Yesterday was a long one. I set off late having done some more work on this site/blog and didn’t hit the road until 11.15. My continuing battle with google maps journey planning went wrong immediately: I couldn’t believe that she could get things wrong within one km of leaving the hotel but she did: radically but obviously and then she told me to head right up what was just a track across a field made my tractors to a small farm. I had checked the route she was offering the night before but obviously not carefully enough.
Anyway, I gave up on her and decided that the main road from Chartres to Orleans would do me. It was moderately busy but minutes could go by without a lorry whooshing past and it was pretty straight, impossible to lose as a route, and hardly climbed or dipped at all. I made rapid progress and had a late lunch opposite the cathedral in Orleans. I’ve seen the cathedral before and it’s sort of collision between gothic and renaissance from the 16th century that really isn’t what I like. However, the double layer of columns alongside the nave does create an interesting amount of space and change from the usual gothic layout. I nipped round, took some bad ‘photos including some of the stained glass of the life of Jeanne d’Arc which are so different from the much earlier, glorious, stained glass in Chartres that I had to respect it with a few ‘photos.
Then on, having booked myself into the “Formula 1” bargain basement chain of hotels in Blois. As I set off I was amused to think that this was rather like saying to myself I’d just head on to Brighton from home in South London: not the way I’d usually think about travel.
I was able to pick up the mostly wonderful voie velo vert (green cycle way) running just south of the Loire and the she voice of google maps was already talking nonsense so it ditched her thinking the green cycle signs were good enough … just as they weren’t and I clearly missed that the one I took wasn’t heading on to Blois but the small one to the right was. Oh dear. I realised a few km on and ignominiously had to ask google voice for help (I should just have trusted myself and headed north working from the sun and reckoning I’d have to find the voie vert again before I cycled into the river). Boy did she take her revenge leading me a wild goose chase that cost me 5km or a bit more but a stupid amount of time. Finally, I did ditch her, found the voie vert and made it to the hotel by about 21.00. Just under 150km in all and running out of oomph at the end but it was a big day.
Internet here was initially useless but has improved and this morning I have done some more work on the site/blog including this entry and working out a bit more about how I may get maps up here in future. However, I need to hit the road so that and getting more ‘photos up will have to come later.