It took us four days to traverse the Puisaye, a vaguely defined area between Toucy and the Loire, which was in former times covered by immense, dripping forests. Most of these were cleared in the period after the French revolution, but pockets still exist, as we discovered. The cleared fields are given over to wheat rather than vines, presumably because of the soil type.
After two days we joined the Canal de Briare, one of the oldest in France, and followed it down to the Loire.
The weather was suffocatingly hot and we had to revert to our old habit of starting early and ending early, which meant that we took a day longer than we intended to get to Gien. Every evening we had a fine camping ground to sleep in and a beautiful restaurant meal – no picnics were required.
Day 21: Toucy to Villeneuve-les-Genêts
Day 23: Rogny-les-Sept-Écluses to Briare
Day 24: Briare to Gien