Loire A Velo

chateau-Angers

Liz and I wanted to make sure that we would have time enough time to see the section of the Loire River that holds the most appeal for us, the chateau and wine region in the heart of France, and so from Redon, on the Nantes to Brest Canal, we jumped ahead via train to Angers, on the Loire River. This section of the Loire, is broad, running through a narrow valley surrounded by low hills.

Off the train pedaling down to the river and trying to get our bearings in a new place, we stumbled across a castle first thing. Giant turrets, battlements and huge walls… Just a hint of things to come.

Loire A Velo card

Cycling upstream from Angers, the Loire A Velo cycle path takes most of the guesswork out of finding our way. Little signs point us in the direction we need to head- through small towns, next to fields of sunflowers flowers and other crops, on the levee or right next to the river on a path. The cycling is different here, open with broad vistas.

summer camp cyclistsWe’re also seeing more cyclists because this is a major cycling destination and the local and regional agencies promote it. At our campsite yesterday there must have been three dozen or more people traveling by bicycle and in a couple of days we’ve seen several hundred other cycle tourists. This was a summer camp group and they went by practicing their English- “hello!” they shouted.

Loire Singletrack

Some of the cycling is on paved roads with little traffic. Occasionally we’ll deviate and have more traffic to get somewhere a little faster…

single track Loire

There often is a trail that runs in the forest right along the river- cool and shady and Liz’s favorite.

KM marker Loire

We’re finding that the kilometers rack up faster here than on the canal paths. I guess having some pavement makes a difference, that, and we’re starting to get much stronger on the bikes.

Loving this time. Cycle touring in France + Liz = Ecstasy!

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