A Whole New World...

Trip Start May 22, 2009
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Trip End Feb 16, 2010


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Flag of France  , Pays de la Loire,
Wednesday, September 23, 2009

After leaving the canal it’s been like entering a new world.  No longer is it autumn, but late summer with the insects humming in the grass and the hot ‘dog days’ upon us.  Sun all day long without a spec of cloud.  Fields dusting from the lack of rain and the few corn stalks that are there are stunted in growth.  The barometer reads:  tres sec.  Lizards bask on rocks and snakes slither off the hot pavement when the bikes go by.  The homes have taken on a 'Medeterrain' look with smooth white faces and terra cotta rooves.   

Great progress was make on the paved road for a change making 50+km before lunch.  It was the great race to get our pain (bread) before the lunchtime closing though.  Entering into a little town just before 12:30 we were racing down the ‘center ville’ at around 12:29 with a Boulanger in site…Brian threw some money at me and I passed off my bike for parking while I sprinted up the stairs.  SUCCESS!!!  We were able to have a nice dejunier of bread and cheese today.  Even the parking lot had a water fountain so we could re-fill our jugs. 

Some high school kids freshly out for lunch took some interest in us.  So we hung out at the water fountain and exchanged a bit of conversation with our broken French and their broken English before we went on our way.

Our destination was a rather large center as we thought there would be a higher chance of a selection of campgrounds being there.  Thankfully the tourist information office was still open (in the last town the hours were 10-12 daily) and they guided us to a little farm.

A bit worried when we arrived as no one was around and there were very few campers.  Taking a chance, we decided to set up and shower and talk to people later when they came home.  Then, if there was a problem, at least we were clean and the tent was dry before we needed to head on our way.  But the people who came home were very friendly and kind.  The woman even looked up some velo (bike) shops for us to go to tomorrow. 

Ever since we went over those very rough back lanes when veering away from the canal Brian has been noticing some problems with his back tire which he cannot identify.  Another very large bump in the road today made me almost loose my load, and exaggerated this problem for him.  Upon closer inspection of Brian’s tire, it seems that it is ‘blowing apart’ (as he said).  The rim is literally tearing apart in a few places.  This is something that I want looked at immediately as I don’t want to be down some country road and have him not able to pedal at all. 

So with tomorrows agenda in place we tried to have a relaxing evening.  It’s amazing what a different frame of mind you have when you know you’re staying in a place that’s ok.  Last night was filled with many anxieties at the park and tonight just feels right. 
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