|A very easy, leisurely 42 km ride today. Knowing we had only a short distance to go, we slept in for an extra half hour, had a leisurely breakfast, and then cycled at a bit of a slower pace than our norm. We picked up our lunch and pastries in St. Florent Le Viele, and then cycled through a very agricultural area – mostly cattle and corn. Very few grapes or sunflowers. It was very picturesque, and except for a 20 minute shower the weather was a bit better than it has been in the last few days.
We came across a beautiful chapel in Notre Dame du Marillais, and had our pastries shortly thereafter in a gorgeous park just outside Ancenis. Once we entered Ancenis we made a beeline for the closest placed that served cappuccino and watched life go by for a while. A quick stop at the local chateau, and we headed for Oudon, where we stopped for lunch and sat out a rain shower. Then it was uphill to have a look at the Chateau d’Outon.
Shortly thereafter we crossed the Loire, went up a long, steep hill, and arrived at our destination, the very small village of Champtoceaux. We are basically atop a large cliff, with wonderful panoramic views of the Loire Valley.
After a quick hydration break, we toured the town, including the remains of an ancient citadel, and enjoyed an excellent dinner at the hotel.