21st April Gien to Briare 30 km

This walk was really pretty, going past beautiful homes and chateaux finally arriving in Briare which is a canal town famous for its mosaics and earthen ware. It is quite a pretty place with lots of boats and a large canal that actually goes across and above the Loire River. We arrived feeling a bit stretched and finally found a place that sold gourmet icecreams and chocolates. While eating our treats a boat cruised past on the canal. Very weird to see a boat at footpath level.

Despite the boating activity, it is pre-season and many places are not open. We walked the town and only found one little restaurant. There may be others but without a car the options are limited.

The next day was Sunday and we discovered very little open again but the Tabacs (tattslotto, newsagents, coffees, some have the TAB horse racing) were the only things open and the real centre of village sunday life. In fact many of the little towns we have walked through have no bars, shops or bakeries. They are often closed up like the houses have been abandoned or they are holiday homes. It has meant we are struggling to get a breakfast or even a coffee on the way which has surprised us.

it has meant long days walking which has tired us all. Still that is part of the adventure to discover how the country works close up.

The camping grounds are interesting. Sometimes no loo paper, never toilet seats, unisex, and water rationed to 30 second bursts. There is a lot of emphasis on careful use of water, a precious asset. A bit ironic when we are walking beside a fast flowing river but I like the philosophy. Should be more of it at home. The water is hot so I have this technique now, of getting wet, soaping up and then rinsing off. You can press the tap as many times as you like but it always stops automatically.

Author: fleetfootkath

I am a keen walker and traveller. I love to explore and learn about new people, places and cultures with a sense of joy and gratitude for this fortunate life. I believe walking is a wonderful way to really connect with the present and the beauty of the world that surrounds us. It makes me happy.

4 thoughts on “21st April Gien to Briare 30 km”

  1. I remember those French camping grounds very well! The weather continues to look lovely Kath so I’m sure that makes packing up tents much more pleasurable. No mention of Karen so I’m hoping that means that she has found her rhythm and is now walking more comfortably.
    No great news from this end other than all is well and this weird warm weather is continuing. Oh, and I bought three pairs of shoes yesterday. I can see your smile 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Karen was just as tired yesterday though walking at better pace. We elected to just do the 20 kms and get a train to our next stop at Charité-sur-Loire which was a further 15kms. No towns open for coffee stops either till Pouilly-sue-Loire so we had no choice but to keep walking. Many of these towns seem half dead which you don’t know till you get there! Lots of closed houses. Very odd. Anyway when we got to the station it was unmanned and our internet search said five o’clock train( if any). We did find a bar for coffee but no food and when a young couple came in I decided to see if they were going our way. Yea! We had a lift. 15 kms in 20 mins. The angels were watching. Charité-sur-Loire is a beautiful town and after Andy walked the whole way arriving exhausted we are staying here for the morning and getting the bus to Nevers this afternoon. We have walked 150 kms in 5 days with longer stretches than anticipated so we have earned a rest. Today and two days in Nevers and we should all be jumping again.


      1. How wonderful to be offered a lift instead of walking. Shame about the probs with food and COFFEE!!! OMG how are you surviving ?? Glad you’ve got company to empathise 🙂


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