France - Loire Canal by bike and barge ****
This was Mary's and my first cycle tour overseas. We opted for the Loire Bike and Barge tour in France which we booked through Rad & Reisen in Austria. The tour started in northern France and travelled along the Loire canal. We loved the experience. The hybrid bikes were mostly perfect for the terrain we travelled, although the climb from the canal to the township of Sancerre was a great challenge for us, but one we managed. Accommodation was in small, crowded, cabins with ensuites on the barge, but for a first experience we were delighted. We had been the first couple to book this tour and as a result we were allocated the only relatively spacious small cabin. The barge would travel down the canal each day after we departed at 9am. We toured the surrounding countryside and would meet up with the barge around 4pm each day. Food was great and drinks purchased were recorded and paid for at the end of the week. As the photo shows we had 21 riders plus crew and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and made friends we still catch up with today.