Against the Northwind

Day3 Tour to Wima Rally 2019

At 4:00 the rain wakes me up. First a few drops, then more and more. Now I am annoyed that I have not stretched the additional tarpaulin over the tent. At 7 a.m. the alarm clock rings for the first time, but I click it away.
What sense does it make to pack up the wet tent and put everything out in the rain? But, actually it doesn’t help at all, I do get up at the second ringing and put on my fleece.
I start with the morning hygiene and then I get completely dressed in the tent die.
And, wonder oh wonder, slowly the rain stops. Now I have to stow everything quickly and shake off the upper tent tarpaulin. I hang it up to dry and roll up the dry inner tent. This goes into the tent bag and I roll the tent tarpaulin over it.
I say my farewell to the friendly camp owner and see the mountains of croissant and baguette already waiting for the camp sleepers. 

But, I prefer not to have breakfast, because the clouds on the horizon already look bad. I will also get something on the way and the way is the goal.  I’ll do without the raincoat, because getting wet from the inside is no fun either.
It is better to put it on when it starts to rain, but not later either.
A check of the weather fronts for one of the two possible routes was not easy. Apparently, a bad weather front is moving from Normandy in southern direction. This rather favors the more northern route via Loire Valley to Normandy. Brittany would mean more of a continuous rain and after yesterday this is not very inviting.
I planned yesterday to find a route of the park without a navigation system. Therefore, the navigation system remains in pure follow mode and I can only orientate myself by the direction and the possible street directions. Challenge accepted!

I almost did it, but after about 30 km of great back and forth I wanted to play it safe. But the outcome is ok and so it goes on. It’s time to pack up the tent tarpaulin and put on the rain gear.
In standard rain we are now heading towards Tours and the Loire Valley, and further on to the Cher Valley. There are wonderful country roads, little traffic and the area is very beautiful despite the rain, although relatively flat. The closer I get to the sights of the Loire castles, the heavier the traffic becomes. There are many tourists on the roads here and I pass the announcements of the château sights constantly

I ponder, since I am already in the area, I should visit at least one of them. I therefore follow the signs in the direction of Château Chenonceau(x)
As I later learn, an x at the end indicates royal property, therefore it was removed in the time of the French Revolution.  Which alone would not have been of any use, but the FEMALE owner at that time seems to have had a good reputation as a friendly and helpful landowner. And so, the castle is spared and preserved in an almost original condition. But this, I only find out via Google, a journey to the castle is impossible. Truckloads of people, tourist busses and in between also cyclists block the access to the castle and spoil the closer inspection for me. It is a pity, because the rain hole should be used, and so I try to get to the other side of the river on small paths. A gravel road leads along the riverbank to the halfway point, where the official end of the passage is indicated by a barrier and a pledge.


At the small square in front of it I leave my motorbike and helmet behind and continue on foot along the river.
This way I can watch the excursion boats along the river and get closer and closer to the castle. With this I finally manage to take a snapshot from a relative close distance, without any entrance fee or tourist masses.  The building that extends into the river stands out from the mass of Loire castles and looks impressive.
For me, it was always the epitome of these castles, a coincidence that I just turned here. It is funny that it is actually on the Cher.
But no time to ponder on this, the road ahead is still long, so I walk back on my bike and continue northwards, the rain is now very bad again and a very strong north wind is blowing. 
The rain gear keeps the rain outside, but my sweat (at about 17°) stays inside. But the area is still very diverse and it is a pity that the weather does not invite to a stop.

Thus, in the late afternoon hours, I reach the foothills of the Parc du Perche that passes into the Parc de Normandie. Finally, the rain also stops and turns into sun. At the next gas stop the rain gear comes off. Underneath it, everything is steamily humid.
Therefore, I continue driving standing up, thus everything is perfectly ventilated and dried. The roads here are again narrower, more winding and hilly. It is a pleasure to drive here.
Finally, Domfront – my destination for today – appears at the signposts, oh la la.
After a longer stretch through a forest it comes into sight and as I enter the town my heart is singing. Such a sweet town, with a young medieval center on a rocky outcrop in the middle of the hilly country.
The view of the surrounding countryside is breathtaking. And the city is a little jewel (at least the old town). I drive a small round in slow speed for orientation, below the old town is the camping site of the Cite Municipal. The night costs 4,30 € with tent and motorcycle! And, although the price is so pleasantly low, the facilities are in a very good condition

The nice lady at the counter has already been to Vienna and is very enthusiastic that I came here alone with the motorbike. She assigns me a place on one of the middle levels. I look for a flat piece of meadow, near the trees and set up the tent quickly. My neighbors are on one side 2 elderly Brits, who probably brought all the household goods and on the other side a Spanish family has put up their tent. Spaniards! I am curious how the night will be. I change my clothes, but now I have to go shopping and then visit the old town. But unfortunately this terrible thing happens! There is nowhere to buy entrecôte, but I really wanted to try it.  It is unimaginable, Svenja finds these cool looking pieces of meat in the most deserted corners and I stand in the middle of France, in front of a supermarket meat counter about 4 m long and nada. It is to drive out of the skin. So I console myself with a big filet steak and continue to the old town.

The climb up to the old town is steep, and the now existing sun and heat don’t make it easy to climb up the way, but, as I already had a small view into the city when I arrived, I know that the climb is worth it.  I then stroll along the main street until I reach the ruins of the old castle outside the city. Back at the campsite it is time to take out the pan and prepare another delicious meal.  Also this time the taste is great, I could get used to it anyway. The peace and quiet that such a campsite exudes just before sunset is a clear contrast to my method of travelling. Somehow contagious. It is too good to be true. But even that we can’t know yet.

After that follows the ritual diary session and the planning for tomorrow. Tomorrow has joker day character.  From here to the ferry in Cherbourg it is 160 km on the direct way, or 2 hours driving time. That means I can drive the whole day through the peninsula and explore the area.

weather: cloudy, rain, cloudy, heavy rain, sunny, 13-24°
Travel distance: about 600km

Route day 3
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Video-Link: https://youtu.be/o7XDMWV4eIk

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