Sunday, 18 July 2010

Day 4. The King of the Mountains

Here lies the king of the mountains, destroyed by St Maxien to Lezay. Mike says his chain fell off, which started his troubles. James says it was the Heineken he put in Mikes bag. We actually had a can each in a shaded area of a public park to celebrate a stretch of continuous climbing in 28c mid afternoon heat, before heading off to Jeff's sister's gite for the night. A good chance to wash clothes, watch the end of a TDF stage and sleep in a comfortable bed. A neighbour, Bobbi,
provided us with chicken legs (sorry James) and a glass of wine later on, giving us her insights on life as an expat in a small rural community. It all sounds a little like the wild west, in that you're either in with the mayor or you're run out of town. A friend of hers had left the village after her spaniels had, in a high spirited moment, torn the Mayors cat to pieces.

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Day 4. Breissure to Lezay

Early start and some fine roads gets almost to the end of day 4 distance. Blue skies, no wind and not too hot (yet).

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Day 3 - Ancenis to Breissure 197 miles down

Another sixty miles see us in Breissure - long hard day cycling in the sun, capped by a long 'pull' by Mike who is keen to make amends for the washing line incident yesterday. Jeff has identified a fine campsite with swimming pool. Medmen stripped off and went for a well earned swim, once James had worked out the child lock to the pool gate. James then demonstrated his fine swimming style - and underwater expertise.

On the way we have seen our first vines, plus various pear trees, walnuts, apricot and kumquats. We've also seen a James Pennyalike builder in a little rural village - that's him on the roof. Typical Pennyesque lack of regard for personal safety. James responded to Mike's dare to squirt Jeff - the Dad of the trip - with his bidon, energetically and Jeff, after an initial period of shock, responded with gusto. Bus-stops were a great way to get out of the mid afternoon heat and drink/snack/rest a while.

The english camp-site owner, Rob, seeing our T shirts, offers a free pitch and some excellent restaurant advice. Its a mile or so into Breissure, but we're glad to stretch legs walking for a change and keen to skip our habitual pasta and sauce feast. Mike likes the hand painted signage and is drawn to a retail concept not often seen on the UK hightstreet: wool and knives. fed up with knitting? How about stabbing something?

We then had dinner in town, french frites and steak (fish for James). Jeff and James were keen on Pizza, but Mike persuades them to opt for the traditional French menu, complete with frogs legs and snails - which James would rather die than eat. Novel toilet, with a seat covered in cling film which rotates round when you flush. In France its either 21st century mega hygiene or the opposite, with no seats or loo roll.

We stayed at this campsite for free in aid of the charity run - highly recommended.

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Lesser spotted medmen

Sunday morning and the medmen are up and ready to go. Hopefully we will miss the mid-day sun!

Another 60 miles today.

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