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.