It was great to see the finish line today.
We started with a leisurely ride to our first stop, Chantillion Coligny. The street market was great. A great array of cheeses, meats and flowers. Lots of old buildings and a Chateau. Every town seems to have a Chateau. Some in a good state others in need of a facelift. That is the same with many/most of the houses. They must have some terrible problems in the winter with leaks, rising damp, drafts etc. They might spend some money on the insides of the houses, but the outsides are left untouched! Except flowers.
Our highlight for the day was a stop at a country pub, in a small town. Jan had called ahead to book our lunch. €15 for the set menu. First comes a salad with grilled goats cheese on toast. Yum. Next came fish with potato in a white wine sauce. Next was the cheese platter to die for. Finally came some homemade vanilla ice cream with strawberries. All washed down with a couple of glasses of local wine and some entertainment from the Chef. A great couple of hours.
He was a good chef as well as a good artist. He did this sketch in a couple of minutes.
Further riding to Chateau Bussiere. Had a tour through, but we were unable to take photos inside. Very grandiose.
An extensive vegetable garden and other garden, although it was quite dry. Hot weather and no rain for weeks hasn't helped.
The final 15kms went by quickly. Everyone was keen to get to the boat, so a cracking pace was set. We are all so much stronger in the legs after a week of riding so it didn't seem so hard. It was fairly flat with several downhills. It was about 6pm when we arrived back.
Tomorrow, we are bussed back to Paris, which may take a couple of hours or more. School holidays end this weekend, so a lot of traffic is expected.
3 nights in Paris (a few loads of washing to be done).
Farewell Loire Valley