Bouchemaine_St Brevin_France_9-19-14

Bouchemaine_St Brevin_France End of our long journey   97 miles (156 km)-3 days Total so far: 1,785 miles (2,873 km)   World > Europe > France > Pays de la Loire > Bouchemaine  – map World > Europe > France > Pays de la Loire > Nantes  – map World > Europe > France > Pays de la Loire > Paimboeuf  – map World > Europe > France > Pays de la Loire > Saint-Brevin-les-Pins  – map   Route 2,978,920 – powered by www.bikemap.net     It took us 3 more days to cycle Bouchemaine-St Brevin to and the Atlantic Ocean, the end of our journey. Our first night we made it to Udon in time to see the marvelous castle. It was a beautiful ride continuing from Udon as far as the outskirts of Nantes. A unique trail through the woods along the Loire was fun and interesting. Bouchemaine_St Brevin_France-gravel route Bouchemaine_St Brevin_France-gravel route-Loire River     but Nantes was not fun to travel through. It is very industrial and the route was poorly marked and heavy with traffic.   Bouchemaine_St Brevin_France-Nantes-center Bouchemaine_St Brevin_France-Nantes-center Bouchemaine_St Brevin_France-Nantes-center   After crossing the Loire on the ferry from Bac, we rode a good bike trail as far as Paimboeuf. Bouchemaine_St Brevin_France–Bac Ferry Bouchemaine_St Brevin_France-Bike trail   After Paimboeuf to St Brevin was not pleasant riding. The route followed the main highway. The road was narrow, rough and heavy with traffic. Ten years ago, a new trail along the Loire was to be finished, but it is still not realized.   St Brevin itself is a wonderful, small tourist enclave on the ocean. In mid-summer, it must be very crowded but in late September, it was very peaceful. There are two large campgrounds. But we found a wonderful Bed and Breakfast right off the beach. Bouchemaine_St Brevin_France-St Brevin Hotel Bouchemaine_St Brevin_France-St Brevin Hotel The beach is wide and has a long bike path/walkway...

Les Ponts-de-Ce_Bouchemaine_ France-9-18-14

Les Ponts-de-Ce_Bouchemaine_ France More heavy rain for another short day   8 miles (13 km) Total so far: 1,688 miles (2,717 km) Ascent: +279 ft  (85 m); Descent: -307 ft (94 m) World > Europe > France > Pays de la Loire > Les Ponts-de-Ce  – map World > Europe > France > Pays de la Loire > Bouchemaine  – map     Route 2,978,920 – powered by www.bikemap.net   We made sure to check out that the market in Les Ponts-de-Ce was open Sunday morning before we left. We made our purchases for the day in the event that nothing would be open along the route. It was raining in the morning and so we got a late start. Rain again!   We didn’t really have a destination in mind because we have enough days to get to St Nazaire without rushing. The route was prettier than yesterday as it follows along the Loire. As we have seen throughout France, especially in western France, the bicycle paths are in variable conditions of enjoyment. Some are extremely rough. Some are very smooth. Today we had smooth riding, but it did not last long.   We came into Bouchemaine which is an interesting and charming little town and they were having quite a festival for the day on Sunday. As we continued on, the route deteriorated in quality and there was a serious hill to climb. We only made it to La Pointe before Anne’s chain broke on the steep hill. She put too much pressure on the pedals to get up the gradient, which the book described as a slight hill. It was not slight; it was at least 15% and it was long.   At any rate we had no tools to fix...

Gennes-Les Ponts-de-Ce France-9-17-14

Gennes-Les Ponts-de-Ce France Great towns but not such an interesting ride   20 miles (31 km) Total so far: 1,680 miles (2,704 km) Ascent: +317 ft ( 97 m); Descent: -338 ft (103 m) World > Europe > France > Pays de la Loire > Gennes  – map World > Europe > France > Pays de la Loire > Saint-Remy-la-Varenne  – map World > Europe > France > Pays de la Loire > Angers  – map World > Europe > France > Pays de la Loire > Les Ponts-de-Ce  – map   Route 2,978,920 – powered by www.bikemap.net   It’s a very short ride, but we didn’t find anything that was exciting about the route. St Remy-La-Varenne was a very pretty town along the route so the first part of the day was quite interesting. Gennes-Les Ponts-de-Ce France-St Remy-La_Varenne Gennes-Les Ponts-de-Ce France-St Remy-La_Varenne Gennes-Les Ponts-de-Ce France-St Remy-La_Varenne As soon as we crossed the bridge over the Loire to the right bank, the route took us into the backcountry of France and it was not particularly picturesque. We would’ve enjoyed rather to have followed the Highway D952 which was right on the banks of the Loire. We did not go into Angers. Not only was it a climb into the city but we don’t particularly care for big cities. So we took the alternate route that continued along the Loire and we found a very nice bicycle path after the junction to Angers. Gennes-Les Ponts-de-Ce France-bike path Gennes-Les Ponts-de-Ce France We ended up at Les Ponts-de-Ce for the evening. It’s a magical part of the Loire River where there are many branches of the River and a bridge must go across a very long section of canals and rivers and branches. The campsite was on an island between many of these different River branches. The campsite unfortunately was in the trees back away from the river, but it was...

