I looked at the weather on the night of the fourth a little bit after I posted on the blog and I noticed that for the next 3 days it would be in the high 80s and lower 90s outside. I am not a guy who rides well in heat, so I decided I’d be starting at 8 the next few days.
I woke up at 6:45 on the morning of the fifth, got out of my hammock and went to Henry and Sara who were sleeping in their tents. I woke them up to see if they wanted to join me on my early departure to beat the heat and they responded with the groans of night owls being woken up at 6:45.
I took that as a strong no.
The plan for the day was to ride from Tours to Chalandray. My morning started nice and quiet. I stopped at the carrefour market and got some yogurt and then I got on the road. The roads started as bike trails then went to roads then went to quiet roads on the side of a highway and then went to a highway. I didn’t want to continue the trend and ride on a road that was worse than a highway, so I decided to make my own route.
When I go off the map system and make my own route is what we refer to as “Adam Routes” half the time we end up on a terrifying route, whether it’s a super windy downhill on a low maintenance road down a mountain or on a road with big rigs. But the other half of the time it’s the most beautiful memorable roads ever.
Luckily this time the Adam Route was a beautiful route. I ended up completely ignoring the Chalandray destination and changing it to Richelieu. My route consisted of a ton of rolling hills through small towns, farms and rivers.
I got to one river called La Vienne in the town of Lîle Bouchard, which was a beautiful so I stopped for a swim in the crystal clear river water with tons of fish.
We haven’t had that much natural swimming up to that point and that beach was at a campground so I decided we had to stay there. It was about 1:30 and I texted Henry and sara and said something along the lines of: I know you’re probably on a different route but I found a great cheap spot with swimming if you’d rather come here.
Luckily they were still at the last camp, so I set up my hammock and took a 2 hour nap until they arrived and woke me up.
Another day starting at 8 to beat the heat. Sara stayed at camp for a rest day and said she’d take the bus and meet us in La Rochelle, Henry and I continued riding.
Another morning stop at the carrefour market for some yogurt for me and a baguette for Henry before departing.
I made a joke in the morning that we should just do the 120mile/200km ride all the way to La Rochelle today and then that’s what we ended up doing.
Henry and I biked almost non stop for 9 hours for a European double century ride (thank you metric system) and with two fully loaded bikes.
The hard part about doing 120 miles in the French farm feilds with so much weight is that no towns have grocery stores. So whenever there was a town with a store we’d stop for a Mini meal to re energize until the next store.
I think there were 4 towns we went through that had grocery stores on the whole ride.
We got to La Rochelle, both in shock we had actually done it, at around 9pm. We arrived at our campsite that had a locked gate at the entrance in the dark. So we biked towards town with the advice of a guy who told us to find a field.
We took this bike trail towards town that had a bunch of off shoot trails and we found one that had a little fire ring out of rocks and trees for hammocks. We marked that on our maps and then went into town to the grocery store to get some dinner and bring it back to camp.
I really liked that campsite on the trail, but when I woke up I looked down the off shoot trail from my hammock to tons of people going down the trail on bikes. After watching them for a bit I realized no one was noticing us, so I chilled in my hammock and waited for Henry to wake up naturally.
We went back to that campsite to see if they’d be open since it was morning now and it turns out they had closed on August 26th. Instead of hopping the gate and taking over the campground we decided to just get a one room hotel in town for €80 at Hôtel Henri IV.
Check in was at 1 so we walked around town for a bit and looked at the ports and then we went to the hotel.
We went back out around 4 to go to a restaurant and then around 9 we walked the city again. I ended up going home around 12 and Henry went off to do something evening activity. Not sure what it was.
All I know is he was not home when I woke up at 6 am to the street sweepers on the road below my window. And by 11 am which was the deadline for checkout he was still not home. So I packed up both of our things. I left his stuff in the lobby and then I went out to explore La Rochelle.
I ate breakfast at a street cafe and then set up my hammock in a park for a bit, then I went swimming when the tide came in.
I’m writing on the beach now. Once I finish this I’m going to go meet up with Henry and Sara and Sara’s friend Romy at Romy’s house.