7th August 2018
La Fleche, France
A very hot afternoon and night, yesterday - this is more like August in central Portugal weather we are currently experiencing. Afternoon temp went to 34 and even at dawn it was still 20 degrees, making sleep difficult inside or out as it was just too darn hot. Hot again today, although I did think we might get a respite a while ago when it clouded over and rain started to fall. Thunderstorms are forecast as being possible and I fancy a good storm might just clear this heavy weather, if only for a while. Alas, it wasn't to be, the rain amounted to nothing at all and the temp hardly moved, dipping barely a couple of degree to 28, briefly.
However, I have decided to keep heading due south for the moment as the weather forecast does suggest the next few days might be more reasonable temps in the low to mid 20s. I haven't checked again today as where I am currently parked up the cellphone internet connection is not up to the job. However, I figure if it all gets too much a change of course from due south to southwest will get us to Royan without too much trouble.
For today we have come as far as La Fleche and are in a forested area to the south of the town. It's quiet and well shaded - we are on a sandy track that has been barred some ways along with a substantial metal gate to deter motorcycles. I assume that is the reason, anyway, as we are near to a motocross dirt track circuit for motorbikes - mercifully, closed at the moment!
From leaving last night's forest venue to the north of Sille le Guillaume we went through the town, a nice enough place, and then more or less due south on extremely quiet roads and through timeless villages to Brulon, where we went to check out a lake. I reckon I'm going to give up on inland water venues at the moment as this was yet another hideously crowded compact tourist venue with the added 'attraction' of added attractions! One of which was 'get face to face with the wolves', according to a lurid poster at the entrance and although I didn't see any wolves I could see a collection of nearby tepees so I'm guessing a patronising native north American theme? All I could think of as I scurried away was 'those poor bloody wolves' as I simply can't imagine a worse life for them!
Trying not to dwell on the poor creatures plight, we sauntered south through more of rural France to Parce where we crossed the very lovely Sarthe river and from there to La Fleche, where we subsequently crossed a beautiful stretch of the Loire. I have previously crossed the Loire variously at Angers, Ancenis and Nantes and its never been a wonderful experience but crossing it today further inland at La Fleche was absolutely charming.
We probably should have put a little more distance between us and La Fleche for a stop-over but Amy and I have had enough of driving for on day and it doesn't seem a bad location so we'll give it a go and see how we get on.
Latitude : 47.66141 (47° 39′ 41.09″ N)
Longitude : -0.05283 (0° 3′ 10.2″ W)
accuracy of signal : 6 m
I now see from google maps we are near a zoo, how lovely! [What should be] wild animals caged in captivity to entertain half-wits. Our deplorable relationship with our fellow animals doesn't stop there either. Wild animals and small birds hunted relentlessly for sport' (noticed how few summer migrant birds from Africa there are in the UK this year?) and huge industrial scale windowless agricultural buildings containing wall-to-wall pigs, chickens, turkeys, cows......
The native North Americans, before they were overrun and usurped by avaricious Europeans, when meeting to discuss hunting (for survival) and/or potentially intrusive temporary settlement plans would elect a member to 'speak for the wolves' - meaning to put the case for their fellow creatures. Back then there were millions of wolves freely roaming the vast North American continent but in just just one short century European settlers exterminated very near every last one of them - and exterminated them in the most inhumane way imaginable by lacing deer carcass with strychnine. A slow agonising death for any creature consuming such lethal carrion!
The wolves (and other apex predators) were exterminated so cattle could safely graze - if only they'd had today's technology back then they could have left the wolves alone because all today's cattle live inside huge industrial feedlots!
Except they wouldn't have, would they?!
Footnote to today's posting:
I see now from looking at my Michelin Atlas Routier that we actually crossed the Loir river at LA Fleche and we have yet to still cross the Loire, probably at Samur.
I thought the mighty Loire had quickly reduced in size at La Fleche and now I know why - it's a completely different river there, albeit with a very similar spelling.
Here be dragons! Autres directions