Friday, September 29, 2017

Tour de Rêves Day Five

Tour de Rêves day five Thouars to Etusson French Village Diaries
Tour de Rêves route day five Thouars to Etusson 57km

We left the Mortons under grey, heavy skies with more than a hint of rain in the air and made our way carefully (and painfully slowly in my case) down, up and down again the steep streets of Thouars, heading for the river. 

Tour de Rêves day five Thouars to Etusson French Village Diaries
Eiffel viaduct in Thouars
We cycled under a railway viaduct designed by Gustave Eiffel and then stopped to put our rain jackets on. It was so unfair we getting so much rain when September days are usually dry, warm and sunny. Thankfully having drip-dried over a morning coffee in a village bar, the skies cleared and the day began to look brighter.

Tour de Rêves day five Thouars to Etusson French Village Diaries
Pretty bridge over the Argenton river

Once we left the Vélo Francette (whose company we had had for over 150kms) to continue it’s route north through the Loire and on towards the coast in Normandy, we picked up the Vélo-route La Vallée de l’Argenton. This took us through vineyards, pretty villages and up and down more killer hills and I seemed to get slower and slower and further behind the others. I was certainly glad today was only going to be about 55km as I seemed to be walking a good number of them.

Tour de Rêves day five Thouars to Etusson French Village Diaries
Another pretty stone bridge


We lunched at Chez Fanny in Massais, by the skin of our teeth. Sadly, for the second day running we had arrived in a village with a bar, only to find a funeral taking place. Yes, really, we couldn't believe it either. Our morning coffee yesterday had to be abandoned, but we had a bit more luck today and although there was no choice available, a starter of charcuterie and a plat of steak with beans were served to four tired, hungry and very grateful cyclists.

The afternoon was more hills, villages with narrow streets and pretty bridges plus our first puncture of the week, but at least we reached Etusson and our last beds of the trip before the rain began again. Haley and dog George certainly looked after us well, with Champagne, roast chicken and lots of laughs, as the rain poured down outside. It was looking more likely that our final day on the bikes was going to be a wet one, again.

Tour de Rêves day five Thouars to Etusson French Village Diaries
Toasting our success so far.

The Tour de Rêves - a charity bike ride around the Deux-Sèvres department in France, undertaken by four mad friends, supported by many others, all with the aim of raising money for Rêves a charity making dreams come true for seriously ill children.


To read the other posts about our six day adventure click the links below.