Par la Loire


Wow, was it difficult to get started this morning, I slept so so as I think this thing I have is not an overnight affair and I feel I’ll be carrying it with me for a while. None the less I did it, not only I managed to eject myself from the bed but I also rearranged the bags so that I could put the big bags back at the back hence solving my spare tyre not sitting properly problem.

As I was readjusting again the locks of the side bags I was thinking how many other times I’ll rearrange the cargo between here and Johannesburg? probably a few.

Morning assembly

The first ten miles were hard, it was raining a bit and the only thing I could manage was taking a few pictures of the abundant livestock in the area. No wonder the French are so attached to CAP.

Pigs are individualistic, each doing their own thing.

Eventually though the doubts started to mount in my head. Did I do the right thing by leaving despite the cold. It turns out that salvation was at hand. I stopped for a coffee and a croissant, it turns out I must have got the only bar without croissants in France, but the coffee was great and it really boosted my body and spirit.

Following that and the decision that I could not pedal alone I enrolled the trusty iPod and brought some Creedence into my day. While I was listening to the great Creedence Clearwater Revival – Chronicle, I thought about the evening I spent with Jo and Martin. We watched a section of X-Factor and I realised at several times that I did not have a clue what songs the acts were covering. Why don’t they get some Creedence into the mix, perhaps though I am not not X-Factor target audience and the X-Factor target audience would not fair well with “Bad moon rising”.

Nothing says France more than a baguette and a norman church

In less than four songs I cycled past a shop and I though it was time to add some food to my pantry, which laid completely empty. As I am sick I bought two oranges [vitamin C] and two, nice looking, tinned fish portions. I also indulged into two saucisson noir and a baguette which got parked for most of the day on my front rack.

Lunch was not to far now and, as there is no shortage of picnic areas in France, I picked a nice spot to sink my teeth into the baguette, the saucisson and the orange.

Do you know what the best thing about a very sharp knife is? Well, it is that it cuts through things with no effort at all. So when you put together a lovely piece of cured meat, my super sharp knife and my over excitement, what you get is the first opportunity to use my extensive first aid kit.

Yes indeed, I now have a very big plaster and some medical tape around my thumb and a nice big cut to go with the increasingly long list of medical complains that this journey is delivering.

Still I’m not deterred, at least I know how to cross the road safely.

Just in case you’re wondering I have not completely lost my mind. As I was leaving the picnic site with my hart filled with calamity and I think I discovered why it is nowadays very rare to see a red squirrel. I thin they did not get the Green Cross Code at all.


After that it was almost completely descent to the river. The approach to Nantes is on a bicycle path right next to la Loire. I met quite a few people cycling, some dog walking and I even had a little rest to enjoy the Genoa cake like sweet I bought in the shop, yes I forgot to mention that one.

How to ruin a lovely view of the river.

I am glad I did come away from Chateaubriant, I will stay in Nantes tonight and tomorrow night and then reassess the weather on Monday morning, in two or three days I should be in La Rochelle, the gateway to the Bordeaux region.

Route 2,841,336 – powered by

One Comment Add yours

  1. Julca says:

    Che bella campagna…ma povero scoiattolo!
    Stai diventando un figurino eh?

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