The source of the Loire

As I left Sainte-Eulalie I heard what I first thought was bagpipe music coming from the woods. Without my hearing aids in I couldn’t be sure, so I stopped, and I could see at the end of a path into the woods a man just standing there playing some sort of ancient pipe instrument, not bagpipes, but something very medieval sounding and beautiful start to the ride.

At the source of the Loire a woman appeared as if she had been born from the very spring… I’ve seen far too many French films not to interpret that symbolically. She took a sip from the spring and said ‘Bonjour’, so I also scooped a handful of the water and drank it and said ‘bonjour’ back.

She works for the local authority, keeping the path to the spring clear, but of course in a film by Agnes Varda she would, wouldn’t she?

I imagine her name is Marianne, or Marie-France or somesuch, but didn’t ask for fear of disappointment.

The little hand-written sign says ‘Ici commence ma course vers l’Océan’.

La Full Montée

A glorious day, short in distance but big in climbing, up to the sources of the Loire – or thereabouts. It’s a 16km round trip from my hotel and I’m too knackered to do it now that I’m in the hotel room. Tomorrow morning I will, when I won’t have to return from the hotel.

The picture shows someone fly-fishing in the Loire at Coubon, which is a nice little place.

I think this is as high as I get on this trip, and from the sources onwards it is downhill all the way to the Rhône. That’s good because I think my bottom bracket may soon give up the ghost.

For the avoidance of doubt, a bottom bracket is part of a bicycle, not part of my anatomy.