DAY EIGHT… 51.5 miles (82.5 km)

A rather slow start to the day…. bad knees, washing and the familiar wet tents and groundsheet. Plus, the toilet block was a long, long way away.

We set off at 9am to the bakery for our usual almond croissant, bread and got a sort of large biscuit with whole nuts in it, a bit like the Biscotto de Dojo I had eaten in Venice. We spent some time finding our way out of Amboise. There were lots of steep climbs and we were not to be rewarded with a view of the chateau. There’s a 10-foot wall or hedge everywhere to prevent intruders, or being seen from within, and to make sure you pay your 15 Euros before you see anything at all.

Two happy cyclists

We arrived at Blois for a late lunch and no view of the double staircase, as we had hoped, instead we sat in initially tranquil gardens before being invaded by a party of hundreds of adolescent school children.

Our afternoon section was mercifully flat and we caught sight of some otters swimming on the shores of the Loire. We arrived, as usual about 7pmish at our campsite. It looks a bit rough. A new-age guy with a van and barking dogs is close by and someone else has created a roaring fire. Still, its clean and seems quiet.

Somewhere near Blois