The source of the Loire is said to be three springs, the geographic source, the authentic source, and the true source. Yesterday we visited the first two and today we stopped at the third, the true source. Over it was a sign that read: "Here begins my race towards the ocean". Although ours won't be a race, we too will follow it to the ocean. A great night sleep in the caravan with all the windows open (no screens, europe style) and the stars shining bright. We said goodbye to the wonderful host at 8.30 and climbed on our bikes to go back to the sources with full panniers. Very shortly we were taking our last pictures up at the top and we official started our journey to the ocean. While the river finds the path with only down flow out of necessity, the bicycle route has no such restriction, and we found ourselves going down, up and around the mountains. We learned that they sign the climbs very well for the bicyclists but it is also discouraging to see every ½ km ticked off as you grind your way up.
The Loire quickly found more rivlets to join it and it's depth and width grew to a strong stream and even a small river. A short stop for crepes near a beautiful pond at 11 and some backery options to carry with us through the 50 km we had planned total for the day. Shortly after 2 pm we pulled in to our planned campsite and with no services for 30km further on, we got a site and then rode down to the Loire and jumped in at the town swimming hole. Amazing!
Now showered and waiting for 7 pm to get dinner. None of the restaurants here open before that. We need to be careful over the next week or so as we are pretty rural and not all the towns have food and are often closed on Wednesday. What a great ride today through idillic french countryside along quiet country roads. We did get our first flat and hope our supply of tubes hold for a while!
Link to the map: https://us0-share.explore.garmin.com/2WMCT