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Day 40 - 43

Day 40        06/27/23

Rolled out of our tent dwelling a little late this morning as it was so nice to sleep in a bed. Sleeping on a raised platform is a luxury. I was thinking someone should design lightweight handicap bars for tents. It would make it so much easier to get out of the tent for those midnight bathroom runs.

The landscape is beginning to look very similar from day to day, so we pedalled twenty miles today without shooting many pictures. But we also had a destination in mind, you guessed it, Decathlon. We needed to pick up some more gas for the stove and a few other items. As we pulled up to the store we bumped into a couple from Australia that are touring Europe. We must have talked for 45 minutes before we realized we hadn't even gone into the store. We said goodbye, made our purchases and got on our way to our next daily stop, the Supermarket.

Arriving at the campground, De la Maltournee, we set up camp and sat down to devour some fresh cherries. The other day we purchased a deck of cards and are learning to play gin rummy. You can only play so much Farkle. The interesting thing about the campgrounds here in Europe is that most people stay to themselves. My guess is because of all the different languages that are spoken. But it seems that most people at least try to say hello.

Keep it rolling

Scott and Sarah

Rode 42  miles

Day 41          06/28/23

Just as we were leaving the campground we ran into a man from Liverpool, England. His name was Jim Martin and we carried on in a fairly long conversation about life. We needed to get going as it was past 10:00am. The day was a slow meandering one along the Loire River. We saw beautiful forests and fields and fields of sunflowers.

Along the way we stopped for coffee at a little shop that had a collection of old bicycles. It was so interesting to see what used to be the state of the art. Now people can ride bicycles across continents and even equip them with batteries. As long as I can use muscle power the ebike will have to wait.

One of the pleasantries of today was riding through irrigated fields of corn. The color of the fields was a deep, rich green unlike what we saw in Kansas. While we were riding Sarah said, "Have I thanked you for taking me on this trip?" She said that just as the giant pivot sprinkler was raining down huge droplets of water onto the corn stalks creating a most pleasurable whooshing sound. That sound cannot be heard from inside of a car. It was at that moment we both realized how the simplicity of life is drowned out by the frenzy of the urgent.

Hey ya'll don't stop to smell the roses, stop and watch the corn😀

We pulled into the municipal campground des Combles near Briare and decided to rent a cycle bungalow. It's basically a bedroom on stilts. It comes with disposable sheets and a pillow case for a total of 20 euros a night. It also comes standard with assorted bugs and spiders but if you keep in mind that they are not poisonous you can ignore them when they are crawling on your skin.

We met some interesting folks, Kevin and Sylvia, who have literally been cycling since 2013. They were both artists, one from England and one from Germany, who have become travelling actors. They

put on plays in small venues and carry their whole life with them on their bicycles.

People come in all varieties with stories that we would never hear given our paths of life. This trip has been so eye opening from the little world we normally navigate. We are truly grateful to be able to take part in such a rich journey.

Keep it rolling

Scott and Sarah

Rode 40 miles

Day 42        06/29/23

Woke up to semi overcast skies but a very nice temperature for cycling. We closed up our cycle cabin, dropped off the key at the officeand headed off. We rode on a lot of beautiful canal trails today. There are canals everywhere with boats moving up and down them carrying cyclists to drop them off at key points. That would be a great way to ride the Loire valley if you only wanted to do the best of the best rides.

We stopped for a nice cup of coffee at a Tabac around 11:25 this morning. We had just been sitting for five minutes when a worker came and told us they were closing in order to go on a break and would reopen at 2:00pm. That is the way things are done in France so you have to time things just right or you will miss coffee. Luckily brasseries and restaurants seem to open about that time and close at 2:00. It can be confusing at first but youust get the hang of it or go without.

We stopped for lunch along the way eating the goods we had in our food bag. We have found day old baguettes can get a bit hard but we have remedied that with dipping it in a cup of balsamic vinegar. It is true that man cannot live on bread alone but balsamic vinegar is the key.

We rode a fast 40 miles and arrived at our campsite, de la Saulaire in La Charite sur Loire, by 1:00pm. The desk did not open until 3:00 so it was one of those hurry up and wait moments. We got another wonderful cycling accomodation. For just 6 Euros more than a campsite and we are in a bed that is off the ground. It just makes camping that much easier.

We decided to eat at a restaurant named Bis. It is owned by a Dutch couple who welcomed us and cooked some awesome food. I am really looking forward to visiting the Netherlands because the people seem to be straight shooters and they know how to enjoy a good laugh.

Keep it rolling

Scott and Sarah

Rode 39 miles

Day 43 06/30/23

We woke up and headed to a Bolangeri for some delicious pastries. We ended up with more than pastries but also fresh quiche. It was a great way to start the morning. We weren't in a rush to get going because we didn't want to arrive at the next campground to early.

The weather has been fairly cool in the mid 60's but perfect for riding. France has far more canals than I had imagined but they make for very flat riding. We did have a little scare today but first let me share a story from yesterday.

Yesterday we were riding along and as we ride, I sometimes get lost in my thoughts and the miles pass quicker. During one of those moments, a big shriek came from the person in the back seat. It was a certain imperiling sound that caught my attention. I had been looking down at the moment and it jolted me into looking up expecting a car to be coming at us head on. My heart was pounding out of my chest when I saw no car but my back seat partner was still a little unhinged. I asked her "What are you screaming about? She said, "I saw a huge snake coming at us on the road and I thought we were going to run it over." We both suffered mild heart attacks but for very different reasons.

Today we rode up an offramp and were forced to make a right hand turn onto a trafficy road. I asked Sarah if it was clear to merge onto the road and she said yes so I pulled out onto the road. We immediately had a car bearing down on us while they blew the horn and hit the breaks. It scared the wee, wee out of us! In Sarah's defense it was a blind curve that impaired her line of sight. Hopefully we now have all of our snake and car incidences behind us.

Tonight we are camping just outside the city of Decize but the forecast is for rain tomorrow...blah!

Keep on rolling

Scott and Sarah

Rode 48 miles

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Rod Potter
Rod Potter
Jul 01, 2023

Still loving the stories and pics, guys! You’re experiencing so much it’s hard to even know what to comment back. I am surprised you told us you had pastries and a “quickie” to start day 43.😜

Scott Dontanville
Scott Dontanville
Jul 01, 2023
Replying to

You are killing me! Only you could construe a quiche into a quickie. Better start taking some French lessons😀

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