Monday, 12 June 2006

Day 6 - Wednesday, May 31st - Cosne-Cours-sur-Loire to Moulins (85 miles)

After some of the long days recently, today is due to be relatively short at 80 miles.

And it turns out to be probably the nicest of the whole trip so far. I'm cycling through lovely countryside, which really reminds me of home in Warwickshire.

I follow a cycle route alongside the Loire for several miles - it's a lovely path alongside the river and past ivy-clad churches.

Loire Cycle Route

Stop for a coffee at La-Charité-sur-Loire, which is full of book shops, and where I meet my first fellow touring cyclist of the journey. He's following one of the pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela in Spain and started in Belgium. He's taking it far more easily than me (sensible man), 40 miles a days, visiting churches along the way. He can't understand why I'd want to do 100 mile days "Surely there's no time to enjoy it and look around you?". He's absolutely right, I can't explain it...

La-Charité-sur-Loire - Pilgrim route

The afternoon is delightful, cycling through bucolic back routes all I see are fields and cows.

Approaching Moulins, where I'm staying for the night, I spot another memorial to a crashed airship, this one La Republique, which came down in 1909 with the loss of four crew - the memorial is a rather grizzly statue of their bodies laid out on stretchers.

Arriving in Moulins I find my hotel, very much like a British pub and otherwise full of builders. Wander into the town to find an internet cafe - the place I eventually discover is in the mysterious backroom of a bar, through a hidden door. It all feels rather sinister...

Back to the pub for dinner, which is a brilliant three-course set menu, which is €10, including half a litre of wine - fresh bread and pate, chicken with veg, and cheese to finish. Amusing to see the builders sipping red wine, unlike their British counterparts, who would be necking pints of lager.

Glad I enjoyed today - the mountains start tomorrow...

Here's today's route:

Bike route 306178 - powered by Bikemap