Blois, France to Nantes, France

Day 121 – Sunday 22/08
Blois to Bracieux – 20kms Total 6257kms

We didn’t get much sleep last night, first was the discotheque till around 02:00, than this party of young people near by till around 04:00 and finally the thunderstorm at around 05:00.
So this morning we moved about 20kms to Bracieux where we found a very nice camping so we could have a decent nights sleep.

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Sorry for the poor pictures but lack of sleep and cloudy days make for bad photos.

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But the ride was OK through wooded country roads.

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By the time we set up camp the sun came out and we could just relax.

Day 122 – Monday 23/08
A day ride to Chambord and back – 21kms Total 6278kms

It had rained heavy last night but by morning it looked to be clearing up. Forecast is for more rain in the afternoon.
After our morning ritual we got on the very nice cycling path heading to Chambord. It was a very nice ride through the private grounds of the castle, which are extensive I might add.
It was a very nice visit but a lot of people. Its a great castle and a must see.
On the way back to camp it started to rain again pretty heavy.

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The packed gravel tracks of Chateau Chambord.

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Very well signposted with park benches everywhere.

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Chateau Chambord. Click to view larger.

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Monique checking out the architecture.

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The detail of the place was amazing.

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Around every turn and something new to see.

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View at the extensive grounds from the back of the chateau.

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And the view of the grounds on the front. We highly recommend a visit if you’re in the area.

Day 123 – Tuesday 24/08
Bracieux to Ambiose – 64kms Total 6342kms

Another great day for cycling if a bit cold and grey. The days now are almost the same, the only difference is the weather.  Very good cycling paths and quiet rural roads when we get tired of riding through every little village along the Loire and want a straighter/quicker route.
Once at the camping which is right across the river from the chateau and not that good, we left most of our stuff and went to check it out.
To say the truth we were not very impressed with it because one of Napoleons generals had destroyed 4/5ths of the chateau and most of it was rebuild so a bit disappointed there. One good thing we found out is that Leonardo Da Vinci is buried there. But still we believe they should have charged less for admission to a replica castle 😉

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The further North -Northwest we go the weather is beginning to change.

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More great cycling paths.

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Once in a while we come across a nice scene and have to take a picture.

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Chateau de Fougeres-sur-Bievre

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Pretty bridge.

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Pretty mushrooms.

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And beautiful cycling paths, what more can one ask for.

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Chateau Royal d’Amboise.

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Chateau Royal d’Amboise.

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Chateau Royal d’Amboise. Click to view larger.

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The bridge from were we took the previous picture.

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Chateau Royal d’Amboise. Click to view larger.

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Selfie 🙂

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The small chapel next to Chateau Royal d’Amboise where…

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… Leonardo is buried.

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And the way we need to go, downriver. Click to view larger.

Day 124 – Wednesday 25/08
Ambiose to Candes Saint Martin – 96kms Total 6438kms

Ok at the risk of repeating myself this was another great cycling day along the Loire. We tried to stay on the cycling path but it went away from the river and into the hills for a while so when we got tired of the hills we got back on small rural roads and returned to the Loire. We stopped at the cathedral in tours and lit a candle before continuing along the river. Saw a few more chateaus along the way but didn’t stop for any of them we just took some pictures from the outside.
Camping here is OK.

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At first we stayed on the cycling path which strayed from the Loire.

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Chateau de Tours.

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Cathedral in Tours.

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Pont Wilson bridge, Tours.

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More great cycling paths.

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These cows have really made, good grazing area, private beach, what else could a cow ask for? Maybe a beach umbrella?

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Truly enjoying the ride.

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The way to Chateau d’Usse.

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Chateau d’Usse.

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Candes Saint Martin from the D7 bridge over the La vienne.

Day 125 – Thrusday 26/08
Candes Saint Martin to Angers – 71kms Total 6509kms

Nothing special (again) today, we got on the road the usual time around 09:00 followed the cycling paths and minor roads along the Loire. Passed by some more chateaus but didn’t visit them.
Just another great cycling day. Camping here is OK.

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Another day another departement.

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Notre Dame des Ardiliers near Saumur.

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Chateau de Saumur.

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Hotel de ville de Saumur.

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Nameless chateau before Gennes.

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The way to Angers.

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From the road to Angers.

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Heading to Angers on the D952.

Day 126 – Friday 27/08
Angers to Chalonnes sur Loire – 39kms Total 6548kms

Last night the weather was pretty bad with heavy rain and high winds, it even brought down a huge branch in a tree a couple of camping spots next to us. By morning it was still raining a bit but by the time we got under way at 11:00 it had stopped.
We thought about visiting the château at Anger but decided to skip it and got back on the Loire cycling path.
We are now getting a bit tired of this Loire cycling path and are looking foreword to reaching the Atlantic coast.
Camping in Chalonnes is pretty basic but ok. We saw a French cowboy ride into camp this evening, we wanted to talk to him but he didn’t know much English so the best we could get out of him is that he was following a route on horseback camping were he can, much the way we’re doing on bicycles. We thought it was great to still be able to do this. When we saw him in the morning he had arranged to have a shoe maker come by and fit new shoes on his horse 🙂

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It was scary last night when we heard that huge branch break.

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Chateau d’Angers, and no the girls are not twins 🙂 Click to view larger.

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The walls on this chateau look very formidable. Click to view larger.

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The river La Main going through Angers.

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A motorized version of an old river boat.

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Back on the Loire.

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The French cowboy at the camping. We found it very interesting to see.

Day 127 – Saturday 28/08
Chalonnes sur Loire to Nantes – 90kms Total 6638kms

Again nothing special this day, just another great cycling day.
The original plan was to cycle within 20kms of Nantes than a short day to the city, set up camp go visit the chateau and move on the following day, but no such luck.
We cycled into the city where we found the camping on the other end (in a rough part of town) and set up. The new plan is to take a rest day so we could check out the place tomorrow.
But that didn’t work out either because as night fell we found out we were between two alcoholics and to make maters worst when I went for a shower I saw this homeless looking guy walking around and checking out tents, and I saw him going into the tent of a single woman two spots behind us, when he saw me and walked away quickly.
So tomorrow we’re off again, there is no way we will leave our stuff here to see the city.
While visiting this very nice cathedral we (again) ran into this German couple Karin and Werner, cycling along the Loire. We had seen them a couple of times before at different camping but never talked to them. Nice like minded couple.
Avoid the camping at Nantes.

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Another beautiful morning.

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More nice scenery along the Loire. Click to view larger.

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Another cathedral were we…

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…met Karin and Werner, the couple we kept running into for the last several days.

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Another great panorama of the Loire. Click to view larger.

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A beautiful chateau that’s been kept up…

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…and one that has not.

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Finally getting to the end of the Loire.

The section of our tour has been nice. Very easy cycling and we would recommend it to anyone who is just starting out with bicycle touring. Cycling along the Loire has many advantages, great infrastructure with many camping’s and B&B’s along the way, plenty of chateaus and museums to visit, great scenery and fantastic cycling paths. We will be coming back here in the future, most likely when we retire and have a lot of time to chick out all the attractions along this great river.

Continue on to part 6, going home, Nantes to Maastricht.