Goodbye Canal

Trip Start May 22, 2009
Trip End Feb 16, 2010

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Flag of France  , Pays de la Loire,
Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Awoke to a world of misty-grey fog.  Couldn’t even see the opposite bank it was so thick!  Sitting in the peace you can hear birds you cannot see and the occasional plop’ of an acorn makes the cool water ripple at your feet. 

Didn’t get a very early start this morning as there was so much to do!  1) listen for fish jumping 2) photograph crystal spider webs 3) watch a heron hunt off the end of the dock 4) gaze as the sky turns from grey to white to peach until finally golden shafts of light pierce through the trees…and the list goes on and on!

Amazingly the sky was clear blue by 9am.  The last few mornings it has taken until noon before the fog has burned off.  We’re in for some scorching days ahead, but this is what we’ve been waiting for!

Decided to veer off the canal about 50km before Nantes.  We were both getting sick of the gravel, and we didn’t want to go into the city anyways.  What a difference the pavement made!  Went from cruising along at 15 km/hr to 25!  A very nice change as Brian was quite discouraged at our progress along the canal.  Thought that we would be traveling much further distances each day. 

Arriving at Nort sur Erdre we encountered a problem I have been waiting for:  campgrounds closing for the season.  Fortunately on our way to the campground we say a riverside park area that allowed ‘camping cars’ to spend the night - and it was packed!  Deciding that if campervans could camp then so could we (not that we had any other choice).  Camped out at a picnic table we awaited dusk to pitch the tent.  I knew it would be hard to beat last night’s dream campsite!

In the meantime I worked at repairing a bit more gear.  It’s been about 1500km since the last time, so I guess we were due.  The toe-clip repair on the pannier bag didn’t even last the first day.  But we have been surviving with tying it on, and then wrapping a bungee cord tightly around the bag to hold it in place against the frame.  Brian busted through his waterproof clothing bag yesterday (don’t worry, we had a spare), so after tearing that apart we had some wonderful clips to work with.  Sewing them together with some spare nylon cord made a great synch strap for the bag. 

Our compression bags are also showing some wear.  Brain is so good as compressing them as tight as possible that the material is beginning to rip.  This is easily repaired with some more nylon chord as well.  Hopefully this will last us for a little while longer!
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Where I stayed
park picnic table
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