DAY TWELVE… 52 miles (83 km)

Early start. We woke at 6.30am to pack and get ready to leave by 7.30am. We breakfasted with the family; bread, butter and jam but unfortunately only herbal tea as they had no black tea. Still feeling rather dopey after the Zopiclone, hung over and a general lack of sleep …. so, we set off along the Canal Latéral à la Loire to be rewarded by the sight of various birds; white headed eagle, a heron and even a beaver… again.

Canal Latéral à la Loire

We continued, visiting a small Romanesque church just off the Canal Latéral à la Loire, until we reached the rather unwelcoming village of Decize. I was desperate for the toilet and had to resort to using a filthy public toilet which assured me that it was hygienically cleaned after each use. If it was, it was not very thorough. We stopped just outside of Decize to consume our usual almond croissant. Not very satisfactory, rather more like an ordinary croissant there was so little almond in it. On again, along the canal until we met some minor roads. Here the map let us down, or rather, the signposting did. It was very poor, and the map was not good either.

Sunbathing Lizard

As we got within about 20 miles of Bourbon-Lancy, the road became very undulating indeed. One hill after another. There was a very large hill into Bourbon-Lancy and then it was downhill to the town, with its famous “Thermes de Spa”.

It turns out to cost an arm and a leg to soak in the water here, but, if you want to swim in it, it’s cheaper, so we are planning to “swim” rather than “soak”. We’ve pitched our tent in a nice secluded spot in this busy campsite but have been told that it is a children’s play area (even though there are no children in evidence). We will have to de camp tomorrow. The weather is holding up, though looking threatening at times.