We finally settled on a plan last night to catch a bus as fast south as possible out of Tours so we could start walking at the edge of the suburbs. If we’d followed the official Camino route all the way it would have been a 20+mile day, which neither of us felt like. We finally said goodbye to the Loire and walked a mile and a half or so to get to the appropriate bus stop, via the obligatory Boulangerie to collect breakfast.
After one false start we caught a number 5 bus to Grandmont Parc. It would have been a very long walk and it was interesting to see other parts of the city on the bus’s circuitous route; large, elegant townhouses in the St-Pierre-de-Corps area, then an area of smart blocks of modern flats before arriving at the out of town university campus. As we set off walking south we were soon amongst the new suburban bungalows which seem so popular, with much larger gardens than their UK equivalents. Most people seem to grow at least some of their own vegetables, either in their gardens or allotments on the edge of villages. Land must be relatively cheap here.
We walked past the hippodrome and through the woods around Chambray before heading across to Montbazon, where we’d identified a restaurant open at lunchtime – a necessity today as where we are staying tonight has nothing. We arrived just after the Auberge de la Courtille opened at noon and reserved a table for half past so we had time to dash to the local Intermarché for evening supplies before it shut at 12.30. Turned out that the only place open served us probably the best meal we’ve yet had in France! I had gazpacho with goats cheese foam for starters and Rosie had a smoked salmon and grapefruit salad. The main courses were equally good.
It’s a shame it was lunchtime and we still had five or six miles to walk – we felt we could only share one glass of delicious Vouvray between us and we didn’t want to fill up on desserts. I suspect they would also have been great.
At Montbazon the road crosses the Indre, a tributary of the Loire, before heading up to and round the ‘Fortress of the Black Falcon’ at the top of the hill.The Black Falcon, the feudal Lord of Touraine a thousand years ago, seems to have been a bit of a curate’s egg of a character; famous for his generosity, chivalry and setting up an education system locally but also for the crimes he committed.
By this stage we were on another GR route and eventually joined up with the Camino route for the first time today near Bordebure. Not far to walk from here to Sorigny, though with sore feet and tired legs it felt far enough. Tonight’s Airbnb is lovely and tomorrow we’re in a treehouse so we made full use of the facilities before wandering out to eat our picnic on a bench in the village. For the first time there are home-made clam shell decorations along the path.