Clarkes Cycle Europe 2015 travel blog

Lunch - the eclairs didn't travel so well but were still delicious.

Picnic by the Loire

Vineyards towering over St Nicolas de Bourgueil.

The road ahead through the forest.

The road behind - looks like it drops off suddenly but is...

Dylan makes a friend

Bastille Day! Dark clouds and a cool morning had us worried about a wet ride. There was a little drizzle over breakfast but nothing else to hinder our ride.

Today's route is titled: Vines, Wines & Markets. Total distance - 55km

We headed out at 9.30 towards Bourgueil. We travelled through a couple of small and very quiet villages and then through the forest. There were many hunting platforms on the edge of the forest. A small ridge separated us from our 1st stop. We climbed over it easily and then travelled down to the Village of Bourgueil surrounded by vineyards.

Their weekly market was on today. The tip was to pick up something from the market for lunch and continue on to Chouze to picnic by the Loire. We wandered around the market and came away with an X-shaped baguette, goats cheese, salami, cherry tomatoes, peaches & eclairs.

About 7km more riding and we were in Chouze-sur-Loire. We rode with Mike & Teresa again today. The 5 of us enjoyed a picnic on the banks of the Loire River.

A different road led us back through St Nicolas de Bourgueil where there were a number of wineries. We decided not to do any tasting today.

We climbed back over the ridge into the forest, leaving the vineyards behind. The rural roads followed as we made our way back to Gue de Ray. They are bordered by paddocks of dried wheat either ready for harvest or freshly harvested and baled, maize & sunflowers in full bloom.

We were back quite early today. After a cuppa we enjoyed a laze in the hot tub, a swim and some basking in the sun that was slowly appearing. It's unusual weather - it slowly gets warmer all day, the sun often not coming out until after 3pm. 7pm it's quite warm & sunny.

Barely saw a car today, let alone a yellow VW or a tractor!

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