Loire Valley and the Rhine River bicycle-tour, October 2019, still waiting for a date to have his hip operation, Garry decided to head off on another trip. Looking for an easy ride and one that wasn’t too far away! Garry came up with the idea of cycling some of Europe’s long-distance cycle paths. The EuroVelo routes.
He decided that the EV6, the Atlantic to the Black Sea. And the EV15 Rhine River cycle routes would make a good combination. Although Garry would only be cycling part of them. Namely the Loire Valley and the Canal du Rhône, on the EV6. Going as far as Mulhouse. From Mulhouse, Garry would pick up the EV15. Taking him France, Germany and Holland.
Once again Garry caught the overnight ferry from Portsmouth to St Malo. After arriving in France, Garry started following the many canals and rivers of France. Heading down to Saint-Brevin-les-Pins, on the Atlantic coast. The beginning of the Eurovelo Route 6 and the Loire valley.
On the EV6, Garry was making good progress, until he reached Nantes! After spending the night in the most expensive campsite ever, 50 euros! Garry woke, to find a blister on the back of his hand! Which is what happened last year, when he contracted sepsis!
Not too sure what to do, Garry decided to carry on cycling. As the day went on, the blister started to grow and got bigger! To say Garry was a little worried was an understatement! Especially as he didn’t have any travel insurance! Due to the high cost, which made things a little tenser!
At the end of the day, Garry had reached La Possonniere, near Angers. And decided that because he felt okay and the blister seemed to have stopped growing, he would sleep on it! And see how things were in the morning.
From Bad To Worse
The following morning came, and Garry still felt okay. The blister hadn’t changed overnight and looked the same. And after a bit of thought, decided to carry on cycling. But while he was eating breakfast, he noticed another blister had come up, on his other hand! (Again the same as last year!) That was it, Garry needed to get home and get them checked out as soon as possible!
How To Get Home
Cycling wasn’t an option, It would take too long, even going direct! A train would be his best bet! After cycling the 10-miles to Angers. Garry went to Gare d’Angers Saint-Laud the central railway station in Angers. Where he found out, he could catch a train to Le Mans. Change trains there, and catch another train to Caen. From there it would be a short bike ride to Ouistreham where he could get a ferry back to England! The only problem being that Garry would have to wait around in Angers all day! Before he could catch his late afternoon train. But it was still his quickest option!
Garry arrived in Caen at 9.45pm. He then had a mad dash to cycle the 10-miles to Ouistreham. In the hope that he could catch the 11pm sailing. Garry reached Ouistreham at 10.40 pm! And luckily for Garry, the very kind staff allowed him to board!
Back in England, Garry went for blood tests and check-ups! Thankfully everything came back negative, and Garry was given the all-clear! A massive relief to both Garry and his family!
After being given the all-clear, Garry could return to France. Although a month had passed and it was October! Along with getting the all-clear, Garry was also given a date to go into hospital. For his second stage hip replacement! It was at the beginning of November. Allowing Garry just enough time to complete this tour!
Garry headed back to France, to pick up where he’d left off. Once again catching the ferry from Portsmouth to St Malo. Two days after arriving back in France Garry made it back to Angers and was back on EV6 and the Loire Valley.
Being October meant the days were getting short. Not getting light until nearly 8am! But the weather was still good, with plenty of sunshine.
Garry stuck to the EV6 as much as possible, or at least as much as it suited him! Parts of it were very familiar to him. He’d cycled this way back in 2010. And he enjoyed coming across familiar sites. Especially when he wasn’t expecting it! Garry completed the EV6 and reached Mulhouse. There he picked up the EV15, and Rhine River. Instead of heading north towards Germany. As was his original plan! Garry decided to head south to Switzerland! After all, it was only 25-miles away and seemed such a shame not to visit!
Garry made it to Switzerland, but found the place very busy! And for some reason, it didn’t have a good feeling! He immediately turned around and headed back to France!
Now following the EV15, Garry stuck to the left bank of the Rhine. And passed through the beautiful Alsace region of France, before entering Germany at Karlsruhe. Garry was now on the Upper Rhine and passed through picturesque villages and vineyards.
After the Upper Rhine, came the Upper Middle Rhine Valley. Probably the most spectacular part of the Rhine. With its steep cliffs, covered with vineyards and castles that look out over the Rhine Valley.
Garry stuck with the Rhine until he reached Holland. Where he left it behind and took a more direct route to Rotterdam. Holland being Holland, Garry never had to cycle on one single road, it was cycle paths or routes all the way.
From Rotterdam, it was a short ride to the Hook of Holland. Where Garry would catch an overnight ferry back to Harwich, England.
Back in England Garry cycled as far as London. Where he decided to end his Loire Valley and The Rhine River, October 2019 bicycle tour. And caught a train home.
Not being one for cycle routes, Garry was surprised at how much he enjoyed cycling Eurovelo routes 6 and 15 and may even do some more in the future!
Total miles cycled 1766.