Tuesday: Mestre to Fontevraud and Cheille'
Up for breakfast, then to adjust the trike for Jayne. Houston, we have a problem - can't get the trike's boom short enough for her, and she can't ride the rental recumbent. We make a hasty call to Claude. He arranges for the B&B owner to take her to the Abbey at Frontevraud to tour and he will meet us at the Abbey with one of his bikes for Jayne. I finish final prep of the trike and depart for the Abbey. It's only a few kilometers. The trike feels great. This is the way to tour.
The Abbey at Fontevraud. Fresco and kitchen roof.
We tour the Abbey then meet Claude to collect Jayne's bike. After a short visit, we're on the road again.
Despite Claude's excellent maps and directions, we take the wrong road out of Fontevraud and end up several kilometers south of our intended destination. We then proceed through a restricted military reservation (luckily we don't get caught) and finally find our route after traveling a short distance on a remnant of a Roman road.
Our route sheet warned us that at Chinon, a mid-point on our trip, we would encounter a steep hill. Steepness wasn't it's only attribute - it was long too. We got one of these climbs about every other day as we would travel along the Loire and its tributaries. The Chinon hill was the winner in our hill sweepstakes as we both were off the bikes and pushing.
Again, due to the late start and getting lost, we're pushing to get to the B&B at Cheille'. Things are looking OK until Jayne has a flat that also precipitates a brake problem. We finally make the B&B in the dark. (We won't mention the final hill climb to the B&B. Though the Loire is generally flat, it has it's share of hills.)
We are greeted by Bertrand, an architect whose family has owned this property for 7 generations, and his friend Francoise, who has prepared our meal. We are joined at dinner by Bertrand's friend Colin, also an architect and the godfather of Bertrand's daughter. Our meal is excellent. Francoise outdoes herself, preparing a quiche, cassolet, cheese course, and cherry tart, all accompanied by two varieties of local wine. We collapse in bed exhausted from the ride, the excellent meal (3 hours), and stimulating conversation.