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Auxerre to Agen

Another recumbent bike epic across France.  There seems to be a theme developing, accidentally, but based on European Bike Express' collection points; the last one was B to B (Beaune to Barcelona), this one is A to A.

Having gone down the east of France and over the Massif Central last year this year I thought I'd explore the westerly area a little more.  So, this trip went from Auxerre, followed the Canal du Nivernais to Decize, went west towards Chateauroux and Le Blanc then Poiter, followed La Vienne river skirting Angouleme, Limoge and Perigeux to get to La Reole, finally following the Canal Entre Deux Mers to Toulouse and a bit beyond before returning to Agen for the coach journey home.

About 1,500km in all.

Moat at Bannegon

I peddled around the back to the chateau and had my third breakfast, fruit and bread, sitting on this wall next to the moat.  If you roll your mouse over this image you'll see up a bit and the tower that you can only see the foot of in this picture.

 

Getting hotter

It was getting warmer and warmer and along here I was cycling gingerly on the left of the road to remain in the shade.  Not exactly a risky strategy since there are very, very, very few cars.

 

Bruère Allichamps is the geographical centre of France apparently. I had lunch in a restaurant at the cross roads at Bruère, where the owner let me plug in my powerchimp to recharge it.  Charging the powerchimp was something I did usually at the end of the day, but sometimes, if I could, whilst having lunch too.  I needed it to recharge my phone, which serves as camera too, my iPod, which I only listened to at night in my tent, but also my GPS.  The GPS would last 8 hours but would need an entire powerchimp charge to itself so it was something I had to do every day.

Anyway, back to the food: a free buffet (I had herring salad and various other cold doodads), grilled pork with gratin and salsify.  A first for me, not had salsify before.

This campsite was one of the best I stayed at.  It was right next to the river Cher, rollover this picture with your mouse to see the view from my tent, which I haven't put up yet.  As you can see the campsite isn't crowded.  I'd stopped early, at about 12 or 1ish because there was no other campsite within 30km.  Campsites were proving less abundant than they had been on last year's route.

The guy running it was very friendly and helpful and everyone said hello and would stop to chat.  It was called Camping Des Platanes (Tel: 02 48 61 06 69)

 

The River Cher

Once I'd got my laundry done (left my one-size-fits-all plug here) I went for a short ride to see around the place.  I left my plug because I'd chatted to people on the way to do my washing, chatted to people whilst doing my washing, had the coldest shower you can imagine because the free token (jeton) hadn't worked (I had a warm shower a little later) and thus got completely distracted.