Guillerval to Saint-Jean-de-Braye
Tuesday 7 October
I was tired and sore, still suffering from Jetlag, with a sore head from wine and Champagne too… and had a longer ride today, and it again looked like rain. My host offered to give me a head start and drop me 10 km down the road – I agreed, as I was off the actual Pilgrim route anyway… And it meant I got to spend more time chatting to my host. She dropped me just past Angerville, and it was to be a fairly easy ride to Saint-Jean-de-Braye. Easy, except for the heavy rain, and that I was really hungry and hadn’t packed any snacks. I was thinking that the next store I found I would stock up on chocolate, dried fruit, nuts, and cheese… And turned into every village looking for something open. Nothing. Until I arrived at the small village of Aschères-Le-Marché – it had Marche in the name, so I figured there may be a market there… but it was closed. I looked around and found a small Resturant with a set menu for lunch. In my broken French I explained that I didn’t eat 4 legged animals, and the waitress offered pickled fish with potatoes, an omelette, cheese, dessert and wine for 12€ – the wine alone would have cost me that in Indonesia! The omelette was sensational! I can safely say it’s the best I’ve ever eaten, and I make quite a good omelet myself.
I’d had enough of Google’s muddy field detours, so turned it off, and got out the old fashioned maps – it was a fairly strait forward route to Saint-Jean-de-Braye, again until I encountered roundabouts, and went off in the wrong direction for a couple of hours! I turned on Google who wanted to send me through the fields, but I decided the brave the busy highway for a couple of kilometers instead.
My host for this evening was a lovely young woman who worked developing waste solutions, a subject which I’m very interested, as it’s a very big and growing problem in Indonesia, where I live. The local government are trying to make disposing of garbage a user pay system – the more you throw away, the more you pay, and she was developing special bins that measure garbage. She also did voluntary work in a bike shop which repairs bikes for people who can’t afforded new bikes. When I complained of a sore back, she made some adjustments on my bike, and it was much more comfortable to ride, she also fitted my bike computer, which I hadn’t figured out how to do, so now I could see how far I rode each day. I spent two nights here, as it was only a ten minute bike ride from Orleans, where I wanted to do some sightseeing.