St Malo to Nice


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Europe » France
September 8th 2019
Published: September 8th 2019
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50 miles

Another great days cycling in good weather. First stop was Spa to buy picnic goodies. Usually I go in and do the shopping and Paul stays outside with the bikes. When I came out of the shop he said "Look what's next door". Next door was a Boulangerie that was open so we could have bought sandwiches there but it didn't matter as we had food now so didn't need to worry about that. Strangely enough through out the morning we saw several Boulangeries that were open. Sods law. If we have been relying on finding one we wouldn't have done.

For about the first 25 miles the roads were dead straight and undulating with numerous villages usually built at the crest of an undulation so that as you left one village you could see the church spire of the next village. However, small French villages are they are always dominated by their church. At some point there was a depot for 'Lafarge' just off the road side. Made me think of my brother Arnold who works for them. We stopped for yoghurt and nuts late morning sat on a bench in one of the villages and lunch was at Chalonnes-sur-Loire just after crossing the Loire.

Crossing the Loire felt like an important mile stone had been reached and certainly the landscape changed dramatically with farmland giving way to vine yards. To cross the Loire we had to cross three bridges that linked between the islands in the Loire. It was easy to see that the water levels were low. Currently 69 French Departments are suffering drought conditions.

After Chalonnes-sur- Loire the road climbed higher to the Corniche Angevine and we stopped at the viewpoint to admire the view. At Les Ponts de C'e we went into the town to look for ice cream but didn't have any luck so carried on.

As we approached Brissac-Quince we could see its huge Chateau which has the claim to fame of being the tallest Chateau on the Loire. Then it was up slight switch backs to the town sat at the top of a small hill. Our first impression was that every where was closed but we managed to find a bar open and bought two orange juices as the check in time at the B&B wasn't until five o'clock. Whilst having a drink I checked on all the restaurants in the area to see which would be open on a Sunday night. The answer was only a Pizza place two kilometres away and I could see a hotel at the bottom of the hill that had a restaurant.

Arriving at the B&B my first though was that it looked very run down. A man came out to meet us and was very friendly and helpful. He showed us to our room in an annexe to the main hotel and it was very modern and nicely decorated. Besides an enormous bed there was other furniture and a settee to sit on.

It was very spacious. The man gave us the name of a restaurant in town and assured us it would be open on a Sunday. He did admit it was the only one that would be open.

At seven o'clock we wandered into town and found the restaurant but it was closed on Sundays. I remembered the hotel down the hill and suggested we tried there. It seemed very quiet when we got there but we found the restaurant and a man said we could have a meal. Another lady came through who could speak English. She told us it was a set menu and the choice was chicken or vegetables for starter and pork or mackerel for the main course. Paul opted for a chicken starter and I opted for the vegetable starter and we both had pork for the main course. It was quite surreal. We were the only couple inside and there was one couple outside. The place was very old fashioned and ornate. The food was very nice and very nicely presented. It included a jug of water and a small glass of wine each. Choices for dessert were chocolate cake and custard or cheese. Paul opted for chocolate cake and I declined both. The lady who served us had obviously told the couple outside we were English and cycling as they came in talking to us. She was Belgian and he was English and they were doing the same cycle route but in twenty days. They were booking hotels as they went along and hoping to camp when they got to the warmer south. It was good to swap notes with them. So all ended well and we didn't go to bed hungry.

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Tot: 0.065s; Tpl: 0.039s; cc: 8; qc: 23; dbt: 0.0117s; 1; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 1; ; mem: 1.2mb