Monday, 31 August 2015

Wednesday 5th August: Chateau Gontier to Mayenne

Today the whole day was again spent cycling up dedicated cycle paths (actually the original tow path) alongside the River Mayenne as we followed it upstream and North. Today we did not go on a real road once, and after leaving the town at Chateau Gontier we travelled up the right bank all morning without seeing a car until lunchtime at Laval, where we crossed the river and traveled up the left bank for the remainder of the day without seeing a car till we reached our destination, 3km downstream from Mayenne.

Crossing the Mayanne at Laval - a cycle path built under the railway bridge.

The path had a range of different surfaces. The most common was aged Tarmac covered in fine gravel which although dusty and slidy is still a good surface on a straight road - much better than old roads that have been constantly patched. Sometimes the surface was hard mud, sometimes grass and mud, but the worst was where they had laid road making gravel on the surface making steering a touring bike quite tricky and necessitating reducing speed to less than 10kph.

Every 5km or so further down steam there was a lock (écluse) and weir and Mill. As we got upstream they became more and more frequent - every few hundred meters at one point. The locks seem like an excellent tourist opportunity that has mostly been missed so far.

A lock, weir and mill beside the cycle path.

We passed some cyclists with a tyre that would not stay inflated  - I sacrificed my foam blow up to them to get them home.

The hotel today was the Beau Rivage, on the banks of the river with a Moulay address- 3km short of Mayenne.  This 2* hotel has a Michelin listed restaurant, and again a fantastic view of the river.

Dinner was Fois Gras, Spit roasted quail, cheese and various fruity desserts. We had Lopiac with the Fois Gras - nice but missing the botrytis of the Layon we had in Saumur, and we had Menetou-Salon - excellent and underpriced Pinot from the Loire. Followed by Calvados with coffee of course :-) The service here was exceptional. 

Distance 70.44km
Average Speed 16.77 kph
Ascended 348 m
GPX of Actual Route

No comments:

Post a Comment