Having decided today would be a rest day I was wide awake at 6am! How annoying was that? Not really, as the sunrise was stunning. Snoozed for a couple of hours before getting up for a lazy breakfast and just enjoying not having to pack up and roll on.

We took the opportunity to do some washing (phew!) before wandering into town to look around and have a long dreamt about lunch.

Gannat seems like a fairly typical French town, the centre ville built around a church and square, civic pride shown by it’s floral displays and thankfully not a Tesco’s in sight. True, the outskirts are often a mess of light industrial developments but they have had the sense (or lack of ‘ambition’) not to rip the heart out of their town centres. This has made almost all a delight to visit, each has an identity of which they are justly proud. I’m sure there’s a flip side to this point of view, but for someone passing through the difference between French and British towns is significant.

Lunch was everything we hoped it would be. Amongst the locals we munched our way through a simple salad, steak au frites, fromage plateau followed by tarte au pomme and cafe express. Fabulous and it felt well earned. We slept it off in the park next door before Helen asked ‘ou est la piscine?’ (fans of Flight of the Conchords will understand).

We headed back up the hill to the campsite and spent the rest of the afternoon by the pool, reading up on the Tour de France programme and pouring over our route for the next stage of the journey. After much deliberation we’ve decided on the ‘aesthetic line’ which will take us south east through the volcanoes of the Auverge towards our friends in the Lot and beyond Toulouse. We will find out over the next few days if this is the right decision.