Returning to Base

Day 4

I woke up on the 4th July, independently 😉

Camp Breakfast at Lac Pavin

This was a not so eventful day. After a breakfast of oats and coffee(s), I was on the road again heading north toward the Loire. From what I had heard, read and researched it is an idyllic verdant region of France full of quaint and rustic villages… kind of like what I’d been seeing the past 3 days.

Frankly, the day’s journey has escaped all memory (as I write this a year later) I arrived that afternoon/evening in stifling hot humid suffocating weather. As I rode near the Loire river the air was oppressive from the humidity.

Near to microscopic insects formed clouds that you had to ride past with your visor down to prevent them from going into your eyes/nose/mouth. However, the humidity was suffocating that it was a battle to make the right choice of if you wanted the visor down or not.

I later discovered that these little insects were so small that they made it through the air vents of the helmet, and it made little to no difference if you had the visor down. Frankly, breathing in little green flies was least of my worries. Riding slick tyres off-road, while you’re being blinded by insects in your eyes was far worse. However, and eventually, I found a place to camp on the banks of the river.

Before I had been there for 5 minutes a farmer and his son turned up with the tractor to pump water to irrigate their fields from the river. We had a fun time trying to communicate, between their superior English and my inferior French and a little Spanish and 5 words of Catalan, we were able to discuss an assortment of topics from what the football (soccer) world championship was doing… something I didn’t care about, how Brexit was a disaster (agreed) and how beautiful the Loire was. I told them about my trip and they were interested and amused, but we soon they resolved their sump issue in the river and got their pump going and off they went.

The heat was fairly overwhelming and I had been all day in a jacket, pants and boots and was a little weary. I was now down to a t-shirt and shorts and the midgies and mosquitos and all other insects were attacking like crazy, which soon abated when the rain came in, I managed to have a few bites to eat before getting into my hammock by 7 pm to sleep. Thunder and lightning rocked the trees all night long and I slept in a deep and peaceful slumber.

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