Got up fairly leisurely and had breakfast at the Bel Air bar. We had to head back through town to rejoin the route and onto Avril Sur Loire where Lou was desperate to pee. No-where was available, we spotted an older Dutch couple sitting by their bikes and they confirmed there was no loo, and the bloke helpfully pointed to some bushes. Lou was not amused. I took a look around the church to see if I could get in but the only open door led into the graveyard.
We rode back on to the canal path to Fleury sur Loire which had a bar-tabac-restaurant but it was boarded up with a tarpaulin roof. The post office was open and had a loo – hurrah!
There were roadworks on the way out – swinging drainage pipes across the road. We waited behind a truck before pulling off. Lou took the lead, it was fabulous, no pedaling required for miles. We stopped for apples and nectarines before a short climb to Sermoise sur Loire.
I took over as Lou is scared of cities. The ride into Nevers wasn’t too bad, we went for a good couple of miles along strip malls, outlet stores and motels before crossing the Loire into the city.
We followed the signs – and St Jacques Street! – to the tourist office. They gave us an accommodation list. Our first choices were all out of town so we re-chose. The Campanile was as fancy as it got. I went back into the office to ask them to book it for us but the lady explained at quite some length that if she booked it she’d have to charge us lots of money, far too much money, so much she couldn’t even bring herself to tell me how much. She could however call and ask if they had any rooms available for two English women with bikes who might walk in in ten minutes, just as a general hypothetical question, not a request of booking in any way. They did, so she gave us a map and we set off.
The map didn’t highlight the flight of stairs in the street or the idiot Korean who sat on them, refusing to move to the side so we could get past, but other than that no problem. The hotel was opposite the station and we had to walk up the road past kebab shops to a controlled car park to put our bikes in bay nine. We locked up the bikes and headed to our room.