19.06.19 - Last night sat outside until quite late. Too hot to be bothered to cook, just had an apple, and a lemon meringue ice cream treat - but our freezer obviously isn’t coping in the heat, was soft ice cream - had to eat very quickly!
Watched another episode of Gentleman Jack - it’s all happening now!
Sleep was difficult - was really warm - used my wet flannel and cooling by evaporation to help!
Tintin drove today - serviced Dave where we were at Léré, and only drove for 30 minutes to Briare.
On the way went past the nuclear plant with the ugly cooling towers - lovely!
We’re in a bit of a commune parked up now - not pleasant, will do for the night. Did find a lovely place to park whilst out riding, but the Aires book says the Mairie doesn’t allow people to sleep overnight, even though they provide all the services - not worth the risk of being moved on - as seems popular around here.
Went for a walk into town. You know you’re in the right (or wrong!) place when you see a coach load of people getting back in the coach.
The Church of St Stephen (French - Église Saint-Étienne) is a Roman-Byzantine style built in the 19th century. There are enamels inside, and the floor is entirely covered with mosaic in symbolic motifs.
It was underwhelming at first glance, but upon closer inspection, really rather different! Haven’t seen sparkly bits like this before!
We loved seeing all the house martins with their nests all around the church. The steps going into the church were covered in bird 💩- not a friendly welcome!
Walked to the tourist office and picked up a map, then to the boulangerie - and picked up a very insipid, but tasty baguette and a couple of pastries. Yes, they’re apricots and not egg yolks!
After lunch went bike riding. 18.75 miles today - in the heat!
Started off looking at Le Pont-Canal de Briare - the Briare Aqueduct. Up until 2005, it was the longest metal bridge in Europe (660m), and yet again - Gustave Eiffel is associated with its construction. It was built in only 4 years (from 1890).
It’s quite a confusing area to map read. Haven’t really heard Tintin exclaim quite so often about where we were! There are canals, and the Loire itself isn’t just a straight river - it’s wide, or narrow, has sand banks, or fast flowing - very changeable, and of course, bridges to cross over...
In a couple of towns they have marked the height of the river over the years. Back in the 1860s where we were standing today would have been under so many metres of water - doesn’t bear thinking about.
At Beaulieu-sur-Loire, we were fascinated to see two dogs (not typical sheepdogs) guarding the sheep and goats. Possibly the dogs live with them, as they haven’t been groomed. One in particular barked as soon as anyone went near. Lovely to see them all together! We also liked the sheep with the purple hair do, and another one was orange! What was so special about them?
And, as if the day couldn’t get any better, in Châtillon-sur-Loire I spied this lovely cat snoozing in the shade. It was friendly too, or couldn’t be bothered to move!
The clouds came over, and just as we’d returned and put the bikes away about 4pm, it started to rain. However, just a few drops, and the air still feels hot and humid - need a good thunderstorm!
Sending birthday wishes to James today - hope your lunch was good!
We've got stories from all over Europe. We could tell you about the highlights, the lows and sometimes just the mundane reality of being on the move all the time. We love writing about our experiences, we hope you'll love reading about them too!
Martin and Kay Dumont from Guernsey, first time motorhomers and ready to travel. ‘Dave’ is our Mobilvetta K Yacht 85, purchased in 2017 and travelled all the way from Italy. After following Jason and Julie Buckley’s blog 'Ourtour' for years I just couldn’t get the name ‘Dave’ out of my head. So the Mobilvetta had to be another 'Dave’.