I checked the forecast before we left this morning and it looks like it's
calling for some cooler temps for the next few days and a shower later today.
We flew down the trail, rockin' the tailwind, all the way to Blois. About a
half hour before we got to Blois, the rain started. It never got bad enough
to be really miserable, but it was enough to make us check into the first
hotel we saw in Blois. Just as we got there we ran into a girl from
Minnesota who is just starting her tour and riding westward. She was
planning to go to Ambois yet today - covering the 45km that we did today, but
in a strong headwind and rain. YIKES!
At Chaumont-sur-Loire, we ended up having the cycle trail blocked by a flea
marketey market. We walked through it - it was only a couple blocks long.
When we got to the end, there was a velo route sign pointing us to turn
right, toward Chateau de Chaumont. We dutifully followed the sign and
started climbing an evil, evil hill. Partway up there was an elderly couple
walking down the hill and we started chatting with them. We told them we
were headed for Blois and they started vehemently protesting that we were
going the wrong direction. I, just as vehemently, insisted that the sign had
pointed us this way so there must be a velo route that dekes in and out a
bit. Finally Brent pulled out the map and confirmed that we were NOT
supposed to be headed toward Chateau de Chaumont - that is an alternate route
(with an evil hill). After all of my arguing, it took a couple minutes for
me to convince the people that they'd finally gotten through to me, and we
were going to turn around and go back to the proper route. When we got back
down to where the market was, there was a sign that the velo route continued
along the same way beyond the market... the road to the Chateau was a
complete red herring. Oops. We definitely toasted the old couple when we
reached first beer!!
The great thing about it is that the whole conversation took place in French - they didn't speak a word of English. There was one time, though, that the old lady gestured up the hill and said something about "mort" so I asked her if she said the hill would kill me and she laughed and said yes.
May 31st. Today is the day that Karen and Ed are in Frankfurt. I'm
disappointed that we didn't get to see them, but not disappointed to be
spending extra time in France. Did I mention that I LOVE France? Man, do I
love France! I can't believe it's the last day of our fist month of
vacation. Only five more months to go. It's flying past, but when I look
through our pictures I can't help thinking how much we've seen and
experienced so far. Fantastic.
I definitely recommend touring with a flag... especially when you're a long
way from home. This morning while Brent and I were enjoying our first cafe-
au-lait, we watched a guy come by and take several photos of our bikes. We
weren't sure what the attraction was, so when he finally wandered past us, we
asked. He lives down the road, and likes to come to Ambois to see the
tourists and he was drawn to our bikes because of the flags. He was very
excited about how far we'd come to be there.
Pretty much all the clothing I brought along was chosen for utility. I'm extremely happy with just about everything I brought, but I was tired of the brown/multi-colored sweater before we even left. Honestly, I didn't expect to use it much, and when I did, I thought I'd be using it under my shell. I thought it would be warmer here and I wouldn't use a sweater, but I'm using it ALL THE TIME. It is loose, misshapen, and just plain hideous. I don't have another sweater that I would have brought instead, but maybe I would have tried to find something new so that I wasn't walking around in this frumpy hideousness ALL THE BLOODY TIME! Oh well. OK, whinge over.