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D 'n A tandem encore
4th Jul 2017 - 5th Jul 2017
Étape finale: to St-Maure-de-Touraine (58 km), to Tours (45 km)

Our final two days of riding passed smoothly enough.  We left the Vienne Valley (which will join the Loire some way downstream from Tours).  Late Tuesday afternoon  we happened by the "Maison de la Memoire" at a small village called Maillé, and were drawn into a museum commemorating another WW II massacre of civilians (124), this one on 25 August 1944, the same day French forces rolled in to liberate Paris. Interesting documentary made recently (2004?) interviewing survivors.  Stifling 38 degrees when we emerged and the last 10 km to St-Maure-de-Touraine was tough.

Another beautiful B&B in SMdT, this one called La Chuchoterie (‘whispering’, bizarrely, as the owner had the loudest speaking voice imaginable).  Very old building, once a full service, go to woe, paddock to plate, butchery, lovingly repurposed by the new owners of ten years.  Ate with the owners and had lively discussion on state of the world.  At breakfast we got to try St-Maure-de-Touraine cheese, a goat cheese with a special characteristic of a piece of straw through the centre to ‘oxygenate’ it.

Wednesday, the final stage, taking us down to the Cher and Loire rivers.  No dedicated bike paths, just quiet roads, but the signposting for the cycle route is suddenly superb: no ambiguous intersections, and a steady countdown of distance to Tours.  We are into the  “Loire à velo” area which has been actively promoted and improved for over 20 years and where cycle tourism is a recognised business.

Arrival into Tours for three nights at our convenient hotel by the railway station and tourist office, Hotel Val de Loire.  One last challenge: to convince the manager that our tandem was indeed small enough to be lifted into the courtyard, and need not be locked up on the street.  Tick.

Summary: despite all our initial doubts about the effect of Anne’s broken arm, and the further doubts when we discovered the cracked hub on the back wheel, we have completed our trip. Almost 1450 km - pity it’s not a round 1500km!

Next: Epilogue: Chaumont International Garden Festival by bike (58 km)
Previous: To Confolens (18+45 km), Lussac-les-Châteaux (56 km), Vouneuil-sur-Vienne (52 km)

Diary Photos
4th Jul 2017  Our Chambres d'hotes in Vouneuil sur Vienne

4th Jul 2017  Cow dung

4th Jul 2017  Emmaus: French equivalent of St V de P opp shop

4th Jul 2017  50 euros

4th Jul 2017  Pieces like this are marked 80 euros

4th Jul 2017  Drawing the crowds on a sunny Tuesday

5th Jul 2017  Impressive gateway

5th Jul 2017  34km to Tours

5th Jul 2017  Clear signs for bikes

5th Jul 2017  Whole roof is solar panels

5th Jul 2017  21km to Tours

5th Jul 2017  15km to Tours

5th Jul 2017  13km to Tours

5th Jul 2017  8.4km to Tours

5th Jul 2017  Tours!

5th Jul 2017  Arriving in Tours

5th Jul 2017  Countdown to Tours

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