8: Farmlands & Gardens

By the time we ate breakfast, got organized, picked up sandwiches and got the bikes on the car it was nearly 10:00. We drove to Chitenay and found a great parking place behind the village church (it was on my smartphone map) which even offered a clean public toilet and nifty bike parking (not that we needed it!).

By 10:45 we were riding through beautiful farmland to Fougères-sur-Bièvre, where we had coffee and apple tarte in the small square in front of the Romanesque village church, adjacent to the chateau.

We followed a couple of the different numbered routes from our "Chateaux à vélo" map and rode via Ouchamps and Valaire and Candé-sur-Beuvron to Chaumont-sur-Loire.

 On the way we had a lovely picnic at a table in the park along the Beuvron near Candé.

Chaumont-sur-Loire was fantastic! We first wandered through the enormous park and gardens and then toured the chateau. We regretted that we didn’t have even more time to explore and to visit the special exhibition gardens.

The ride back to the car was via the "short route" which was ended up being even shorter than intended. We had -ahem- a couple of slight disagreements about the exact route... the result of which was that I rode much faster than usual. But of course Werner was first up all of the hills.

We were back at the car by 6:30 and got the bikes loaded in a jiffy. As we were driving towards Cheverny we passed by the winery where I'd tasted 4 years previously and spontaneously stopped and did speed-wine-tasting (the tasting room was actually already closed) and bought three bottles of wine. We made it back to Bracieux just in time to get the last baguette as the boulangerie was closing.

A quick swim was followed by another divine bread-cheese-tomatoes-wine picnic.

Day 8

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