Who booked our accomodation up the top of a nasty hill?

Oh that would be me….more later. Even Saint Hilaire is pointing his finger at me. 🪣

Today was a longer day completing 147 km riding from Bourbon Lancy to Sancerre.

With a 6 am breakfast, we were on the road well before 7 am. It had rained overnight as the roads were still wet. The sun was trying to break through.

Our first glimpse of the beautiful Loire River. I love the Loire, and we last saw it in 2015 when we cycled from Calais to Narbonne then across to Carcassonne, another great trip.

In a tiny village a little further on, boasting about three houses stood these seven carved figurines. They delighted me, particularly the first one earlier of Saint Hilaire. They are carved from trees that grew there.

Love these bikes! We were turning right and heading to Decize.

More pink bikes. The French are getting confused with the Giro. It is common to see pink cycling decorations in Italy as pink represents the Maglia Rosa, the jersey worn by the leader of the GC ( General Classification). In the Tour de France, the leaders jersey is the maillot jaune ( the yellow jersey).

Another village church

We spent a fair time riding flood levees today. The one below has the Loire on the left. At other times we were adjacent to canals.

A field of purple dainty flowers. I do not know what the crop was.

Again, lots of locks. This is a well kept lock.

We thought we would have a toilet/ coffee stop in Decize, about 45 km into our ride. The traffic was awful in this town. All variety of trucks and cars seem to converge into one lane snaking around to the bridge.

Whilst waiting to cross the bridge we noted the art installation over the road. Note the bird either end. It appears to be our Aussie sulphur crested cockatoo.

A closer up pic.

Once safely over the bridge we saw a safe spot to get off the road, allow our adrenaline to reset, aided by a coffee. Back on the road it was hectic for another km or so, pretty well crawling pace at best. Despite EV6 going through this town, I would avoid it if possible

Nice skyline river view

This hedge art was at a Loire canal lock. Well maintained and manicured gardens.

Another village, another church
A cute canal with addition under construction
Waiting whilst the photographer does his bit to aid our memories and blog.

We had seen many touring cyclists during the morning, all heading the other way. Finally we found some heading in the same direction but had to stop as they had stopped and blocked the cycle path, busy in conversation.

So we made our way ahead, and arrived in a village that had a shop open selling food. We had a nice quiche and treat each.

But whilst we were eating the group came past. There is a mixture of bikes there including a few e-bikes, particularly popular with older riders. We did catch up and pass them a bit later on after our lunch.

Heading off after lunch we came up behind these two riders. What intrigued us was the size (width) of the ladies luggage.

The next two photos are amongst our favourite for the day. The first sight was the lovely old bridge.

Then a little further on and more is revealed.

The town is Charite-sur-Loire. The bridge was constructed in 1520. Joan of Arc visited the city in 1429 attempting to take the heavily fortified place. Pretty cool.

Another fascinating site today occurred as we crossed the lock below. The barge is the Deborah, with about 20 or so guests on board. As we rode the path it was apparent this was an extraordinary engineering feat.

The canal crosses over the top of the Loire, then descends steeply at the next lock. Amazing.

You can see the Loire River on the left and the canal crossing directly over the top.

Our destination today was Sancerre, a hilltop town. Our angle of approach did not show the town quite like the picture below, hence my use of someone else’s photo. The picture also does not show just how steep it is to get up to the top.

Sancerre

Tony took this photo early into the climb. The area is renowned for its wine.

Our route took us up the steepest street in the town, of course! I looked at it and thought ‘ I don’t think so’. However with my newest granny gears I made it. Just. If someone had stepped out in my path from a shop I’d have been stuffed – or maybe they might have been!

If you look on the right hand side if the graph, that needle is the last 2 km. That’s a nasty spike 🪣

An interesting town with lots of narrow streets. We had some difficulty finding our accomodation and went down and back up steep streets just because!

I needed to negotiate better secure bike storage and fortunately the Dutch owner of the accomodation was very helpful and understanding.

Apparently the French Resistance used the town during WWII as a headquarters to thwart the Germans. Certainly there are very good 360 degree views from the top.

A few of the town buildings.

Famous for its former clock constructed in the 1500s
The local Notre Dame church, the seemingly most common name for a church in France

Time for me to get ready for bed folks. It is 9 pm and I need my beauty sleep. It is a later start tomorrow as breakfast is not until 8 am. However, it is a shorter day…I think 99 km?

So stay tuned, thanks for reading

Ooroo and smile on 😊

2 thoughts on “Who booked our accomodation up the top of a nasty hill?

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