We stopped at St Louis’ in Roanne, a big black church which looked much brighter inside. Lou settled down at an internet café to blog whilst I headed off to a popular lunchtime bakers. After trying to say “thin, atun, tuna, poisson and pesce” I eventually mimed a fish before getting tuna sandwiches. A crazy old guy shouted at Lou in the street whilst picking his nose. We walked down to McDonalds to pee. Onwards on foot through the pedestrian precinct which looked a lot like Rugby, although it was mostly closed for lunch.
There was a fabulous trompe l’oeil painting worked into the side of a building. We locked up the bikes and went into another church which John Vianney had had visited and some woman had been baptised in before setting up an order of nuns now found on three continents. Fancy.
Road signage wasn’t good so we relied on my watch to get us out. A friendly family confirmed we were on the right road and we followed the cycle path out of town towards the thick black clouds ahead.
It started to drizzle so we kitted up with rain jackets for ourselves and our panniers. It threw down, with rain, hail and thunder. My lower half was soaked but my Featherlite top kept my torso warm and dry. It was hard to see in the rain and cars swooped by soaking us. When it stopped we cycled into the headwind and the road turned into a canal towpath, although still designated a D road. We stopped at Melay for a drink, there was a curious bar with the barman installed in a living room behind the bar, sprawled on a sofa in his underwear. Classy.
We sat and dried out before heading on to Chambilly where I found it necessary to sing a few choruses of “Chambilly Lace”. From here it was fairly straight riding into Marcigny, which was close to the river, not high above it as threatened by our guidebook.