It’s unlikely you will find Grignon on the map – it has a population of 70 and some of them are Parisians with holiday homes. We chose it because it appeared to be on a route to the Yonne and Booking.com had very few places in the area. We can confirm that we were the only touring cyclists all day and our accommodations first Australian cyclists.
However, this may change as the tourism council and the government have a large budget (25 million this year) to put in a proper route through here in an attempt to take some of the weight of the cyclist numbers (and take business into the lesser known areas) from the Loire Route (1.5 million a year). So, Duncan’s route is a pretty good one.
We set off from Orléans with no trouble whatsoever, our Canal was adjoining the Loire for the first few kms. Gorgeous day, not too hot. Pretty perfect conditions.
Above is pretty much what we did for around 30km. Once they start working on this, the path will widen and there will be many signs. It was tranquil and quite lovely – just the sound of birds. We saw swans and a young coypu.
We did manage to find a village with a restaurant for coffee. We knew the prices would drop once we had moved from the main Loire route. This was especially the case with set lunch Menus as the one at our restaurant had a four course lunch including wine for €14. We didn’t partake as we had dinner booked in.
Our accommodation for tonight is the buildings on the right and Sophie our host is preparing our meal on the BBQ! It’s the place on the right, it was the “Controller’s residence” of the construction of the Canal, built in the mid 1600s. Really lovely accommodation in a house that was bought derelict and restored (Cousin Debbie!). She thought she would build up gradually but is now pretty much booked out.
Great first ride with Tony. More tomorrow.