|date||23 April 2011|
|stages||Blois, Fontaines-en-Sologne, Bracieux|
|crew||Shazen, Stoumik, Minna|
|forecast||Sunny, rain shower at the end of the afternoon|
Today is the beginning of our first ride over 2 days. For this trip which takes us in Sologne, the Chatmouettes organise themselves as best as possible ! And for the first time, we are taking camping equipment in our luggages : tent for 3 people, sleeping bags and gas stove being the minimum vital. But, before leaving, inspection of the equipment !
We leave Blois at about 9h30 and take the Jacques Gabriel bridge to cycle alongside the Loire upstream and follow the direction of Vineuil which is just about passing through housing estates and houses, without interest !
We follow the direction of Mont-près-Chambord, the roads snake in the middle of fields which means right in the sun, but with a bit of traffic. When we arrive at Mont-près-Chambord, we desperately look for the road sign which shows the route of «The Loire by bike » ! As a result, we trust our instinct and go toward the village.
From here, we still can’t find any signs, but having already passed by here in the past : Bicycle ride : Blois, Mont-près-Chambord, Chambord, Saint-Dyé-sur-Loire, we manage to find the right road quickly. So careful, when passing by the village, the road is not well shown so if you have a doubt follow the Baignade naturelle (natural swimming), it will take you to the right place !
We go on toward Cour-Cheverny, and pass by the Beuvron at “la Roserie”. It’s quite a nice way and very shady. We take this opportunity to take a few pictures. The opportunity, as well, to do a new 7 differences game. Indeed, we already passed by this place but the weather was a little more wet !
We continue our road by passing a few vines and arrive at Cour-Cheverny. Here, as well, be vigilant ! After crossing the road D765, make sure to follow the right road because mistakes are easily made. Indeed, several paths start from this town !
We go toward Fontaines en Sologne. We soon find ourselves in the middle of the forest, which is quite pleasant when it is as warm as today. In the middle of the woods, we stop for a TV break alongside the road !
After this break, we go on toward Fontaines en Sologne, which is for this occasion our stopping-off point for lunch. The arrival to this village is a bit physical due to the slight incline but nothing dramatic, it takes us at the foot of the Notre Dame Parish Church. This is where we decide to stop, next to the fountain.
Fontaines en Sologne is also known in the area for its strawberries, there is as well a few typical half-timbered houses, which are worth seeing.
We continue our route by following the direction of Bauzy. Here, make way for nature, we go through several ponds where the flora and fauna are everywhere. The mosquitoes as well, so beware of bites if you go close to the expanse of water !
We pass by Bauzy and go on toward Neuvy. Just after this stopover, the road continue by a nice slope, with a good percentage. But the positive point is that it is in the forest so well sheltered.
However, we start hearing rumbling forecasting a storm, which is not really reassuring as we fear the rain. At King Stanislas crossroads, just at the top of the slope, we take the King of Poland path in the west to go toward Bracieux, which is our final stopover town for the day. We follow this path for 4 km across the forest. Behind us, the sky is dark and is more and more threatening. Cross fingers !
At Chambord crossroads, toward Bracieux in the south. The road is sometimes stony but easy enough to cycle as it is slightly sloping. At last, we arrive at Bracieux and we go toward the “camping des châteaux” (3 stars), situated just behind the chocolate master Max Vauché.
When arriving at the reception of the camping, the first drops of rain start to fall and it’s under the rain that we have to pitch the tent. In the end, the time to unload our luggages and to settle in and the rain stop little by little. That’s just too bad !
After settling in, we take this opportunity to go shopping and visit the area.
Especially, the old covered market, one of the last storey covered market in France !
Once back at the camping, we are surprised to see big butterflies on the wall of the reception, and ducks welcome us in front of our tent !
Otherwise, the camping is pleasant, the spaces are big and there is a lot of vegetation. A room is available for campers with a library, games, TV and freezer for the freezer ice blocks. All this for free !
Besides, we have stayed up in this room playing parlour games as the Chatmouettes like games as well !
There’s as well a swimming pool and a tennis court, but we didn’t have time to try all these. For more informations on the camping des Châteaux : http://www.campingdeschateaux.com/.
For this first day, the route went well, no particular issues. Only damper, pitching the tent under the rain ! Maybe a little bit of training for this summer ? Let’s hope not !