Thursday 19th July
Blois to Orleans: 3 hours 10 minutes, 64km
“Last night, I had offered to help set up things for the 60th birthday party. So when three Frenchmen arrived mid morning with a 6 by 12 metre tent, I proceeded to help them assemble it in the garden. We had finished the roof of the tent, when Charly whipped out a bottle of Champagne. We all had a glass and then the three men left for lunch. They would come back to finish it off in the afternoon. I would not see the completion of the tent though, as I left after our own lunch of chicken pieces and Magnum ice cream.
On the road again and passing through Blois I stopped to visit the house of the magician Houdin. It turned out to be a place where parents take their kids for a day’s outing and so moved swiftly onwards.
During the course of the day, whilst riding I would catch myself uttering French phrases and so put on some music to help distract me.
I arrived in Orleans and found a campsite on the river. Settling in for the night, I could hear someone in the distance playing a guitar, to which I fell soundly asleep.”