DAY SIX… 40 miles (64 km)

We paid an early morning visit to a Dolman….. a prehistoric table-like formation, maybe a burial chamber. It was obviously used later too as there were constructions inside … a Roman fireplace? Here we ate half an almond croissant and half a chocolate and almond pain, both really mediocre and sold to us by a short tempered bakery lady. We proceeded along the road by the river, to avoid the hills of Eurovelo 6. Along the way we came across a mushroom growing cave and restaurant which we were able to visit to see the famous Parisian mushrooms growing in deep caves, together with some captured large snails being fed exclusively on lettuce. We found Oyster and Shitake mushrooms. The ‘guide’ left us after a few minutes having imparted a few basic facts, and gave us a leaflet to read to serve as our guide. We managed to procure quite a few mushrooms from him later.

Prehistoric Dolmen

A little further on we were tempted to enter the “dégustation caves” at Saumur to sample the champagne, which neither of us rated.  A bit further still we discovered a lovely troglodyte village, just off the main road. An amazing complex of caves with beautiful arches carved out of the rocks.

Mushroom Caves
Troglodyte village

My knees began to be very painful today, not really helped by the knee bandage. Lunch stop was a beautiful garden in a chateau. We spread out our tents to dry and upset an old lady who feared we might be camping in her garden. By this time, it was 4pm. We attempted to cycle fast to make up for all our dallying, but it was hopeless, especially with my knee pain so we have stopped to camp near the ‘Rose thorn’ chateau, a magical, fairytale chateau with numerous turrets and bell towers. In true French style, this campsite is firmly closed, but Tim has managed to find a way of turning the water on and there are some public loos down the road.

Rigny-Ussé “Rose Thorn” Château