Saturday, June 17, 2006

In chateau country again

I took a day retracing my steps largely to get back to Savonnieres. Thought I might spend two nights there and catch a train to Tours one day, but the hour of 7.16am for the train seemed too unsociable so flagged it. Thought I had worked things out so the local restaurant would actually be open when I got there too but found it has a week's annual holidays!
Today I embarked on a bit of a scary ride, making my way through Tours to Amboise. As you can tell, I have arrived safely in one piece! I am not a great fan of getting through big unknown cities with a bike laden with luggage. The Loire by Velo is a wonderful concept, and tracks are really well developed to the West of Tours, but not so much to the east of it. (No doubt this will be addressed.) On my journey downstream to Angers, I had headed south to the Cher and Indre river valleys to bypass Tours, but this time wanted to be more direct as I headed back to the land of the Chateau.
The first bit of the bike track from Savonnieres was lovely as it followed the Cher, and the weather was even cloudy and coolish for a change. First time I have worn my bike jacket for a while. Then I hit Tours and there was a bike track through the middle, but it involved watching for parking cars and pedestrians. It seemed to take forever! Then I had to take a busy main D road out towards Amboise, along the Loire itself. It was quite busy to start with, but less so the closer I got to Amboise. As you see I did arrive in one piece.
I am installed in the camping ground on an island between two branches of the Loire, and look out at the Chateau across the river when I walk into town. After erecting the tent, my first stop was to eat a lunchtime meal as always. Cycling 45km in the morning is always a great way to enjoy some guilt-free eating! It has turned warm again. Maybe not 30+ today, but not far off it. So hiding in an internet cafe with air-conditioning is a great thing to do! The Chateau can wait- I am getting better at siestas, and luckily most camping grounds seem to be well covered with large shady trees. The camping ground here at Amboise is huge, but has plenty of trees.
I will probably take tomorrow off the velo and head across to Blois by train.

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