DAY ELEVEN… 50.5 miles (81 km)

We left the campsite as early as possible. Thankfully there was little disturbance in the night. Managed to purchase a very mediocre croissant (almond!) and ate it by the side of the river, then set off on our way.

The weather today was quite overcast with occasional drizzle which scuppered our attempts to ‘dry’ our washing on our bike panniers. We had to keep stopping to take off the washing and put on our waterproof trousers etc, etc.

A little taste of India in a French farmyard

We had a short stop at what turned out to be a charming French version of Hay on Wye… hundreds of old bookshops and a very ancient cathedral and square. In contrast, an unnerving number of drunks were attempting to buy a last can before the shops closed.

La Charité-sur-Loire
Sainte-Croix-Notre-Dame in La Charité-sur-Loire

We arrived tired and in some nerve pain, glad to have completed almost 50 miles, but sadly the campsite had closed. We asked a very kind Frenchman where we could camp and he offered us his garden. Heavy rain ensued and the campsite, on inspection was definitely closed and out of bounds, so we accepted his offer gratefully. Then he offered us a shower and some food with his family and breakfast the next morning…. so kind. We had to be up and ready for breakfast at 7am, so very early start on what was to be our much-needed rest day! Moreover, night not easy as had to share a tent with Tim, and no snoring mask with us, so I had to resort to a Zopiclone sleeping pill to ensure oblivion; slightly dodgy as I had consumed a glass of red wine and a glass of Weiss bier from the bottle that we gave the family as a ‘thank you’ .