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Our location as of 10/2/2012

Madison, WI, USA
Last updated 10/2/2012
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Llamagoose’s Tour de France

To experience a bit of the French countryside, we rented a tandem bicycle and rode through the Loire Valley. The Loire Valley is known for its ch??teaus, vineyards, and quaint villages.?? France even has a directory of its most beautiful villages and many of them are located in this beautiful area.

We picked up our bike in Tours and rode out to a bed and breakfast outside of the town of Amboise.?? At first we were on a bike path sandwiched between the Loire River and a highway, so it wasn’t especially quiet.?? Eventually, though, the route curved away from the river and took us on the peaceful country roads.?? We spent a couple of hours riding through farms, vineyards, fields of wildflowers, cobblestoned villages, and the occasional ch??teau.?? It was almost exactly the same as I had pictured in my head.

I had communicated with Christine, our host at the bed and breakfast, entirely through email and she had always written back in perfect English.?? I even thought she might be from England.?? So I was pretty surprised when we rolled up the driveway and she could barely speak any English at all.?? She told us she’s taking lessons, so I’m assuming her teacher must help her write emails.

Leonardo da Vinci’s mansion in Amboise

Her husband, Francois, didn’t speak a word of English, so we had quite a language barrier.?? Despite that, they were both very kind and helpful.?? Francois turned out to be quite the jokester, making us laugh just with his actions and expressions and the bits and pieces Christine could translate for us.?? They also had a 17 year old dog, Maestro, so we had excellent company in Amboise.

Our original plan was to bike from there to the city of Blois, but the price of a luggage transfer was outrageous (180 euros!).?? Instead, we spent two nights at the bed and breakfast, then rode back to Tours and took a train on to Blois.?? It worked out fine and we enjoyed our little jaunt in the Loire Valley.

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