Day 6 – Gien to Charite-sur-Loire

We left Gien shortly after 09:00 for a relatively shorter ride to Charite-sur-Loire and our first rest day since leaving.  I think everyone was looking forward to a day off as we have been cycling for 8 continuous days and covered around 540 miles.

Today’s ride was mainly along canal paths and most were paved which made for some very pleasant riding conditîons. It was pleasantly warm and with the shorter mileage we ambled along taking our time and stopping frequently to take photo’s.
We came across a very long canal viaduct which was interesting, on the one side was a railing with quite a drop and on the other nothing really that prevented you toppling into the canal, it made for interesting riding as you passed walkers also on the pathway.

Around halfway, Lou and I had gone on ahead of the others and took a slight detour off the route hoping to find somewhere for lunch – there really was nothing suitable and in doing so the others passed us and we ended at the back of the group.  We finally caught up at a place called Cosne-Cours-sur-Loire and after a lot of discussion ended up in a little pizza restaurant in the middle of town.
With just over 20 miles left of our ride we headed out and much of the remainder of today’s ride were along dykes beside the Loire or small country lanes.  We arrived in Charite-sur-Loire shortly after 16:00, found our hotel at the top of a modest climb and ate at a restaurant arranged for us by our hotel host.
So, week 1 or our tour is now complete.  For me it’s been a week of riding myself back into shape. I did train for this trip but it was hard to go out day after day and ride 60+ miles so I have been pleasantly surprised (and relieved) just how well my legs and body have stood up to the daily mileage.  Tomorrow is rest day, hopefully with a nice lie in although there are chores to be done before week 2 begins.