Savigny-en-Veron-Gennes-9-16-14

Savigny-en-Veron-Gennes Favorite Campsite in Gennes   24 miles (39 km) Total so far: 1,660 miles (2,672 km) Ascent: +337 (103 m);  Descent: -334 ft (102 m)   World > Europe > France > Centre > Savigny-en-veron  – map World > Europe > France > Centre > Candes-Saint-Martin  – map World > Europe > France > Pays de la Loire > Montsoreau  – map World > Europe > France > Pays de la Loire > Gennes  – map   Route 2,978,920 – powered by www.bikemap.net   Our campground in Savigny-en-Veron is closing in two more days. We seem to be just ahead of these campground closures and hope we make it to the end. We do like to have the bathrooms and the power for recharging our electronics if possible. The price of the campgrounds has remained around €10 which is extremely reasonable. The route for the day does not include going to Chinon. That would require the 20 kilometer detour which we did not feel like doing. We have seen some marvelous château’s, castles, abbeys, monasteries, churches and we simply cannot see them all. There will be plenty on the route today on the way to Gennes. We find the bicycle paths in this part of France to be in poor condition. In eastern France, when we entered the country from Switzerland, the bicycle paths were absolutely beautiful. The further west we go, the worse they seem to get. The bicycle paths after leaving our campground in Savigny-en-Veron were bumpy with big potholes and rough. Savigny-en-Veron-Gennes-rough bike path Savigny-en-Veron-Gennes-rough bike path It was 11 km to Candes-St-Martin where we crossed the La Vienne River and rejoined the Loire.     There is a lot to see on this day including the Castle Montsoreau and at least a dozen more châteaus right along the route. The towns are old and seem to...

Savonniers-Savigny-en-Veron-France-9-15-14

Savonniers-Savigny-en-Veron-France Sleeping Beauty’s Castle   26 miles (42 km) Total so far: 1,636 miles (2,634 km) Ascent: +597 ft (182 m); Descent: -668 ft (204 m) World > Europe > France > Centre > Savonnieres  – map World > Europe > France > Centre > Azay-le-Rideau  – map World > Europe > France > Centre > Savigny-en-veron  – map     Route 2,978,920 – powered by www.bikemap.net   This is an absolutely beautiful section of riding along the Saone River to the confluence with the Loire and then continuing on to the La Vienne River.   The cycling path is in excellent condition except for about 300 m of cobblestone. Enough to shake all the bolts loose on your bike; it needs to be taken very slowly and patiently. Not particularly our favorite surface by any means, but the rest of the day had a very nice bicycle path and or routes on roads that were well paved.   Most of the day we cycled through small villages.   Savonniers-Savigny-en-Veron-France-villages Savonniers-Savigny-en-Veron-France-villages Savonniers-Savigny-en-Veron-France-villages Savonniers-Savigny-en-Veron-France-villages We did not stop at Château Azay-le-Rideau because it required a steep climb. We had tickets instead to Chateau D’Usse or Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. There is only so much time in a day to visit so many points of interest. Château D’Usse was only 1 km off the main route of EV 6. Savonniers-Savigny-en-Veron-France-D’Usse-Sleeping Beauty’s Castle Savonniers-Savigny-en-Veron-France-D’Usse-Sleeping Beauty’s Castle Savonniers-Savigny-en-Veron-France-D’Usse-Sleeping Beauty’s Castle We like it best because it overlooked a large view instead of being hidden in a forest. It had an imposing position on the hill. A grand chapel stood in the woods to the side. Savonniers-Savigny-en-Veron-France-D’Usse-Sleeping Beauty’s Castle Savonniers-Savigny-en-Veron-France-D’Usse-Sleeping Beauty’s Castle Savonniers-Savigny-en-Veron-France-D’Usse-Sleeping Beauty’s Castle Savonniers-Savigny-en-Veron-France-D’Usse-Sleeping Beauty’s Castle Savonniers-Savigny-en-Veron-France-D’Usse-Sleeping Beauty’s Castle Savonniers-Savigny-en-Veron-France-D’Usse-Sleeping Beauty’s Castle Also, when you tour inside the Château, they...

Amboise-Savonnieres-France-9-14-14

Amboise-Savonnieres-France Tours: A Big City Indeed   29 miles (47 km) Total so far: 1,610 miles (2,592 km) Ascent: +695 ft  (212 m); Descent: -711 ft (217) World > Europe > France > Centre > Amboise  – map World > Europe > France > Centre > Tours  – map World > Europe > France > Centre > Savonnieres  – map Route 2,978,920 – powered by www.bikemap.net   The route leading out of Amboise, according to the book, is well signed. Yet, we failed to find it and instead followed D751, the main Highway heading west. It was a fine route and there was not too much traffic on it and we stayed alongside the Loire and had a lovely day. It was much faster I’m sure than climbing into the hinterland and up the hills along the Euro Velo 6 route. Amboise-Savonnieres-France-small towns Amboise-Savonnieres-France-small towns Amboise-Savonnieres-France-small towns Amboise-Savonnieres-France-Loire River Tours was a bit of a dilemma. We arrived at the big city and there were signs showing the route out that went right through the middle of the city and out the other side. The problem was, we had to pick up Anne’s medicine at the post office. As always, it’s a dilemma to find specific buildings in a big city. Even though we had located the central post office on the Internet, finding it in real was a little bit more difficult. Tours has many pedestrian streets and winding narrow alleyways. We saw some magnificent buildings as we were searching for the post office. Amboise-Savonnieres-France-Tours Cathedral Amboise-Savonnieres-France-Tours traffic IMG_1452Amboise-Savonnieres-France-Tours Amboise-Savonnieres-France-Tours traffic Still, we knew there was no camping in the area so we had to get out of the city and move along as far as our chosen campsite for the night which was in...
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