After a day cycling around Vannes and Carnac we were looking for some routes that would avoid traffic and main roads so a stop at a Camping Car Parks site just to the West of Cholet should tick that box. Two weeks earlier we had cycled through Clisson and enjoyed the area so I plotted a 45 mile route to the town and back using mainly back roads.
After yesterdays torrential rain today started dry, cloudy and very reasonable 19c as we set off crossing the main road and a gentle climb up to La Seguiniere, a tidy little village with boulangerie, supermarket, bars, chemist and of course a ladies hairdresser. We were already on the high ground and cycling along the ridge, our next left turn came with a warning that the road was liable to be submerged as we plunged downhill at Beaucou. As we crossed the river La Moine a beautiful house stood on the far bank beyond the rapids and a lifted barrier on the road ready to be lowered to prevent access in the event of flood. On the other side of the road a large shrine, St Christophe certainly enjoyed a fine view.
A gentle climb again from the river, this time to the village of La Ramagne which looked a rather drab spot with not a soul about. Once through it we were back into open countryside again, not many crops out here just grass, maize and plenty of cows. The farms all seem run down with derelict buildings and bailer twine holding field gates closed and barbed wire serving as fencing but this may just reflect the state of the rural economy.
Kaye remarked that we had already done 8k and not seen a single car and only 2 people, both runners, it also became apparent that in the deepest countryside in rural France the verges are still cut and there is no litter, a far cry from Hampshire. On through more pleasant country lanes, our next waypoint is the village of Getigne approached on the D149 from the East but even this main road was not busy. The church looks to have a modern extension to house a clock and bell tower, which with a short gantry between the tower looks to be the result of one of those moments when somebody asks “how do we get to it to maintain it”.
From here rolling into Clisson it all looked familiar passing our tour hotel and across the bridge to the Chateau and the steep climb up to the town under the pine tree leaning precariously against the house roof.
Feeling like we had earned our pains-aux-raisins and coffee we found a suitable cafe in the town square to rest our legs for a few minutes and as the clock struck 11 we were ready to roll back. Again on the back roads to Saint-Hilaire-de-Clisson and La Bruffiere before another pretty river crossing, this time La Sevre Nataise at La Grossiere.
Torfou was the next town en route and once through the enclave there was a nice fast run on the straight but very undulating D949 before turning left to La Choftiere and Saint Christophe -du-Bois. The final 5km was a downhill run to La Promenade where we were just in time to catch the Boulangerie for a Quiche Lorraine for lunch and a French Tart for afternoon tea.
Cycling is good in France.