Today was weird… Leaving Sancerre, which I loved, and the fantastic hotel Le Clos Saint Martin, was a wrench. Also, I’d done no real prep on the final leg. Mainly because it was just that, the finale. And as a result had no idea what to expect. And probably as a result of no research, the journey to Nevers was nondescript.
The standout town was La Charite. So named after it was built on the charity of pilgrims making their way across Europe to Santiago de Compostela. Stopped here for a coffee, as they probably did, and the obligatory baguette with cheese and ham and a chocolate eclair from the boulangerie. Also noted as it was my first foray into Burgundy, where my journey would end.
After La Charite it was all about getting to Nevers, and I had previously plotted the quickest route by bike on my Garmin. However, as I rode, I felt compelled to make it to the zero km marker on the Loire a velo route – made sense as I had been at the start/finish in St Brevins, so felt the need to complete.
Today was weird… as search as I might there was no sign, no marker, nothing at 0km, at least that I could find, so this picture about captures the start of the route!
It was frustrating and felt like an anti climax, and 15 wasted miles – but at least I knew I had done the whole thing.
In any case this was never about start or finish – but about a part of a journey that started 42 years ago, maybe specifically a part that started in March last year when TZ was purchased, and definitely about a part that will continue… I will definitely pick the EV6 up again and continue pedalling across Europe.
After the non start/end, start/end. The route joined the lateral canal again and I made my way, rather convolutedly to Nevers. The final crossing of the Loire, at least I thought that at the time was emotional. I get like that, and knew I would. We said goodbye to the river and made our way to the final hotel.
Weird amplified! The place was awful. Upon entering a cat ridden ‘reception’, complete with cat ornaments and pigeons in a cage, yes indeed!! The weird cat man checked me in. Off I went to my room – abhorrent, disgusting, hell hole!! Didn’t even put my bags down!! About turned back to weirdness personified (I’m convinced he keeps his dead family upstairs somewhere) and apologised, said he could keep my money and went to leave. He got aggressive and then emotional to the point of crying!! Wtf!! A massively lucky escape.
Since then I have checked into the Ibis, bog standard, but on the bank of the river – which feels kind of right. Tomorrow I will head back to Londres, and I can’t wait. It’s been tough all ways. But before that I will cross the river once more. And I like that.