Saturday

Nozay to Rablay Sur Layon, 73 miles 14/06/04

14/06/2004
OK. No internet. Not happy. Only planned half a day ride today so will extend to a full day.
Saw the first of the vineyards today. Started with a few small fields, but they soon got to be huge!
Stopped in Bonnoeuvre at the village shop and was drinking whilst parked next to the church, 3 women walked over and invited me to their house. I only stopped to buy a drink, but they insisited. Only one spoke English, very limited but better than my French, lovely people, I can't see that happening to a scruffy, sweating bike tramp in England! Small house tucked away down an unsurfaced road near the church, nice hospitality!
D57 was closed from Cande, "Route Baree" is beginning to be the bane of my life. Ha. Took the D6 instead, a good road, smooth as silk most of the way. Crossed the Loire at Ingrades, a strange bridge, looked as if it was built of checkerplate steel with a thin layer of tarmac spread over it. Loire is a BIG river, running low now though, half of it is sand making a good beach, sandbanks everywhere. Fishermen in small wooden boats dotted about.
Turned left immediately after the bridge, rode along the levee for a few km, windy up there on that bank.
All along the route today everyone seems to be cutting hay, the smell is everywhere, huge clouds of pollen drifting on the wind, clouds of seeds too, can see the wind from a distance by watching the pollen.
Tiredness struck again today. At a roundabout I took the road for Beaupreau instead of Beaulieau, left me with hills to deal with for miles, not good!!
D17 from St Laurent to St Lambert all rollercoaster hills, get to the top of one and can see the top of the next 1/2 mile away, than another, another. AARGGHH!! trailer too heavy, weather too hot!
Small lizards 3-4 inches long appearing all over now, running around.
Rosebushes planted at the ends of the rows the vineyards, all different types, one to each row.
In England I stopped on a bridge and was pleased to see a couple of fish in the water....here there are hundreds, they swim in small shoals!
Todays miles = 73
time riding - 6 H 11 mins
TOO LONG in these hills. will calm it down tomorrow.
Guy that runs the campsite here at Rablay sur Layon is a climber! Bruno. Spent 3 years in Chamonix, up and down Mont Blanc, I'm envious now.
This place is called called 'Moutons', its a working vineyard that runs a small gite and camping is available in the gardens. Amazing view from the tent, fresh out of the shower and I'm sat on an old stone lintel under a fig tree, eating bread, cheese and apples, a bottle of local beer, and I'm watching the sunset over the valley below. Peaceful here, the best place yet, I feel completely secure, only me camping on this farm. What a difference from the municiple at Nozay. This campsite just feels RIGHT. No traffic, no music, no shouting, just the crickets (as always) and the birds, I don't recognise the birdsong, piercing clear notes, and a lot more of it than at home.
E5.60 per night
Bruno has shown me a shortcut, the route is along a river and not on the map, takes me out of the hills on a flat route....Thank you!!

Heat and exertion getting to me again today, stopped on a hill to eat what I had left and drink something. The fatigue just hits me suddenly here, I run out of steam in a matter of minutes.
More water required for full days riding, 1.5 litres is just not enough as its getting hotter.
Smarter clothes required, I look and feel a scruff, a scarecrow! looking like this makes me less of a target but I feel completely out a place here, everyone looks good, completely nonchalent, confident, relaxed, a big change from home.
Psychological attitude a huge importance, let yourself get down and this life is NOT GOOD, need to keep an eye on tiredness, dehydration and regular eating. All can and are affecting me more than I realised they would. Drink lots, eat well, rest, and all will be OK!

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Good luck with your own journey.
Thanks for visiting,
Rob.