The peaceful nature of the campsite continued in the morning and the slight dampness on the inside of the tent was an indicator of the impending autumn. Not that you would know this with the forecast temperature set to hit 30 C again. The croissant and pain a chocolate were delivered at 8h00 and a cup of tea was brewed before finishing the packing and heading off towards Saumur. Sophie had been this way last year en route from Lier to Spain but was doing a great job of not precursing each sentence with 'Last year I did... ' or 'Up ahead there is a ...'. Infact it was more of a case of not remembering much. Maybe the weather as last year it rained heavily past Saumur so all a bit different.
A pattern tended to form during the day where tracks right next to Loire were a bit rough with gravel and sand (or a combination) of the two and the inland routes were through vineyards on tarmac but with hills to climb.
The routebook (which is 6 years old and oit of date) showed a Loire side route into Saumur and a hilly inland one. The actual route is a combination of both, with very sandy route only going for 2km rather than the full 11km. Some uphill was rewarded with far reaching views across the vineyards and the biggest hill of the trip gave way to balcony views across the Loire and the town of Saumur. The descent into town as also good and quick. A coffee stop at around 10h15 and we went across the river to the right hand bank.
After taking the turn left too early before crossing a side stream too early, Sophie commented she had made the same mistake the previous year ?? The next section down towards Gennes and its bridge back to the rive gauche. Not the best part of the route and whilst offroad it initially right next to and below a D road followed by some tricky gravel sections.
Stopped at the excellent La Route de Sel in Le Thouriel with a great setting in their garden over looking the Loire. 40km done and once again the day was hotting up.
Steady run down after lunch and back across the Loire before a section on tarmac backroads reminiscent of Flanders. Warm but good pace and we reached a point where the route to Angers went off and we followed the signs to Nantes. Only 108km to go.
Some gravelly track and really steep hill before Savenniers which had me down to a low gear and Sophie off the bike for the first time. The epicerie in the village was open so stocked on food for the evening and drank a bottle of some local soft drink concoction before doing the last 3.5km to La Possoniere.
Campsite warden at this municipal venue had left at 16h30 and the alternative address was also shut. Ah well the French way and we might pay in the morning. Plenty of concerned arrivals, a couple of which didnt get their head around the idea of paying later and went to look for another site.
The camping is right next to the train line (with TGV traffic) something Sophie remembered after the first one thundered by. She was knackered last year and slept through them :-) A late arriving American couple on bikes asked how late I thought the trains would run and said the last passenger train would be arpund 22h00. Oh but the freight trains would be all night.
Another great evening picnic and still warm till late which made it good for stargazing. One more day to Nantes.