Long day, short story.
We left in a decent frost, Nevers and the Loire beautiful behind us. We walked about 4km along a river track that reminded me a little of the Tauranga-Taupo. Numb digits, searching for the sun and mostly surrounded by scrubby bush with glimpses of the river or farmland.
Then we hit the canal and followed that to the Allier river about 10m below, the canal goes over the river in an aqueduct. We had coffee in a bar just over the bridge at La Grenouille.
We then followed a feeder canal up the Allier until Apremont-sur-Allier. Chocolate box perfect and not a blade of grass out of place. It seems the seigneur bought up the whole village so that he could control every detail. Anyway we gad a nice quiche and salad lunch in a cafe on the river run by an English woman. Local rules forbid her changing any signs so the sign over the door doesn’t relate to the name of the cafe.
After that it was only 9km to go and all of it on nearly dead straight roads through oak, beech and birch forest.
When we cane out of the forest we were virtually at our destination, the chateau at Grossouvre.
But it was pretty much derelict so we walked around the back to some slightly neglected fifties units. Very clean and we were the only guests, but she absolutely refused us one each. We have to share and she pointed out there are two beds. Kei te pai. I can’t blame my French for this, I got the same response from a man when I rang from NZ.
We are really in the middle of nowhere but there is pasta and antipasto and I have a little quiche, some fruit, some sausage and there is bread. It’ll be perfect. And there is a village up the road about 5km with several hotels where we should get breakfast.