On the first day after Paris (October 1st), I found a campsite that was just wonderful. A little grass field with a picnic table and a walnut tree. It’s easiest to recognize a walnut tree by just stepping on one of its fruits with your bare feet, I found. The lady that owned the placet took me to a supermarket with her car. It was quite sensational to sit in a car and whizz by all the kilometers I had just cycled. I ate rice that evening. I was sick of macaroni.
From Villiers le-Morhier I cycled towards Chartres. It was beautiful. Chartres was nice. Just took me 10 minutes to see the cathedral. I am getting the idea that I’m visiting cathedrals on a daily basis now. After that I came through Illiers-Combray. This is the Combray from Proustian fame. It looked every bit as boring as it sounded from his novels (A la recherche du temps perdu). Another 20 kilometers brought me to Bonnevalle where I found a campsite.
The day after I rode to Vendome. The first bit was fine, but after I crossed into Loir-et-Cher (?), another departement I was in the woods again, no sign whatsoever… I just followed the sun from there.
Vendome to Tours brought me to the Loire valley and it was the day I saw the first vineyards. My saddle pain has much reduced and the sun keeps shining… Life on the road is becoming routine: Getting up, make some breakfast, pack in the tent (always dripping wet), get cycling, later in the day try to find some tourist office for a map of the next departement (no gps, remember), riding a few kilometers the wrong way, cursing and turning around, going downhill, singing along with my mp3 player, going uphilll, some more cursing. Etc etc.