12th September 2016
From the Loire to the Parc naturel Limousin
From the campsite on the Loire on Saturday morning we set off along the Loire to Amboise… rather bafflingly couldn’t find the town for a while.. As the roadsigns were taking us to the new Town, we eventually found the old town with the chateau (when I listened to Martin who was looking at the map). Very beautiful chateau with impressive gargoyles. Then past Clos Lucy where Leonardo da Vinci died and then down little roads out of the Loire valley and into the Indre where we had lunch by a Ford and the skeleton of an old medieval bridge.
Camped at Chatillon sur Indre which has a castle built by our Henry II Plantagenet who was also duc of Anjou. The guy running the campsite was quite merry propping up the campsite bar when we arrived and skipped the usual formalities…. we rather suspect the 10 euros may not arrive into the Municipal coffers
Next day was a lovely ride out of the Indre valley, through the Parc de la Brenne which is a wild expanse of ponds and scrub. Most of the ponds were inaccessible from the road… lots of waterbirds and it looked as if it is an area people come to for shooting and fishing
Lunch by the Creuse river where we spied a pair of kingfishers.
Then into the valley of the Creuse river where we camped at Crozant, a tiny village on a lovely deep river valley and ridiculously picturesque castle ruins. Apparently romantic and later Impressionist painters came here a lot and established a painting school. We could see why, it was really beautiful. Lovely quiet campsite, owls and bats at night, woodpeckers in the morning.
It is all very dry, the smaller trees are suffering and have turned brown, especially on slopes, Madame at the campsite says “la sécheresse cette année, c’est le désastre”
Today is very hot, too hot for the distance we had planned as we are now starting to climb up into the Massif Central so we are using one of our spare days to take 3 days over the next section instead of 2.
Rode along tiny roads, lovely little villages but they do seem a bit depopulated and not as alive as rural France was, many of them had no shop and even no bar! However we did manage oranginas and ice creams and a midday sleep in the shade.
Camped at St Hilaire du Chateau in a tiny Municipal site by a river and an old church, the shop runs to cans of beer and the crickets are creaking away