We left Saint Nazaire at around noon (we had some organizing to do, like getting local cel phones, a bike rack for the van etc) and I started our journey with my feet in the Atlantic Ocean. We then cycled through towns like Paimbeouf, Le Pellerin, Nantes, and the picturesque sounding Mauves sur Loire. It was a mix of country roads, and paved bike paths, hilly for the first thirty K or so, then flat as we approached the Loire and cycled next to it. There are a series of paved paths called Les Promenades de la Loire, right along its bank, very serene and beautiful, surrounded by vineyards.
On one of these pathes, near the town of Indre I found myself in the middle of a dilapidated gypsy trailer village, shown in the photo below, surrounded by a crowd of bare foot children asking me to take pictures of them (but not begging for money). The contrast between the beauty of the Loire, and the squalor of the Gypsy encampment was jarring. They just seem to be dumped there.
We then containued on to Champtoceaux, where we are staying at a lovely auberge, with an excellent resto, we even enjoyed a locale muscadet with dinner.
Tomorrow is another day, we will try to leave by 9,30 so we finish our ride a little earlier than today.
Ten years ago I was diagnosed with acute leukemia. I was 49 years old, with a wonderful wife and two adorable children, many fulfilling interests, and a great career, In short, a charmed life. From one day to the next, I was thrown into a battle of life and death.
Thanks to the wonders of science, the help of devoted, caring and skilled doctors and nurses, and a bone marrow transplant (from my brother) I survived. More importantly, through the experience of my illness and recovery, I have grown and flourished.
To celebrate my recovery, and all those without whom it would have been impossible, I cycled across Europe in April and May 2010, and the blog of my trip is at www.acelebrationoflife.blogspot.com.
In 2012 I published Portraits of Hope, see www.portraitsofhope.ca.
This year, to mark the 10th anniversary of my reciverywe established the Maryse and William Brock Chair in Applied Research into Stem Cell Transplantation.
Together we can beat leukemia.