August 15 – 18, 2013
Distance: 19.8 miles Climbing: 757.9 ft
We left Saint George du Bois in the afternoon and didn’t make it too far before finding a campground right on the Loire. One night turned into a second and then a third.
Since leaving Holland, we have lost a lot of our enthusiasm for cycling. The logistics of planning everything was stressful. Finding a nice place that wasn’t just some crappy expensive campground full of RVs was hard. When we did get internet access we had to research our route, things to do and see, places to stay without knowing when we’d get good internet again. There is so much written about travel in Europe for travelers of all types, it was hard to parse and find threads of information that applied to us. and our budget It sounds nice to be in Europe with lots of time and no commitments, but it sure is a lot of work to make sure we’re going the right way, not missing something important, etc. Long term budget travel is not a vacation.
We were feeling burned out. The repetition of the typical day of cycle touring had us feeling like we were in a rut. Part of us just wanted to go home, somewhere familiar and comfortable, relax, reset, then come back and finish our trip. That was not really a logical possibility, so we needed to come up with another plan. We decided to just hang out at the campground for a few days reading, drinking French wine, eating baguettes, catching up on the blog and figuring out what we wanted to do.
We ran through a few scenarios, including changing our flights and going to South America early. However, during a skype conversation with Chan’s mom, Jeanne, she casually mentioned WWOOFing, which planted a small seed in our mind. The more and more we thought about it, the more excited we got.
WWOOF stands for Willing Workers On Organic Farms which is a program that pairs up farmers and travelers for an exchange of room and board for farm work. Just the prospect of a change in our routine boosted our spirits immensely. We immediately signed up with the French branch of WWOOF, emailed a few people and made a plan to begin work the next week. Once again, we were excited about what we were doing.