Caught a cold in the Loire Valley

Trip Start Apr 11, 2012
Trip End Oct 10, 2012

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Flag of France  , Centre,
Thursday, May 3, 2012

I had an awesome day of riding from the campsite 50 miles from Charny, doing 75 miles at an average speed of 15 mph, which felt like flying after the previous two days' 11 mph averages. Only showered on me once, too, so a marvelous day. Unfortunately, upon waking in the morning, I quickly realized I had caught a cold. I decided I should stay at the campground for an extra day and not stress my body further in the cold and rain. This, however, turned out to be the worst cold I have ever had and came with some extra symptoms of muscle and joint pain and a some chills...cold/flu hybrid or something??

I stayed at the campground an extra two days before the muscle pain went away the third day. I was feeling quite cooped up and shitty, so I really wanted to make it to hostel in Tours, 38 miles away. I managed it, though the weather rained on me the whole way...just like the snot rained from my nose the whole way...mmm, nice image, isn't it?

I ended up staying 4 nights at the hostel in Tours, but luckily the weather was nice for a change and helped offset the 5 days of misery from my cold. I am completely done with riding in bad weather, by the way. After it got me sick, trapped in a campground, and even more miserable, this weather can go f**k itself...just saying.

Tours is a nice town though, and I enjoyed my stay there. It is pleasant to walk around and not too crowded. I met a Canadian girl at breakfast in the hostel who pointed me to a vehicle tour of the castles in the area (The Loire Valley has a ton of chateaus, some 3000...most not that big, of course). This girl had just come from 3 months in SE Asia, and she said they speak better English in the tourist areas of Vietnam than the French do. Strange, but I think I am actually interested in going there now...funny how meeting other people and hearing their stories is making me more open-minded to traveling elsewhere.

I also met a cyclist from London in the hostel who is following the rivers, sketching and taking pictures of the architecture as he goes along to Turkey. He is an architect back home, so this is his way of adding purpose to his bike trip. Another guy I talked to at breakfast was from the Netherlands and was just riding with the clothes on his back, staying in hotels on the way from the Netherlands to Spain. He was all about speed and had traveled 500 miles in the last five days. Everybody I have met on their cycling tour has a different story and is getting a little something else out of their journey.

Tomorrow, I head to Bordeaux via the train, as I am traveling too slowly for what I want to see/the weather will be better there/I have seen enough of this countryside and it all looks the same now. I spend two days in Bordeaux then head down to ride in the Pyrenees mountains and Spain.
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