Sancerre to Chateau-sur-Loire

What a lovely view to wake up to – a beautiful day and the sun is shining.

After a wonderful breakfast ( I would certainly recommend our B&b hosts if visiting Sancerre), we headed off. We were not in a rush as check in at our destination was 4.30 pm. That meant we needed to cool our heels.

The descent from Sancerre was gnarly. Our route took us down the seemingly steepest and shortest route, which just happened to be a gravel patch pitched at over 20%. I’m not too proud to say I walked it!

Once at the bottom we crossed this old bridge, and had a great view back up to Sancerre.

We soon hit a canal path and arrived in this little village. This church had a curious shape, square-ish at one end, rounded turrets at the other end.

An unusual church

A lovely canal path. We were to ride on a huge variety of paths today. Sealed like this one, but many unsealed too which adds some variety.

Everything we see riding is not all roses. Obviously there are industrial areas near bigger cities, plus there are power plants such as this one, 25 km from our starting point.

Nuclear powered stations are numerous in Europe. That is steam, not smoke billowing out. We are lucky in Tasmania with our proliferation of hydro energy power, but again, our power stations are not pretty but they are cleaner.

Our route took us adjacent to the boundary. They are serious about security it seems!

More like a prison.

About 200 metres after this photo was taken we came across a ‘no photo’ sign. But too late!

Then a further 500 metres or so there was a car park adjacent to the administration area. There were three camper vans parked on the edge with people chilling. There are so many nicer options around here than that view!

Back onto the canal and a grass track.

40 km in we found a boulangerie and so we stopped. Incredibly strong coffee and a treat.

It was a quaint town.

As we cut through the village and dropped down we came across this old chateau.

Like a replica of yesterdays picture of Charity-sur-Loire was this. However, this town is Gien, where evidence has been found of prehistoric occupation.

Gien

Charlemagne authorised the construction of a fortified mound at the site of the current castle in the 8th century. Viking raids led to its demise until Phillip the Fair purchased the area as part of his Royal properties.

The town suffered badly during WWII with the Luftwaffe bombs destroying 400 buildings in an attempt to stop the French Army from retreating.

A closer view of Gien

Sully-sur-Loire was where we stopped for lunch. It boasts a pretty impressive, privately owned chateau that commenced construction in the 1300’s.

A different angle view of the chateau

Back on another lovely track, compressed gravel.

I love this picture. We stood watching these beavers for some time as they played and fossicked.

The European beaver have started to return to rivers after being nearly wiped out by man who killed them for meat, fur and castoreum (secretion from scent gland, used in the perfume industry).

In the 1970’s small numbers of bred beavers were released into the Loire. It is wonderful to see these animals first hand and to know that they are being restored.

We arrived into our destination town about 90 minutes before we could check into our accomodation so we plonked ourselves into a park nearby that had a nice chateau and gardens.

Looking to the park entrance
Another view including the most gardens
A view of part of the chateau

6 days riding and we have been blessed with incredible weather. Today was around 25c and not a breathe of wind.

We are in a small B&b operated by an older French couple.They do not do early breakfasts, but that is ok as to tomorrow we cannot check in until 5 pm.

It is a longer day tomorrow at around 135 km. Today was 101km.

Again, it is late (9.30 p.m.) so time for me to get ready for bed. It took 90 minutes to upload the photos due to slow internet here.

Thanks for reading, and keep smiling 😊

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