Day 7. The Randomness of Knowledge from Random Travel. (Saturday 4th October)

Today Total
Distance 78 miles 509 miles (819km)
Height gain 643 metres 5758 metres (18891ft)
Calories 2500 18800

Apart from an old man pulling over in his car and asking whether I was alright it was a boar free night and I slept relatively well. Before setting off I had a quick look around the little town that became my bed for the night. I’d settled in the pretty little village of Chaumont-sur-Tharonne and it turned out that I had an unusual link to this place due to one guy who lived here for a short time and an earlier but small part of my journey.

As I cycled past the church I saw a wooden monument in the shape of a plane, on the sign it said it was a monument to Louis Blériot. This guy is credited with inventing the world’s first working monoplane and his link to my trip, well he was the first person to fly from Calais to Dover in 1909. It is strange how random travel like this you can find some really interesting, and in this case, globally important facts completely by chance. It’s why I like backpacking and travelling ad-hoc, you learn amazing if not bizarre things.

But I cycled on and it wasn’t long before I happened upon another amazing story. Practically in the middle of nowhere I came across a monument strangely to four British people, Maurice Southgate, Amédée Maingard, Jacqueline Nearne and Pearl Witherington. In this place in what was called the Valencay – Issoudun – Châteauroux triangle these guys were parachuted in as part of the British Special Operations Executive.

These guys helped the French resistance disrupt German lines of communication, supply and transport and broke links between the South and Normandy during the important allied invasion. At one point Pearl Witherington with a small band of badly trained men numbering about 140, took on 2,000 Germans and it was around here that it all happened. She also presided over the surrender of it’s said 18,000 Germans.

Continuing through a number of pretty little towns on mainly gentle rolling hills I cycled on and entered the small village of Bouges-le-Château, named after the Grand house that stands at the head of the main road. Yet another pretty little house which seem to dot this area. Eventually as afternoon became evening I entered the very picturesque small town of Deols before finally crossing a small river and arriving in the pretty little town of Chateauroux.

I could have gone further, even after 78 miles but there were dark sky’s ahead and I wanted to see if I could do a simple fix of of my pannier loops with a bit of webbing and some Gorilla Glue….. The best glue ever! I also had to fix my broken front baggage holder on which one of the wooden slats had split so the screw wouldn’t fix the wood to the frame. Amazing what you can do with a coca cola bottle top and a pen knife!

For more detail on route click HERE.


(© google maps)