrives and Pat has made us a restorative cup of coffee.

We wave goodbye, so grateful for their kindness. I'll be paying it forward: I need all the good karma I can get.

We've enjoyed our last day on the Loire
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Once back on track, we spend the day hugging the left bank of the Loire. This is classic photographer's Loire Valley. We cycle through an array of picturesque villages, all built in that white stone that seems to have endured for centuries. So many interesting skylines, so many photo opps present themselves but, given the delay I've created this morning, I'm reluctant to stop too often.

It's also classic wine country, with many cellars seemingly built into the hillside that hugs the river here. Wikipedia tells me that, "While the majority of production is white wine from the Chenin blancSauvignon blanc and Melon de Bourgogne grapes, there are red wines made (especially around the Chinon region) from Cabernet franc. In addition to still wines, rosésparkling and dessert wines are also produced."

Bruce Hunter, I'm pretty sure you wouldn't be biking past these domaines without stopping at least once or twice!

We enjoy the shade of the left bank in today's intense afternoon heat but eventually have to cross the Loire - for the final time, as it happens - and take our chances on the right bank. Entertainment arrives in the form of a ferry across a small waterway. The catch is, we have to haul ourselves and bikes across using a chain. 

Tour Leader, hauling for his country!
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Dawn HunterHe would have enjoyed this!
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2 years ago

It's with relief that we finally locate the Ibis in the centre of Angers. It's been a long, hot day. We are now heading north, having farewelled the Loire. Our destination is St Malo, in four days' time. From there, we take the ferry, a proper one this time, to Jersey. And to new adventures.

Given the motorhome leg, not an entirely accurate record of today's ride
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Dawn HunterMy goodness - lucky to get your wallet back! Yes Bruce would have loved stopping on this leg! x
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2 years ago

Today's ride: 93 km (58 miles)
Total: 1,391 km (864 miles)

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