I woke with a start after sleeping like a baby. It was 7am and already light. We got ready and went down for breakfast. I had pain au chocolat with added Nutella, fruit salad, apple sauce and prunes, yes prunes – I’d been suffering. We paid up and headed out on a small road to Marzy where we stopped at the post office. I confidently asked for ‘Cinq timbre pour carte postal pour Etat Unis”. They pretended not to understand, but I was unwavering and they repeated what I said and gave me the right stamps.
On to Marseille les Aubigny where my legs felt like pudding and we stopped for Tracker bars. The wind was strong and we were in rain gear, so it was hard work along the canal and past factories, quarries and agricultural co-ops.
We made it to Charite sur Loire in good time and parked up outside the Landsdowne Road Irish bar for lunch but it was closed. We went into the abbey which was impressive, but a little soul-less, before strolling around town in search of lunch. The options were poor and we chose a bar for baguette and chips. The bloke opposite me ordered steak and chips, but as he had no teeth he put most of it in a bag to take home.
We headed out of town back the way we came as far as Herry where we stopped at Herry’s Bar for juice. The had a giant TV almost covering a whole wall showing American daytime soaps dubbed into French. Onwards towards Sancerre, Lou had been bitten several times by insects. I have three lumps on my forehead but she is totally covered. They’re gross.
Gentle hills led us there but our guidebook promised us a steep 10km climb. We could see Sancerre high above usand at the 10km mark we stopped to eat fruit and organise ourselves for the climb. It started to rain. All encompassing cold drizzle and we set about our task, cheering every kilometre, but they weren’t steep until the last three which were hairpins through the vineyards.
I stopped to taste a Sancerre grape, it was pretty terrible, as you’d expect, really sour. We were there much sooner than planned as the climb wasn’t what we expected.