Day 38, 28 6 2013, La Charite sur Loire to Montargis

This was by far the easiest day’s riding we have had since leaving Toulouse 10 days ago.  We set off along a canal bicycle path, and stayed on it for 50Km.  It was nice just to spin along without the constant change of effort of the hills, and with no traffic.

I was thinking as I rode along that France could raise its culinary standards by using Buffalo Grill as a reference.  There are plenty of them across the country to use as a reference by accrediting agencies.  Of course, many of the restaurants that currently have plaques attesting to the quality of their food would lose them, including our host from last night, but standards would be improved.  I was charged extra for having coffee with breakfast, and that alone would rule him out.

This was the last of our big days, we are now close to Paris, and only have three days of riding left, including the ride from Paris to the airport.

Unfortunately, as with so much of this trip, the weather was not good. It was cool and occasionally drizzly, but not enough to get soaked, just enough to kill the light and be annoying.

The last 50Km of today’s ride was on roads, initially with little traffic, but for the last 10Km there was heavy traffic.

As we came towards Montargis we passed a number of beautiful houses set in grounds of several hectares of wooded garden.  We have seen this before on the outskirts of large European capitals. 

Then we saw the rail line and the autoroute.  These homes must belong to people who work in Paris.  It would only be a one-hour commute from here.

We arrived at the outskirts of Montargis in a snarl of heavy traffic, and spotted a Buffalo Grill!  We had seen no sign of hotels so asked TomTom, and found a Kyriad a few hundred meters away.  Kyriad is a brand of business-style hotel, not much character, but good value.  So we checked in.  The problem is that we could no doubt have searched around on this drizzly afternoon and found a family-run hotel, but these tend not to have a great deal more in the way of character, and no price advantage.

We have just got back from another great dinner at Buffalo Grill.  Great food, good service, well priced.

Today, riding alongside the canals, we saw just a few people fishing.  We have ridden thousands of kilometers along European canals, from Norway to Spain, and seen thousands of people fishing.  But not once have we seen anyone catch a fish.

122Km for the day, and a nice easy ride.



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