Well, even though I dragged myself up early this morning and was ready to go just after 7.30am we didn’t leave from the hotel until 8.40am so we hit morning rush hour in Tours. Our hotel was in a street off the main city centre road and opposite a junior school. Today was obviously the last day before the summer break as the kids were walking in with gifts and bouquets.
Just like Paris, Tours floods gutters in the mornings and a man comes along with a broom and sweeps them down to keep them clean. Maybe should try in Uk cities. Bring back the road sweeper man.
As we went along we crossed a bridge and you know how I am a sucker for a good bridge photo. As I got out of the car it was near a hotel bar that served breakfast. Oh my. That smell. It smelt just like when I was a kid on holiday with Nanakatz, MM_Scimitar and Blondie. we used to stop in the same little hotel in the back streets of Calais, on the way to, or from the rest of Europe when it was Europe (and the UK had a chance to win Eurovision incidentally. Don’t think I have forgotten what they did to Bonnie Tyler!)
As I was driving along I could hear a mozzie in car. I was trying to get rid of it and didn’t see speed bump. Oops, as the Meriva went clunk and bounced over it. I was so glad the the Cyclist was way behind me at that point. I finally got rid of mozzie out of the window but after I found the little bugger had bit me. If I’d have known I would have squished it instead.
There were lots of Chateaus along the way and I have tried to get photos of all of them. With one of them I drove up entrance I wasn’t sure I was supposed to be allowed to but as there was no one about……… The photos will show that it was worth it.
At the lunch stop, The Cyclist showed me that he was covered blisters on his arm and legs. he was popping them and despite my concern he continued to do so. He thinks it is from wearing the arm and leg warmers all day yesterday and his limbs reacted to it. He also was very keen to show me the tan that he has on his arms and the line where the white begins. What you don’t see is the fact that having the sun on his back, he has the white imprint of the braces part from his shorts and the sun has got through his shirt. It is quite funny to look at. In fact I think this is the brownest I have ever seen him.
Alone the road the TDF broom wagon passed me and when I next looked ahead I saw what I thought was the wagon driving alongside. I slowed down for The Cyclist and told him I thought there was a TDF person ahead. “Never!” Was his reply. We had set off so late he didn’t think we would see any one. As I drove on It became apparent that The Cyclist was right. What I thought was a van and cyclist was in fact a big old caravan pulled by horses and there was another horse tied to the side trotting along by the side. So not a cyclist then but real Gypsies. I got past and really wanted to take a photo but I wasnt sure that they would be happy about that. Luckily the cyclist was overtaking them so I took a picture of him to get the caravan in the background. If you click on the photo you can see them on the left at the top.
These roads may not be main roads but they are so so fast. The cars and the big lorries drive right up your bumper. I don’t like it much as I just potter along at about 40mph to get a little way in front and fine a good photo spot, but it makes it hard to pull over even when indicating to do so. They are so close I wonder if they actually can see the indicators as they get all shirty and blow horns. Get off my rear then!
There were lots more poppies today, sometimes pink ones. Tarzan Boy by Baltimora came on the iPod as we were travelling along one of those straight roads through the fields that go on forever. (I know some of you are too young to know what this track is and those that aren’t too young also wish they didn’t know the song. However I like it and I don’t care). I asked The Cyclist if he wanted to to drive alongside him with the volume right up so he could enjoy it too. He didn’t. I did consider doing it anyway as it is one of those songs that get stuck in your head and he wouldn’t be able to get it out. The Cyclist assured me he had p,entry of other things to think about and my p,an wouldn’t work. So I didn’t.
We caught up with the Tour de Force people (well the ones at the back), though we didn’t expect to as The Cyclist was really pootling to not kill his legs before tomorrow and also The Cyclist keeps coming back for me to get nice shots if I miss it first time. So he has re ridden lits of different bit today or waited for me to catch up if there is a chateau or good shot ahead. The Cyclist spoke with Phil who is the TDF lead rider and was in this group at the back. He to.d him that the guy with chain problems from yesterday took 12hrs to do the stage yesterday and that he is an ex rugby player who hadnt ridden further that 40ish miles before yesterday. Well even though we were going really slow I am proud of The Cyclist who did it in 6.5 hrs all on his own.
As I said there were lots of Chateau’s today and I only missed one I think. Sometimes the route that is on the sat nav’s doesn’t go past them which is unfortunate. If I can I go off route then come back, but as I know the chaos if I lose The Cyclist, I don’t do it often.
Spellbound – Siouxie and Banshees
Spellbound – Siouxie and Banshees
Special Brew – Bad Manners
Sound of Silence – Simon & Garfunkel
Time for Action – Secret Affair
Tobacco Road – Nashville Teens