Our last blog post was from an island in sight of the bridge before Saumur. From our running backgrounds we instinctively pick targets to hit and push hard to make them. So we set off yesterday morning for the bridge and docked on a jetty just beyond it to wander into the town.
After faffing around with wifi and filling our water tank in the tourist office, we went to a central square where we indulged in cold drinks, a baguette and a crepe.
Eventually forced to move on, we left the town behind as we towed out along a wide shallow section of the Loire. Since the confluence with the Maine this has become more and more the norm; wider and shallower waters where we stop less for riverside breaks and instead walk across sandy sections where it is not possible to paddle. The chance to stand in the cool water now that the weathers heating up isn't bad either and walking and drinking feels more progressive than stopping altogether.
By the end of the day we found ourselves in Montsoreau and cruised a km past to Candes-St-Martin with a campsite. Voted one of the most beautiful villages in France, last night we saw why. Narrow, winding, cobbled streets with stone buildings led us up a steep slope to a panorama view point on the hillside where we looked out on the river to come and the meandering water we've already put behind us. We clambered back down to the tiny village square and had a late glass of Saumur wine before the restaurant closed.
2 showers and a good sleep later, it is a rest day. We did practical things in the morning: washed food barrels, cleaned clothes, slept again. Nathan ran a hill session up to the panorama a few times. Then we walked to Montseau for a good lunch. Taking the most local approach we ordered 'plat de jour' and the first beer on the list. A flick through the dictionary led us to find we were enjoying pig snout for starters (genuinely enjoying) and two fine, but non-alcoholic, beers.
Now we're going to stock up on food for the next fees days as we aim to hit Tour for Le Tour, could be right on time!