Briare to Meung-sur-Loire via La Chapelle-Saint-Mesmin (Orléans)

Monsieur ‘Le Figures’ has totted up that currently on this trip we have notched up 49% of our overnight stops as freebies. Think this may have given us the golden key to the ‘Free Loaders Society’; now that’s one to add to your C.V.

Last night we had a peer at our maps ‘n’ apps and found an aire on the outskirts of Orléans that we can stay at to access the city; so that’ll be where we are heading to today. It’s a bit of a schlep but on a very quiet peage we eat the kilometres up quickly. We now know why the motorway was so traffic light as the toll machine requests the princely sum of €27.40. How much?… tears are almost shed at the cost and some very unsavoury words were banded about.

The sat nag co-ordinates for the aire on ‘Park 4 Night’ are incorrect which means we find ourselves way out in the back of beyond on a dead end road. Hmm, this truly is not going well but after some further investigation we manage to get to where we should be.

Of course it’s down a tight road and a French moho chap is coming up the hill which means we then have to reverse back up to allow him to pass, we are such nice people! We then exchange a few words and the gist of it being the aire is full… merde! We have to go and check it out ourselves and hey ho there appear to be some empty spots, excellent. Ah, but the entry barrier must be possessed by the devil himself as the terminal says it’s ‘complet’ so the barrier won’t allow admittance.

€27.40 has been shelled out to get here and as there are no other sites in the area himself is nearly spitting feathers. Oh well, we have to suck it up and just move onwards. And that is how we stumbled across the lovely medieval town of Meung-Sur-Loire.

The aire here (47°49’25.56″N 1°41’51.27″E is smack bang in the centre of town alongside La Loire and the river Mauves and is free to stay in, with paid for services if needed.

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The tourist office lady has apologised as they have no written information in English which is a bit of a surprise, but we have a map to guide us around. Funnily enough we spotted a marker for pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostella (see previous northern Spain posts for more details), and it’s a staggering 1584km stomp from here, think we’ll give it a miss.

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Narrow streets and timber framed buildings are criss-crossed by tributaries of Les Mauves with it’s old bridges termed as Moulins. ‘La Halle’ is also a timber framed market, however it’s only open on a Sunday morning so we will unfortunately miss that.

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The area here is a cyclists heaven, as the tracks along La Loire appear endless and relatively flat, so suits all abilities. As we seem to have parked our bike rack virtually into the wire fence behind us, plus we are all levelled up on ramps we can’t be bothered to extricate them for a cycle. So a walk by La Loire is our exercise alternative and oh look, is that a cheeky fish poacher (s’cuse pun) in the river?

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2 nights are called for here as we both fancy visiting the Château tomorrow. We also need to try and slow our travelling down a tad to prevent us arriving up near Caen too soon. Stargazing is again on the cards ce soir and tonight’s beauty is a lovely view of red Mars, just a shame we can’t share any pictures of it with you.

Nighty Nite!

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