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Archive for July 30th, 2009

Chambord (photo from Facts About France)

Chambord (photo from Facts About France)

I’m sitting across the street from Chateau de Chaumont in the Loire Valley, happy to finally have Internet access for the first time in almost a week. I’d intended to try my hand at daily “sort of live” blogging, but of course I underestimated the rural-ness of central France.

Jon and I are cycling our way through the Loire Valley at a modest rate of about 30 km a day. The last time I came to this area was in 1999 (as a no-frills backpacker). Now, while we’re not traveling in the lap of luxury – choosing to cycle independently has its challenges – we’ve been *extremely* lucky so far. Sunny, breezy weather; no equipment problems; incredibly well-marked trails and scenic roads (courtesy of the brilliant Loire a Velo and Chateaux a Velo programmes), and a flawless luggage transport service arranged through Detours de Loire (for about 160 euros, our bags are moved from Point A to Point B five times this week).

In the evenings, we’ve been eating at as many Michelin-rated places as is possible when you’re constrained by velo (cycling at night is not ideal). My impression so far is that Michelin is a bit over-generous when it comes to rating places in central France, but prices have been reasonable and the food has generally been good.

Although the Loire is the heart of foie gras country, I think I’ve actually hit my limit after eating foie gras four nights in a row. Tonight I’m going to try to pass, but we’ll see.

In any event, tomorrow we cycle from Chaumont to Amboise via Chenonceau (aka the super-cool castle that’s actually built to straddle the Cher river). I have a few restaurants booked already, but of course if you’ve got a fave in those towns, leave a comment below. A bientot!

If you’re interested in the Loire Valley, you might also enjoy reading:

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