Thursday, 27 September 2007

Monday 17th September (Day 61): Santanay to Paray le Monial (90 km)

Last night was filled with the sound of owls and lit by stars that seemed an arm's reach away. We tried a bottle of the local wine (highly recommended if you like Chardonnay). This morning woke bright-eyed and ready to set off again. The British couple from the carqvan next door (absolutely gorgeous and very friendly) had warned of a mixed bag of weather heading our way so we wanted to get going as soon as possible. We packed up in record time and said goodbye to all the people who had befriended us during our short stay.

We hoped on the Green Route along the Canale Centrale. Saw a huge luxury barge complete with swimming pool and staff negotiate a lock...hmmmm. The day was very still qnd the route that we took allowed us to enjoy the mesmerising reflection of the autumn trees and passing countryside. Saw a lot of wildlife too including lizards, herons, a shrew, birds of prey, and multiple insects. Also saw a couple of chateaux. One in particular had slate grey ogee topped cylindrical towers and was situqted in manicured gardens. Of interest too were the mining and canal communities that we passed through.

Almost killed myself on a slippery corner - lost the back wheel, nearly lost the front, righted everything, and continued with shaky legs and a pounding heart; John was in front and did not witness this near catastrophe :-)

John suffered his second puncture in as many days so we decied to change the inner and the tyre. Efficiently he changed the necessary while I mended the puncture, qnd kept us fed with fresh hazelnuts from the tree under which we were working;

The final part of the day turned into a sprint to try to outrun the rain. We failed miserably. The thunder clouds caught us and made locating the campsite in Paray le Monial a bit of a mission. Lovely campsite though; peaceful and well-equipped.

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