Check out time came and I decided that you can't have an adventure without a little discomfort so I donned the kit and sallied forth. The rain immediatly got hevier and very wetting, not to mention cold. I'd brought an extra set of thermals anticipating a change rather than having to wear them all at the same time.
Made for the fabulous Chateau De Chenonceau, not that far away but far enough for the rain to be seeping in through the cracks in the suit. I was very pleased to get there and even more to get inside where they had a welcoming fire to greet their moist guests. It was still raining when I'd finished so I took the opportunity to have lunch in the grounds (it was still raining) this was unsurprisingly a little less fabulous.
The chateaux are very fine but by this point I'd had enough of them and I can safely say I'm all chateau'ed out. At least the tour busses are not yet in full swing so the crowds are manageable. Just don't come in the summer, it will be vile.
The town of Tours is big and appears to have no redeeming
features other than that the rain had stopped. The guide book says of
one town that it is a post war architectural disaster area. This may
not be Tours but it might just as well be. You have to wonder what the
council were on at the time, perhaps it was cheap, lets hope so.
Being near to Le Mans it seemed essential to go and look at the world famous track. On the down side you can't, it's well screened and on this occasion not open. On the upside you drive on bits of road that seem to be part of the track, do they expand for the 24hour? Still not being able to see the track proper I had to make do with the museum, at least there are no chateaux inside. Think mostly French marques and you'd be on the money. There is one that has some considerable family interest though (see photo)
Time sometimes passes quickly and at half past five I was back outside the museum with no where to stay and it was cold with a thick overcast and spiting rain. Le Mans seems to be full of the same quality establishments as Calais, Etap's and Formula 1's abound, great for the normal race crowds perhaps but hard to think of anything worse for my purposes.
Fifteen minutes with the faithful book and I decided that Chinon would be the place despite Monsieur Garmin suggesting it would take an hour and a half to get there. Sadly he was right but at least the roads were entertaining and not too crowded.
The guide book had seen fit not to mention Chinon's big nuclear power station which, had the hour not been so late, would have made me rethink my choice. The plant was belching huge quantities of what is hopefully only steam right over the road so if I now glow in the dark it will be no surprise.
Finally dead on time, I arrived at the very lovely hotel Agnes Sorel, 500m from the centre of Chinon. Just as described a most friendly welcome and indoor parking for the moto. They even helped me carry my bags upstairs and booked a restaurant for me.
This would be the cheapest and best hotel so far and I could also recommend the fish restaurant, L'Oceanic although this was not quite so cheap. Curiously the service started well but slowed to a crawl after the main meal, not really a problem but I could have been in bed earlier.
This picture of a lavoir (the second I've seen) is included especially for Joan H