Wet, windy, hilly and long

In all cycle tours you have these days. After over two weeks of hot weather and close to no rain, the time had come for the weather gods to dish it out.

We knew it was coming. We had looked at the weather rain radar multiple times hoping that the awful weather crossing France from the Atlantic Ocean had either miraculously disappeared or changed course.

Around 2 am we listened to the huge thunderstorms, lightening and thunder.

When we awoke, it was overcast but not raining. We’d take that.

After bidding our host farewell (another English family that have settled in France, formerly from the Isle of Wight) we set off.

Within 4 km the raincoats went on. So the day would continue with constant stops taking gilet off, coat on, coat off, gilet on and so on.

We had a day of climbing. Our Hammerhead Karoo (bike computer) had 24 rated climbs, plus there were other lesser climbs.

This is our climbing graph for 140 km. Over 1800 metres climbing with that distance, with loaded bikes is a big effort. We have similar tomorrow. Not because we want to do such distances with lots of climbing but more out of necessity.

We are heading east and you have to ride to towns that have decent accomodation plus somewhere to eat. Such towns are less plentiful compared to say the tourist hot spots in the Loire Valley. We carry only snacks with us (replenishing those at supermaches).

That means you sometimes have tougher days.

The camera did not come out as often today. It comes out when it is not raining. Here are photos that we did take en route. The photos are in order from the start.

After turning off major arterial roads, we were generally on local and agricultural roads
Our route took us through many villages, some just a few homes, others larger. At times, you just see the edge of other villages, often noting the church spire.
That is me coming up to finish a climb. There were 24 rated climbs today.
Rain gear still in, checking out a village arch, probably an old village entrance from the Middle Ages when most towns had fortified walls.
Not sure what this is
We upset these two dogs, as we chose to take raincoats off here.
The big promise…blue sky. It amounted to nothing.
Overlooking a farms and distant village
Another distant view
My favourite picture today. The growth in the river are white flowers in full bloom. It is quite pretty.
Raincoat on, just about to hop off my bike and take the coat off.
Green fields, ominous skies
Nice bell tower
Ooh blue sky again 🙏
Village church and war memorial. Note the rooster on top.It is quite gruesome as it has slain an eagle.
Super green fields
Imposing chateau
Nice old bridge

We arrived in Montlucon by a nice descent down a major arterial road, bit of city shuffling, arriving at the river Cher. Locating our accomodation, we showered, washed our clothes and headed into the old city quarters.

The chateau, fee paying, closed when we arrived.
Most of the houses in the old quarter are circa 1500’s
This is where we ate our dinner. Our view. The city was nice and quiet with most tourists having departed.

A few more views before we headed back so I could write this blog and sleep.

I have a thing for gargoyles. I like their whimsical nature

That’s it for today. Tomorrow is not dissimilar to today. Climbing and length. We are hopeful the weather will hold out for us.

Thanks for reading, stay safe and smile on 😊

4 thoughts on “Wet, windy, hilly and long

  1. David Weidinger

    I sure am enjoying your posts, Sharron. Unfortunately, I missed the first few. Is there a way to see them? As a bike packer, I’m also interested in your gear and packing. You seem to have that down to a science. Safe travel!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ben Moloney

    Hi Sharron, following your blog with great interest, it’s fascinating what you and Tony are managing to do. Don’t forget The White Ship by Earl Spencer when you get home. Stay safe Ben (bob) and Val Chef Boutonne

    Liked by 1 person

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