2015-07-09 Blois – Chatillon-sur-Indre

Today’s photo shows a roundabout on the D675 near Beauval with a display advertising the Zoo Parc nearby.

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Total today – 80 km. Total so far – 465 km. As it took a long time to charge up my phone and camera, it was after 11 before I got going this morning.

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North-westerly wind today. I had the most luck of any day on the Tour as the wind started to blow from the north. Only for the northerly wind, I never would have made it to Tarbes in time for the first Pyrenees stage of the Tour de France.

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Electronic billboard with a warning about the heatwave. Pharmacies in France often have signs displaying the temperature but here is a municipal billboard warning about the heatwave. The writing translates as “Plan for the heatwave. If you notice anyone in difficulty, contact the mayor.”

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Vineyard and sunflowers near Celettes. About 10 km from Blois, I came across a vineyard for the first time on the Tour de Travoy. There were none north of the Loire but there were quite a few vineyards south of the Loire.

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Surf boards in Saint Romain-sur-Cher. In the town of Saint Romain-sur-Cher, the mayor’s office had a surf-board in its flower garden. I have no idea why as the town is at least 200km from the sea. I have no idea either why the town is called Saint Romain-sur-Cher, as it is 10km from the river Cher, which can be seen on this short video of the historic town of Saint Aignen.

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Rioting in St Aignan in 2010. St Aignan was in the news 5 years ago when the police shooting of a Roma teenager sparked a week of rioting. The then French president, Nicholas Sarkozy, had to send 500 troops to the town to restore order. The government took a hard line with the rioters and went on to clear 300 Roma camps in the surrounding area. There was no sign of any camps on my trip and any trace of the trouble had long since been cleared up.

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Zoo Parc Beauval. About 5 km south of Saint Aignan, is the world famous ZooParc Beauval. It is one of the largest zoos in Europe with over 6,000 animals and  is the most visited zoo in France They are one of the few zoos which breed manatees, which are extremely endangered in the wild. Their aquarium also puts on a show with 9 Californian sea-lions. However, the zoo’s star attraction is probably a panda called Zuan Zi.

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Camping les Rives de l’Indre. About 30km past Beauval, I finally made it to my campsite for the night in Chatillon-sur-Indre. The campsite is a little gem in a town that is very run down. The site is very well laid out with huge hedges and loads of trees between the pitches and it is definitely the best campsite I have stayed in so far. You can tell the owners take great pride in their campsite as the toilets and showers were spotless and the pitches were very comfortable.

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