Champdeniers-Saint-Denis to Airvault - Retyrement on 2 Wheels 2 - CycleBlaze

June 20, 2018

Champdeniers-Saint-Denis to Airvault

Paradis Lost and Looping the Loop at St Loup.

June 20 Wednesday  79kms

Paradis Lost and Looping the Loop at St Loup.

Hard to leave Paradis especially after the comforts of civilised breakfast and lashings of coffee. France introduces us to Philippe, her husband who is a journalist on a local paper. His English is good since he grew up in Canada. She also hands us our neatly pressed lavage smelling faintly of some exotic fruit and considerably cleaner. We say  our final farewells and leave  a little reluctantly.

Champdeniers-Saint-Denis
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The goal for the day is  Airvault, a mere 50 or so kilometres away. We begin  well and enjoy the ups and downs that take  us to the centre of remote villages and Romanesque style churches. We cycle through rural landscapes with no sight of a river. The temperature rises and there are some serious hills with long climbs and speedy descents.

Louin
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At Marc la Lande
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We lunch at Pathenay and decide that Airvault is possible, despite the heat, being a mere bagatelle of 36 Kms away.

Le Tallud
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Parthenay
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Reaching what has been described as the most beautiful village in France, St Loup sur Thouet by 6:00 brings us within a few minutes of our goal.  Following the Francette signs out of town though, we miss a vital turn and so end up going around 5 kms out of our way on a busy and very hilly D road. When we reach a dual carriageway roaring with trucks we realise our mistake and our only option is to retrace our steps to Saint- Loup. Here we find the missed direction and head for Airvault on a pretty road beside water.

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On the outskirts of Airvault we find  an almost deserted municipal camping ground beside the river. Too late and tired to find a shop that a) exists  and b) might still be ouvert we dine on a cup of soup and Uncle Bens mushrooms and rice. This is finished with a cup of tea and an excellent French biscuit or two. What is it about French biscuits? No NZ biscuit seems to have the appeal of the simple ‘Petit Buerre’. What is the missing je be sais quoi?

Everything in life has its compensations - the showers are  hot, there are  power points to charge phones and the toilets have seats as well as paper. Ann even finds a frog in her shower. Most of all, it is free.

Today's ride: 79 km (49 miles)
Total: 1,457 km (905 miles)

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