Still with time to spare before the start of Semaine Federale we decided to explore some more towns villages to the South.
Sunday had finished wet and following a night of torrential rain I felt for the touring cyclists packing up their tents. We took the short drive to Meung-sur-Loire and parked up at the free aire ( N47.82374 E1.69779 ) Walking around the town there are beautiful old buildings and cobbled streets, I soon located a Patisserie for my afternoon French tart but our attention was drawn to the amount of closed shops which must make it harder to survive for the few that remain.
Returning to the van it was time to break out the bikes for a bit of exploration a bit further afield. Our late afternoon ride was to Lailly-en-Val and Beaugency to recce future camper stops. Heading South we passed through a town called “Dry”, breezing along and watching a “La Post“ postman pedalling I was taken aback by his turn of speed, stamping on the pedals to retain honour I was somewhat relieved to find they now all use e-bikes.
The camper stop at Lailly-en-Val met with Kaye’s approval so we carried on to Beaugency, the site here was on the banks of The Loire but with plenty of holidaymakers, children and an expensive tariff we settled on Lailly-en-Val.
The banks of The Loire are a very popular route for touring cyclists and a steady stream heading in both directions was evident until well after sunset, we had thought about following the river but the gravel and grit path would not be too friendly on our slick road tyres.
Parked the van at the aire at Lailly-en-val and enjoyed a 35 mile course to the South. We headed East on the D951 and turned South at Dry, the countryside was totally different, mainly wooded and shaded, still damp from recent rain. At Jouy-le-Potier turned onto the long straight D15 to Ligny-le-Ribault, La-Ferte-St-Cyr, Crouy-sur-Cosson before heading back North to Nouan-sur-Loire and finally along the D951 to complete the square. Not the prettiest route, I prefer the open countryside and wide views but the roads in France make any ride a pleasurable experience.
A route today to the north that started with some local back lanes that yielded some very colourful sunflowers, they all look so happy smiling at the sun….
We crossed the river heading North at Muides-sur-Loire, the bridges over the river have a bike path and at the far side a “no cycling” sign for the road, a two-way cycle path was provided with a very good surface all the way to Mer. Once through the town the countryside opened up to large cut fields and as if in agreement the sun appeared. Our circular route continued through La-Chapele-Saint-Martin-en-Plaine and at Villexanto the most amazing piece of street art painted on a very undulating surface of corrugated sheet metal that formed the end wall of a timber yard, there are some very talented people out there.
Our coffee stop was at Talcy and another magnificent Chateau and gardens, a small village in the middle of nowhere….
A final run to Beaugency where we stopped for a “pub lunch” and then a cycle around the old cobbled streets which seemed a popular choice with many other cycle tourists before heading back to our van just in front of the rain.