Today was a day of 2 halves. The morning journey to Saumur was exceptional. The afternoon, evening and night less so.
I set off early and after a bit of two-ing and fro-ing I eventually found the EV6. As with before it was in the main, a pleasure. Deserted roads through amazing villages. I stopped in one and had the necessary coffee and pain au chocolat. The journey was particularly pleasant following the slog the previous day.
For the main part I was travelling on the north of the Loire, on small country roads just beyond the levee. Much of the geography of the pays de la Loire is like this, villages an farmland now built on the flood plain, protected by the levees. It has become apparent to me that the north bank is usually flat, and the south hilly, as the river seems to stick to the rocky outcrops it has been eroding for years, as if it won’t give up the fight!. Leaving the massive flood plain to the north open to agriculture. At least that has been the case from Nantes to here.
I cross back into the south at a beautiful town named St Mathurn Sur Loire,
and before long the geography changes and flat become hilly. The route after Gennes takes me up some 200 metres into a forested area – apparantly there is a loch (?) there, but I can’t find it. The landscape undulates for a time and I’m constantly thinking of 2 or 3 mates who would be flying down these hills – they would love it! I was terrified!!
Once we got back to the river it was a simple ride to Saumur. I am just about understanding when to go with EV6, when to go with the here and now, and when to go with Garmin. And it seems to be working.
Saumur is very pleasing on the eye. But a massive tourist trap too, for that reason.
My campsite was lovely – but it was round about then things went a bit south…literally!! Stomach cramps a plenty followed by the inevitable runs !! And bad too. I pitched my tent and took stock of the situation. After 5 visits to the loo, in the most awful way (sorry) I decided I had to go into Saumur and so I did. As I said, a very beautiful place, very vibrant, bit choca with tourists.
I decided to combat dysentery with Heineken and Chinese – I thought it had worked. It hadn’t… The night that ensued was awful!! Shivers, sweats, fear of dying in a tent in France.
Clearly I made it through the night in order to write this and today is another, nicer storey…