Day 5 – Beaugency to Gien

Well I guess it had to happen at some point during our two month ride, we awoke to heavy rain, and the outlook for the rest of the day didn’t look too promising either.

We set off from Beaugency just before 09:00 in our wet weather gear heading for Gien some 57 miles further along the Loire. Once we were wet it didn’t seem to matter too much and before too long we could see blue skies heading our way.  By the time we reached the outskirts of Orleans the rain had stopped and it was much brighter.  Cycling up to this point had been on a mixture of roads and cycle paths and our bikes (and some of us) looked as though they had been taken part in a very wet and muddy Paris/Roubaix event.
However, shortly after passing through Orleans the sun broke through and the rest of the ride was in dry, warm and sunny conditions giving the muck on our bikes a chance to dry.
As we approached 30 miles we made a short detour off the route to find lunch and found a Boulangerie in the small town of Jargeau where we snacked outside.
We stopped several times on route in the afternoon for photo opportunities and the castle with a moat at Sully-sur-Loire was particularly pleasant.
Tonight’s hotel, Hotel Villa had been a last minute change due to the local gendarmes taking over the hotel we had originally booked in order to police a local event. It was a couple of miles outside of the town of Gien.  Upon arrival, the first job was to hose down our bikes and bags to make them look more respectable and this was quickly followed by a shower to remove the dirt and grime we had accumulated during the day.
Dinner tonight was at the hotel with a few beers to celebrate completion of our first 7 days of riding during which we had ridden 454 miles.
Tomorrow we have a relatively short day of just 53 miles which will see us at La Charite-sur-Loire and our first rest day of the trip.