Loire Valley cycling trip: Day 3, Chinon to La Daguenière 86 km

We both loved our two-night stay in Chinon but it was time to move along and we had an 86 km day ahead.

Leaving Chinon

Starting out in the endless fields.

Our first destination of the day was a detour of 12 km to the Abbaye de Fontevraud, built in 1101 and the largest and most extraordinary in France.

The scale of the Abbaye is stunning!

The restoration is coming along fine, the place was also used as a prison for a few centuries…

King Richard the Lionheart is still here!

I don’t quite understand the geo-political history but England’s royalty ruled from here and are still here.

But we still had lots of km to travel, so we continued along our route… and came to troglodyte settlements. Cave dwellers!

It seems that during the 12th century the natural limestone was removed and the open spaces left behind were turned into dwellings for the locals, and many are still in use.  Even power cables get fed into the caves.

cave dwelling

The Loire Velo trail fed us through the old caves where an old trading centre was.

The Troglodyte caves held an entire city in the 12th century.  It was too cool!

Saumur Castle

Joreau Lake

We followed a side trail through a rare forest for second lunch at Joreau Lake.  Just what we needed – pastries, chips and a bottle of Chinon red!

old Roman Amphitheatre

We came upon an unreal old Roman Amphitheatre where they once held gladiator games!  I was wishing I grew up a millenium earlier…

We slowed down here…

Some signs were easy to read, as we went ultra-slow when we saw this!  We crossed the Loire at St-Rémy-la-Varenne.

Entering La Daguenière.

We were getting tired plowing into the headwinds at the end of the long day.  There were many fields of flowers and we later found out they were used as seed flowers.  We stayed the night at a wonderful B&B in La Daguenière.

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  1. #1 by rundavejames on September 2, 2012 - 8:51 am

    looks fun!

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