I stopped in the town to put on another layer of clothing, and enjoyed the fact that shops were open so I could buy some 'comfort food' for the cold- chocolate, clementines, pain au raisin. And everyone today seemed to wish me 'Bon Courage!' - I thought at the time they said it because of the cold, but it may also have been that they knew about the winds expected during the afternoon.
The first section of the walk was relatively sheltered, down to a chateau, then passing by the edge of some forest.
In St-Jean-St-Maurice there was just a little gîte with four beds in it- quite beautiful. There was a kitchen/dining area downstairs, though as it turned out, the village epicerie was closed as its oven had broken down.
I had been looking forward to reaching this village as I knew it was on the banks of the Loire, but I wasn't ready for quite how magnificent the river was at this point. I think I had imagined it would be still fairly small, but the Loire made some bends at this point, and was indeed rather large.
And one thing that took me completely by surprise was how long there had been human settlement in this very area: traces of human tools had been found that dated back to 60 000 years ago, and evidence of a village settlement 25 000 years ago. It made the current village indeed seem quite modern by comparison.
This village was yet another of the unexpected treasures that you can 'stumble upon' while walking in the French countryside.