Epic European Cycle : 2015-05-28 : Loire à Vélo / EuroVelo 6 to Savennières

Type Name Description Service Provider Cost Kms To Date Total Notes Actions
Cycle La Loire à Vélo from Chinon to Savennières $0.00 42.00 42.00 Day 17: 42km: Total 718km
Type Name Service Provider Confirmation Location Cost Notes Actions
Camp Camping de la Confluence Savennières $16.00

Trip Log

Notes Actions
This was another real slow-start day. It was cold when we woke up, so we layed around for a while, then had breakfast at camp. We were going to leave our gear at the site to dry off and go into town for cafe au lait, but it started to look like rain, so we turned back to pack up. We packed up and headed into town, as the weather warmed back up. We had our cafe, had a quick look at Forteresse Ville Haute and then decided it was time to go. We weren't sure where the route was - the side routes are not as well marked as the official Loire route, but we thought for sure it couldn't possibly be the route that winds through town, up the free elevator to the fortress, and then up more hill from there. Turns out we were wrong. Brent says "when you have the option of taking the elevator on the velo route... take the elevator!" We ended up going the long way around on the highway, including one of the most evil climbs we've done on this trip. After we finished that, we had some undulations to make it to Huismes where we had lunch, and then beers with a couple from New Zealand before returning to the Loire velo route.
We are staying tonight in Camping de la Confluence in Savennières which is a nice enough campground, but the dryer is broken so we decided against doing a laundry, and the WiFi is working for the attendant but not for me.
I had a shower when we got to the campground and discovered that my dreaded saddle sore is starting to develop again. I'm glad I brought some moleskin along specifically for saddle sore management. Hopefully it won't affect the trip too much.
Grocery stores here do not give out free bags - you're expected to have your own bags. They do sell bags at checkouts and we have our bag that we use each time - we're event remembering to bring out bag in with us each time.
I finally saw another bike with a flag on it today - a France flag. I am curious to know if he will experience it as an invitation to conversation like I've found with the Canadian flag.
And just like that - there it was. My first squat toilet. And just like that - there it was. My first squat toilet trauma.
Just before we reached Savonnieres today we rode on about 500m of cobblestone. 500m doesn't sound like much, but trust me. 500m of cobblestone is a freakin' lot of cobblestone. I can't imagine how the Tour de France guys do it.
One thing I love about restaurants in France is that they offer "menus". they have prices for all of their appetizers, main courses and desserts, but if you order them together, you get a price cut. They offer "menu" prices for appetizer plus main, main plus dessert, and appetizer plus main plus dessert. It's brilliant.
Another thing to like about French restaurants... they use old wine bottles to bring water to the table. You don't have to ask for water... they automatically bring a glass for everyone, and a lovely old wine bottle full of water for the table.
In the rural areas, a neat thing is that people greet each other all the time... including when they enter a restaurant. I've seen lots of situations where people entering a restaurant greet everyone who's already IN the restaurant when they come in (including us, so it's not just because they know everyone).
Something I discovered before leaving Canada is that it's not necessarily a good thing to have a "good" accent in a language you don't really speak. I went to Sushi Boat a few weeks before we left, and our Japanese server said something to us. Her accent was so good that I assumed she spoke English and launched into a bunch of questions for her. Her response was a "deer in the headlights" stare. I realized that she didn't really speak English at all... but the little bit that she did speak, she spoke with a really good accent. Aha, I thought, I don't want to speak with too good of an accent any place in Europe lest I be mistaken for someone who can actually speak the language. As Brent and I spend more time in France, both of us are developing a decent "accent" for the few things we know how to say, and we are, indeed, experiencing the same phenomenon... people hear us say "bonjour" and assume that we can actually speak French, and then we have to apologize and explain that... we don't.
When we had our beers with the Kiwis the lady mentioned that she'd been to France once a long time ago and people then were very rude and dismissive, but now everyone is nice and friendly. That explains why I've had such pleasant experiences here - things have changed for the better! Yay!